][V][ EGADETH ][-][

The thing that really irritates me about Saturday is the fact that my employers never listen to me. Megadeth was going to be playing a concert last night, you see, and I really wanted to be in attendance. So much so, in fact, that the tickets for said event were acquired within fifteen minutes of them going on sale to the public (which was on October 2nd). Now, knowing that I always have to work on Saturday nights, I made sure to let the boss know that I was going to be needing to get off early on that day. I told them about this on October 4th, also marked it on the calendar to make sure that they wouldn’t forget. Even if I round the numbers in their favor, they still had over three weeks to plan for me to not be at work for the last three hours on a Saturday. Yet, somehow, it was as if I had never mentioned it at all.

It isn’t like I frequently request days off at work, nor even specific hours off. The only days that I can remember having requested off were my brother’s wedding and my own wedding. I have requested to be off a bit early a couple of times, due to other events that I wanted to go to, without a problem, yet this one really seemed to piss them off. When I called work in the morning, inquiring as to whether they wanted me to work additional hours in the A.M. to make up for missed hours in the P.M., it was like they truly believed that I had never mentioned it, nor written it on the calendar. What do I need to do, drag them to a notary to sign a document stating that I am requesting three hours off in a month26 days? Hmm. Perhaps I should suggest that the next time I make plans and let them know well in advance, there would be no denying it then.

Enough about that, on to MEGADETH!

If I were to use a single word to describe the show, that word would be “Awesome”. I don’t mean that in the slang form of the word that the stoners picked up in the late eighties, I mean it in the literal sense. When I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon, the view was awesome; When I saw Dave Mustaine play last night, having come back after a debilitating nerve injury to his left arm and hand, I was in awe. -Much on a side note, I saw a few speculations on the internet that his injury was not as bad as he made it sound, but if you had been following the Megadeth.com website, it shows the strange device that he had to put his arm/hand into, and he details some of the progress during the ordeal. I really doubt it was meant as a publicity stunt, especially since he is the only remaining member of the original band.- Anyway, back to random musings.

The band that opened for them was Exodus. For the majority of the world the only claim that Exodus has to fame is being the launchpad for Kirk Hammett of Metallica fame. Of course, if you are old enough, you might remember the one song that Exodus put out in the late eighties that got a lot of airplay, come on you remember the Toxic Waltz don’t you? -Or maybe, as my wife says, only I do.-

That last paragraph would have been deleted and only revisited in some later edition of Trivial Pursuit had I not found a really strong sense of irony in it. You see, Dave Mustaine was the original lead guitarist of Metallica. He was fired from the band just as they got signed and was replaced by Kirk Hammett, who was currently in the band Exodus. Now Exodus is opening for Megadeth on their tour for The System Has Failed. The only way that this could have gone more full circle is if Mustaine joined Exodus, then Metallica opened for them.

On to the show!

I was simply amazed by how much old-school stuff they did. They opened with the song “No Survivors”, which only myself and about eight other people in the crowd seemed to recognize. They played most of the songs that are still in cirulation on the radio, “Symphony of Destruction”, “A Tout Le Monde”, “Train of Consequences”, “Sweating Bullets”, come on, you know the regulars. Aside from starting the show with “No Survirors”, I was really blown away when they started to do “In My Darkest Hour”, I really didn’t think they were gonna play that one. Both “Hangar 18” and “Eye of the Tornado” also hit me a bit by surprise. Amazing songs all, and well appreciated, but it really seemed like I was the only one in my little section that knew the songs. Yet the same could be said for “Die Dead Enough”, “Kick the Chair”, “Back in the Day” and “Something That I’m Not”, which were all from the latest album, yet no one seemed to recognize them.

Megadeth (or what remains of it) certainly hit it on the head with both this album and this tour. There is no way that you can watch this show and imagine that anything has been sold out, except possibly the venue in the next town.

I may be the only one left in the entire world that wants to hear loud, heavy, ear-splitting music for the sake of entertainment, but I tell you Megadeth delivers that. As far as the (obligatory) encores, you know what they were… come on, think about it. That’s right! They were, first, “Peace Sells…But who’s Buying”, and second, after about five minutes, “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due”.

If you have ever been a fan of Megadeth, even in passing, you really need to see them live. There is no stage show, just guys playing…and playing well. I grew up with them, idolized them, and still follow them even though only Mustaine still remains. They will rock your world. You might find yourself banging your head even though you have never done it before. It is not that you don’t like to bang your head, it is that you haven’t yet been to this show.

Also, vote on Tuesday, it may be important.

Osama Bin Laden

I must admit that I was a little bit disappointed that the Republicans didn’t have Osama in a freezer somewhere, with hopes of thawing him out just in time for the election. Yet I still think that it is quite timely that he happens to turn up just now. It would be damn near ‘un-American’ to say that I was pretty sure that he would either be caught, or killed right about the same time as the elections in the U.S. Thankfully, I have been proven wrong. It will take weeks to seriously authenticate the source of the latest video, and by then the election will be over and done with. Does that mean that the administration knew it was going to happen (honestly now, every liberal in America was expecting something like this), or is it just another in a string of ‘strange coincidences’ since dubya stumbled into office?

The thing about this latest ‘Bin Laden’ video is that it is just so timely. I am a tad surprised that neither of our presidential candidates had a good speech prepared for this eventuality. Perhaps he (Osama) aired his video a day early? I certainly do love the message, though, which is; ‘We control your safety, not your president’. You really have to understand that that is true before you can try to make a war against Islamic Terrorists. They would just as soon kill the ideals of American Society, as well as the people that represent it, as look at it. Any ‘Scare’ that they can get out of us is a victory to them.

Whether the latest tape was staged, taken out of context, or filmed a couple of years ago really doesn’t matter. What matters is that we (the american people) get out and cast a vote. Regardless of who is in office at this time next year, the terrorists will roam free. Regardless of who happens to win the election, the same will be true. Isn’t it about time that we get someone into office that doesn’t think whoopy cushions are funny?

I do apologize, all that I have on my mind is political, and I don’t want to descend that slope. Perhaps the Megadeth concert tomorrow will put me back in my place. Dead End

Red Sox Series and Dogma

I have again been quite lacking in the supposed ‘daily update’ department of late. I could likely have banged something out over the last couple of days just for the sake of making a post, but it would have been pretty poor even by my meager standards. Who knew I had standards?

• So it turns out that the Red Sox really did win the world series and lift the ‘Curse of the Bambino’. That is great and all, I am very happy to see someone other than the Yankees take it home this year. I think a lot of the baseball fans in the U.S. are the same way. There were a few quotes in the news articles about the Red Sox win, however, that really make me think the people in Boston may be a bit delusional, if not clinically insane:

All the psychic pain doesn’t just disappear in one day. On Thursday, some Red Sox fans were cautious, and even irrational, about accepting their good fortune. Several said they read the sports pages first thing to make sure the win actually happened. Gilligan looked in another section of the paper.
“I checked the obituaries to make sure I was still alive,” he said.

Okay, I know it has been a while, but come on! I understand that his statement was likely not meant as fact (though with the rabid BoSox fans one can never know), but it is just not that big a deal. Beating the Yankees after being down 3-0 in the previous series was a big deal, as it had NEVER happened. Not by any team in the entire history of professional baseball. Yet, the BoSox fans wait until they sweep another team in the ‘World Series’ to start to express their disbelief? Was the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ so much a part of life in Boston that they really, truly believed that the Sox were never going to win it again?

Of course I only bring this up since it makes it seem possible that my beloved Cubs will be able to rid themselves of the ‘Curse of the Goat’. That will be entirely necessary if they are to avoid the plan that I laid out in a previous post, and fulfill my prophecy of winning the World Series in 2007. The significance of which is that they would be the only sporting team to ever go exactly a century between title wins. I am a Cubs fan, we have to have goals too.

• I took in the movie Dogma over the weekend. It was released in 1999 and I have somehow just never found the time to watch it. Sure they play it on lots of networks at this point, but it is the type of movie that you really have to see without censorship to truly appreciate. I really loved the movie and plan to watch it at least once more just to make sure that I didn’t miss any of the innuendo. It is wonderful to have an open mind. I am not even going to go into a ‘psuedo-review’ of this one though, as there are other people that have done it so much better than I could ever hope to.

Here is the CAP Alert guy with his ‘Full Review’ of the movie. You will either laugh or cry, depending on your particular faith, but it is definite must read material when researching a movie such as this. It is not my intention to rip on anybody for being really small minded and simple, but (there is always a ‘but’) this guy fell off of his rocker a long time ago and is only still rocking in his own head, if you get my drift. The only thing that keeps him out of the mental hospital, likely, is that there are a lot of people that think just like he does. Scary thought, considering that one of the two presidential candidates share in his beliefs. I have no proof of his sanity, or lack thereof, but I do have a single quote from his review of the Dogma movie:

Since the release of Dogma in 1999 it has apparently served well the appetites of the unbelievers and of the situational and conditional Christian — those who are Christian only when and where it suits them. By deeper inspection of the letters of the many who claim to be Christian have told me they found “deeper insight” and “spiritual fulfillment” in Dogma, they each have only been apparently duped into questioning and doubting not only God’s Word but God Himself; into thinking it is good to question everything. What a dilemma! While it is good to question most worldly things to avoid being deceived, one must assume deception is the goal. God has no plan or goal to deceive us in any way. Thus, the promotion of free-thinking by Dogma targeted at the Gospel and His Word cheapens for the gullible and uninformed their perception of God AND His Word.

So, then, it is really good to question everything on earth. Yet, it is not good to question everything on earth. You should only question the things that are not by the hand of God…Oh, I get it. So it is okay to question whether the pizza really had double pepperoni, but it is not okay to question whether God looked on and watched a child die in agony. It is okay to question why there is not more World Support for the thousands of people who die in underdeveloped countries every year, yet, it is not okay to question God’s plan for whatever is left of them when ,and if, they finally make it to heaven.

Mankind has tried to use religion to explain everything since the beginning of time. Don’t you think it is just about time that we start to live for now?

The whole “worshipping god” thing has pushed us further back in technology (and any other race ever constructed) than we would be if we just finally gave up on religion.

I guess God, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and lots of other figures who never existed, in reality, will laugh when I come to greet them. It is a choice that I have made.

Note to parents out there. Don’t try to tell your kids that all of these mythical beings exist, then tell them that they don’t exist…Except God…

Well, at least my parents went the extra mile and never killed any of us. They also killed all of the ‘mysterious gift bringer’ myths by the time I was twelve. I don’t know if either of them had the cajones to take a stance on whether or not there was a ‘God’, but I think mom did a better job of dispelling myths about it. By the time I was 12 I knew that there was no one looking out for me, what I did/said was it. That all worked out well, as I did grow up. Religion is only Myth in my mind.

Meta blogging, Homosexuality

The last two missed posts were for the following reasons. Saturday I just never got around to it, I was watching some of the South Park marathon on Comedy Central. Sunday I decided that I needed to take care of some long overdue archiving around here, when I say long overdue, I mean like six months or more.

I managed to finish updating the April, May and June archives, which can be seen Here. I would like to say that I just finally decided to get off of my lazy ass and start catching up on things, but the truth is that some of the pages contained in those months didn’t upload completely, so I had a bunch of pages that had no links on the bottom. This only came to my attention as I was wondering why things that I had written about six months ago could not be found by search engines, even when I specified my own site and searched for a very particular string of words.

I would also like to say that the reason that I did it was so that someone searching for a particular topic through google would be able to happen across my site. That is at least partially true. The real reason is that I got tired of having to read through every post for the last six months when I was trying to link to something that I had said previously. Hopefully, I have at least fixed the problem with the partial pages, as this is the second time I have tried to remedy the problem and it is getting very frustrating.

A rather unexpected upside to being so lazy is that I didn’t have the slightest idea what I wrote all those months back. I remember having written some of the personal anecdotes from my youth, but as for the off the cuff, day to day bitching I just had no idea. It was as if I was reading something that someone else wrote for the most part, which was quite odd since I was able to find tons of grammatical errors that I never saw when I originally wrote it. Of course I have the grammar prowess of your average third-grader so I guess that is to be expected.

Most of the posts I just skimmed over to get a basic idea for a brief description, while there were a few that I read completely. The most amazing thing was that there were a couple of times that I actually laughed at something that I had written, the amazing part is that it was obviously meant as a joke.

• It turns out that my mother gave the URL of this site to the partner of my eldest brother (the homosexual one). I am not the type of person to hold back thoughts or words, even when I know that if I ever decide to go into politics they will sting me in the ass. The thing that I find very strange/amusing/comforting, is that the guy went ahead and read that particular post, which was on October 14. In that post I make a very feeble defense for homosexuality, why my brother’s partner found it to be good escapes me. Yet, then I realize that damn near half of the world, and probably 80% of the U.S. is against them, I can kind of understand why any endorsement of homosexuality is a good thing.

I think that what pisses me off the most about America is that we are so fucking stupid (as a whole). Men having sex with other men has been the norm since at least the time of the Greeks. All through history there has been homosexuality. Do you honestly believe that the men who came across the Atlantic Ocean to discover America kept it in their pants for four months? Do you really believe that men in prison simply abstain? If your plain crashed on the top of the mountain, no food, no water, would you start to look at the dead people as nourishment? While the last example is something that you certainly would do in the interest of self-preservation, the other two are stone cold facts.

• If it is my fault that everyone in the world except for me really hates homosexuals, all I can say is that I am sorry. If it is the fault of everyone in the U.S. for being intolerant…That sounds about right.

][V][ EGADET ][-][ concert preparation

There are only eight days now until I am going to be seeing Megadeth in concert. While I am as giddy as a school-girl on the one hand, I am also a bit apprehensive. The previous bands that my wife and I saw, including, but not limited to (no way I am gonna link them all): Dokken, Dio, Korn, Motorhead, Scorpions, Ozzy, WhiteSnake, Iron Maiden, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Chevelle, hell there were a few others (many more if you count the bands that didn’t play the main stage). They were all viewed from a VIP area in an arena that has security posted to keep the homocidal lunatics away from us. Don’t get me wrong, I can throw my fist in the air and bang my head with the best of them, used to even engage in smashing my body against the bodies of other people while listening to really loud music. The thing is that I am not sixteen anymore, no matter how much I try to pretend that I am.

The thing, the one thing, is that I am still a bit nervous about everyone around me. True, there is a ‘pit section’ in damn near every venue that a band plays; That is the place that I would have owned a decade ago. Now, for better or worse, I just want to go and hear it all live, throw my fist in the air and be a part of the the experience. What I don’t want is the guy next to me to get a bit too drunk and start picking fights. Of course the adrenaline rush that comes with seeing your idols play live might just make me immune to the drunken (more so than me) idiots that would try to fight anything that wiggled. Yet, those idiots will be on the same rush. Bleh. All I really have to say is, thank the random fluctuations of time and space for structured seating, without it I might have to re-live my youth by beating someone to death (Not that I actually beat anyone to their death in my youth; at least not that you can prove it).

The interesting thing about Megadeth, and my desire to see them live, is that there is only one guy left in the band that was there at the beginning. That guy is, of course, Dave Mustaine. For whatever reasons, a guitarist named ‘Chris Poland’ played the lead on their first album, as well as playing the lead on their latest album, yet he won’t be on tour with them. David Ellefson has been the bassist since the band’s beginning, but he is not going to be playing with them either. The original drummer is also gone, though I can not place his name. I think Nick Menza is going to be playing with them, while I am thinking that their original drummer had a name like ‘Gar Samuelson’. So, in essence, I am watching the Dave Mustaine show when I go to see Megadeth, but, you know what, that is what I want to see.

-All of the musicians mentioned can be found by going to Artist Direct.com and entering their names. I just happen to remember all of their names since I grew up with/worshipped this band.-

My fascination with Dave Mustaine goes way back. He was, of course, one of the original members of Metallica. He still has writing credits on many of the songs on Metallica’s first two albums. He can play a guitar like no one should ever be able to, but, he does it with a unique (totally untrained) approach. To hell with the musical scales! If it sounds weird/cool to play an A-sharp, followed by an E-flat, he will do it (at least in the glory days of Megadeth). He just doesn’t give a damn for conforming to anything (though it is pretty obvious that he has taken a class or two in musical theory at this point).

The one thing that really stands out about Mustaine, though, is his voice. He seems to be on the edge of sanity when he is singing the lyrics, yet he seems so approachable when you hear him do an interview. I don’t know if you can actually teach someone how to sound insane, but if it is possible, Mustaine should open a school. His voice is, very obviously, not meant to be a singing voice. It is more a satirical rendition of the ‘we hate you, you must die’ voices of the late ’90’s. I am not sure if that is what he was aiming for, but that was what I took it as. Yet, were it not for that unique voice, and some hammering riffs, Megadeth might just be a foot-note in the history of music. Of course the fact that I am going to watch them live in 2004, when they haven’t put out a decent album in more than a decade, might say more about me than it does about them. In my defense I would like to say that going to this concert is not going to slow down my graying hair, nor do I think that it will cure baldness. It is just a ‘must see’ show. It very well could be the last time that anyone is able to see what is left of Megadeth in a show.

As far as the rapidly graying hair, I will be the only ‘distinguished gentleman’ at the Megadeth show. Unless, of course, no one else has listened to them in the last decade. Yes, brethren in the graying/baldness category, that is what I want to get out of a concert. ( <—Sarcasm ).

Rain in Arizona!

A strange thing happened today. The normally sunny, dry weather of Arizona changed. There were these dark clouds in the sky all morning, and in the afternoon those clouds started to discharge liquid. At first I wasn’t really sure what was happening, I kept thinking that maybe I was imagining it all, but no, it actually happened. We had rain. Not the Monsoon storm rain that we get in the summer months (usually, but not for the last several years as we are in a horrible drought), but just a gentle type of rain that went on for hours. It kind of put me in mind of the weather that I got used to while living in Oregon, of course without the temperature being in the low-thirties in October. Just a very strange thing to have actual, normal rain here in Arizona, it doesn’t happen that often.

The somewhat humorous result of this (both the fact that we never get rain, and the fact that we just got rain) is that no one in the entire state of Arizona ever pays a damn bit of attention to the windshield wipers on their car. When it actually does get around to raining, you often find that your wipers have melded with the windshield sometime in the 120 degree heat, and as such the first time you try to use them all you hear is the scraping of the metal bar on the glass. All that while what used to be a flexible, rubber wiper is still absolutely either melted to your windshield, or turns to powder the first time it moves. I managed to escape the windshield wiper fate as I just replaced mine, after trying to use the little window squirter and wipers to try to clean the windshield, only to find that I had wiper integrity at about 1%.

The problem with this all, and why it is not humorous, is that the people that live here (in Arizona) don’t understand how to drive in the rain. It is pretty much common knowledge that water makes the road a bit more slick than usual. What doesn’t seem to be common knowledge, at least down here, is that water also makes oil float to the surface. While people in rainy areas are used to having the roads be a bit slick, people down here just don’t get it. You can have the best tires on your SUV, be a pretty defensive driver and have the best anti-lock brakes available. All of that is not going to stop you from skidding down the street for several blocks when you lock up your brakes in a mix of water and oil.

The lack of rain on the roads in Arizona makes it so that the oil really pools up in the low spots, as well as just making a thin coat along the whole length of any stretch of road. That is exactly the time that you have to understand that the sign posts a limit to how fast you should go: In perfect conditions, 75 mph is alright. In less than perfect conditions you should go a lot slower, especially if you value your own life. Just remember, as that SUV passes you up, going 85mph+, in the rain, that there will be a frivilous lawsuit filed somewhere when it inevitably slides as it goes into a corner, then kills all of the people in it. That is, of course, driver error, but in our society we really want someone to pay us, or the family, when we do things that are monumentally stupid.

• In sports news, the Red Sox actually did come back from a 3-0 defecit to beat the almighty Yankees. That is about all I have to say about it though, since I really don’t give a damn one way or the other who actually wins the World Series. Of course my wife did bring up the fact that Boston will actually have to win it to get rid of the Curse of the Bambino. So I guess I had better root for the BoSox in order to get my Cubbies to break their own curse.

I had no intention of posting anything today, but that thing about the rain and foolish people who don’t know how to drive in it just took over my conscious.

On the up side, I really don’t think I am going to post anything tomorrow. Of course, as always, time will tell. You just never know when some jack-Ass is going to do something so stupid that you have to bitch about it.

Site stats; ALCS

My infrequent posting pattern continues, some may even say that it is becoming the norm. I dunno, I would like to think that there were pressing, real-life issues that kept me from posting, but no, nothing like that at all. You see I got caught up in another one of those silly Club Pogo challenges. The challenges are little more than a digital pissing contest, but I just can’t stand the thought of failing at any challenge that I begin. The problem with that is that I often start challenges (in life as well as that game site) that involve games/things that I am not very good at, or at least not familiar enough with to try.

This time, the game ‘Dominoes’ was the source of my problems over the last few days. It turns out that there is a use to them beyond just lining them up and knocking them down. Which is good, I suppose, as I always wondered why they went to all the trouble of putting numbers on them if their only purpose was to be stood on end and knocked over. Actually, I have played dominoes in the past, used to be passable at it, but the version that they offer on that website doesn’t use the same rules that I played by. In fact, a quick look at Dominoes.com shows that there are at least 68 different domino games. Of course I know how to play exactly one of them, which was very different than the online version that I was offered as a challenge.

If I were able to take the hours that I spent trying to win those 65 games and funnel them into a good cause, I likely would have gotten a lot more Diablo playing done. I did win the 65 games in the challenge, albeit only an hour before the expiration of the challenge. Considering that they give you seven full days to do each challenge I would say that I cut it pretty close.

• While perusing my site statistics today I noticed a couple of interesting search strings that resulted in hits. Those particular searches were for ‘free sixteen porn picture’ and ‘watch free little girl porn’ (both without quotations, of course). I will readily admit that I changed the title of my page to say, “Still Porn Free”, as a ruse to see if I could get a few hits just because it had the words free and porn in it. I never had any idea that it would result in pedophiles clicking through to my page. Curiosity drove me to do a Yahoo search for those exact strings and I found the reason why.

When I ran a search for the first string (free sixteen porn picture), I was indeed near the top of the list. What is worse is that the quote about the first fifteen words of the header, then quote a little snippet from somewhere on the page that contained one of the search terms. The actual part from my page that was quoted said, “I know that it really did sound fresh, but I was also about sixteen, and I didn’t really know anything about anything …”. Now I was talking about a writer at that point, yet I could see how that particular line could be taken out of context. So Mr. (or Ms.) pedophile was thinking that it was a child getting fresh with someone…I can accept that, a simple misunderstanding.

The second search string really has me baffled. I did searches on Yahoo and Google for ‘watch free little girl porn’, and my site does indeed come up. Unfortunately, for porn seekers, the ‘watch’ in question is a wristwatch. It is even stated in the little description of the site that Mr. (or Ms.) pedophile clicked through to get to my page. What I wonder is, did they really think that ‘Armitron’ and ‘Rolex’ were code words for child porn? I don’t know, I think that said person was just clicking through every link looking for a picture of a naked child, and man that is sick.

I have been trying to get my father’s side of the family to let me put a directory, on this site, that has all of the photos and history we can find about our ancestors. I thought that it would be a great way to get names and photos out to try to find some other branches of the family tree. One of my Aunts had misgivings about posting that on the internet, and I wondered why. Now I know. The last thing that you ever want to think about is the possibility that there is some sicko, somewhere, looking at an old, black and white photo of your mother bathing you in the sink…And jerking off…That is just wrong.

• In sports news, what the hell is going on in baseball?

I grew up in Oregon, and as such we didn’t have a local baseball team to root for. What we did have was a WGN station on our local cable service. I became a Cubs fan, since that was what we had. When I moved to Arizona, and shortly after the Diamondbacks became a franchise, I rooted for them as well. The Diamondbacks did win a world series in my lifetime, while I still somehow doubt that the Cubs ever will. Last year it was a possibility that the Cubs and the Red Sox could have met in the World Series, but no one ever really thought that was going to happen since Boston has the curse of the Bambino and Chicago has the curse of the goat (sorry for the sparse info link there, gotta get back to the game).

Unless the Red Sox find a way to fuck up a seven run lead in the seventh inning, they will be the first baseball team to ever come back from being down 3-0 and win the series. Of course the Yankees and Redsox are only playing the ALCS and the winner must go on to play the winner of the NLCS series, but I would venture to say that whoever wins this game will win it all (which is not much of a venture statistically).

This all meshes nicely with my theory that the Cubs are going to be the first professional sports team to go exactly a century between championships. Look for them to be on the first platform in 2007, go Cubbies! This talk is a bit premature, as the game is still on. Probably in the seventh inning stretch judging by the sounds of it. Still, happy thoughts.

The problem with baseball, as everyone except pretty die-hard Yankee fans know, is that there is absolutely no equality in the game. Every other major sport puts limitations on how much you can spend to make the ‘ultimate team’. The Lakers (in the NBA) have done a great job of winning within those constraints, as did the previous San Francisco and Dallas dynasties (in the NFL) of years past. I don’t follow hockey closely enough to make a reference there, but it seems that the teams are basically pretty evenly matched (within reason).

The Yankee’s are able to buy every ‘free-agent’, every year, and give them more money than anyone else ever could. I do understand that the Yankees also make the most money, but come on. The Yankees will regularly have half of the top 10 highest players on their team, while the worst teams will have a couple of decent players, but no one that really stands out. It is not because the shitty teams don’t want to win, not that they don’t want to be competitive, it is just that the Yankees have more money. Speaking of that, You have to have a bit of respect for Curt Schilling who chose to go to the Red Sox to try to dethrone the Yankees in the American League, after having beat the Yankees in the World Series with the Diamondbacks. That is a hatred/desire to dethrone a team that I have yet to see in any athlete.

Seriously, though, I am going to go watch the end of this game…I think we may be seeing history here…

Strange dream; Team America: World Police; The System Has Failed

I took a few days off around the website in case you haven’t noticed. Again the problem was just an utter lack of anything to say, I won’t let that little fact stop me today!

If anyone out there is into dream analysis, here’s one for you. In this dream I am standing in front of a shopping center in the town where I grew up. There is an ambulance parked nearby. Next to me (in the same general area anyway) are two paramedics and a young kid that I don’t recognize. After a few moments a black Chevelle with blacked out windows comes around the corner, the passenger window comes down, a rifle comes out and fires three shots, about a half a second apart. The Chevelle speeds away.

The three shots seem to have hit their intended targets. The two paramedics are both very obviously dead; each having been hit in the head and missing a great deal of the skull. The kid that I don’t recognize is hit also, but in the chest. He is breathing but barely. I can’t be certain what the bullet actually hit, but in my best estimation it looks like it probably missed his heart, I think he had a collapsed lung though, as he was coughing up blood.

My shouts for help go unanswered, the shopping center is deserted. In fact I don’t think there is a single car in the lot with the exception of the ambulance. I remove the stretcher from the back of the ambulance and put the kid onto it. I manage to get the stretcher into the back of the ambulance but I can not figure out how to secure the kid to the stretcher, or how to keep the stretcher from rolling/sliding. After a minute or so of trying to figure it out I decide it is better to bang him up a bit on the way to the hospital than to let him die while I am fucking with the straps.

I have never seen the driver’s seat of an ambulance but in my dream there are so many switches that it puts me in mind of a jet. All I want to do is start it and go, which I figure out quickly enough. The second I am on the road in front of the shopping center though there are cars backed up going both ways with no way to get around them. I start messing with the switches hoping to find the siren or the lights, and eventually find the one for the lights, yet the cars don’t seem to see them, as they don’t make way for me to pass. I do eventually find the siren (bear with me I know this is weird), it is a hand crank on passenger side of the cabin. In order to use the siren I have to put the ambulance in park, move to the passenger seat and crank it. I do this and the cars immediately all make their way to the side of the road, but by the time I am back in the driver’s seat the noise has faded and the cars are all back in front of me.

Through experimentation I am able to figure out that if I give the thing a good crank, five revolutions or so, I am able to get back to the driver’s seat and make it a couple of car lengths before I am boxed in again. A couple of dozen times of doing that and I make it to a cross street that I take towards the hospital (in my dream the location of the hospital is actually the location of the court, but that is another story). The four streets that surround the hospital are all one way, I was of course on the wrong street and had to make my way all the way around the thing to reach the entrance. When I come to a stop at the emergency entrance I crank the siren once more and a bunch of people rush out of the hospital. When I open the back of the ambulance to get the kid out, he is just sitting there on the stretcher with no sign of an injury at all. As I stare around confused, looking back and forth between the kid and the doctors, the black Chevelle pulls up behind the ambulance. I duck to the ground instinctively, but when the doors open the two paramedics from the shopping center get out. Suddenly a police car appears, I am in handcuffs, the hospital (which is in the location of the courthouse in the actual town layout) has turned into the police station and I am in a room being questioned about stealing the ambulance when the dream ends.

So what does that all mean?

•With the Megadeth concert being only two weeks away, I finally decided I had better go ahead and buy the new cd. The System Has Failed is the latest release, which I have just listened to twice. I have a couple of comments about it. First, they sure did go back to their roots as far as speed and power. I am not sure if it could hold a candle to ‘Rust in Piece’, but it is certainly on par with ‘Countdown to Extinction’. The second thing of note is that a lot of the lyrics are pretty sub par for Megadeth. The songs make sense (as much as a song can) but they just don’t seem to be of the same caliber as most of the older stuff. I suppose one can only write about so many great poems beforing running out of brilliant stories to tell.

One other thing that I took away from listening to it, I don’t think that Dave Mustaine thinks much of George W. Bush, or the situation in Iraq. That much is never actually said, but it is kind of implied. Even the albums cover art depicts someone, who looks an awful lot like dubya, paying off Vic the judge. The first song on the album, ‘Blackmail the Universe’, starts with air force one getting shot down and the president being detained by terrorists. One of the quotes in the song is, “I red, white and blew it.” That is a great line…

• The wife and I went out to take in a movie today. It was the first movie that I have seen on opening weekend since the original theatrical release of E.T. So what movie was so compelling as to make me see it on opening weekend, a movie so powerful to break a 22 year run of never seeing a movie on opening weekend? Well Team America: World Police, of course.

This is one of those movies that is certainly not for everyone. If you like it, you really like it, if you don’t like it, you actively hate it. A quick look at the reviews on RottenTomatoes will certainly evidence that. I am of the camp that really, really liked the movie. If you have yet to see it, I have only this to ask, “Jesus titty-fucking Christ!”, why not?

Now I am going to talk a little bit about the movie, not a review, more a list of things that I did/didn’t like about it. That means that there will be some spoilers. Of course this movie is pretty hard to spoil, I could likely read the entire script to you verbatim and you would still be blown away by it. That all being said, away I go.

First off, the movie took me completely by surprise. I had seen only one trailer for it ever. I mean there was only one t.v. commercial that I ever saw advertising the film, and that was a couple of months ago. All that I was able to gather from that was that it was done with marionettes, and that the minds that created ‘South Park’ were behind it. That was not a lot to go on. That was all that I knew about the movie when my butt hit the seat at the theatre (where we arrived a half an hour in advance, only to find that even at show start there were only about 20 people there).

To start with a few very specific examples of what I didn’t like about the movie. 1) There is a puking scene that goes on WAY longer than it needs to. The guy threw up, we get it, move on. It was not all that funny to just watch a marionette spit out pea soup for a minute and a half. 2) There is a quite unnecessary little song that the evil mastermind (Kim Jong Il?) sings, should have been on the cutting room floor, and likely would have been were it not for the childish humor in stereotyping the speech of all Asians by making all the ‘L’s sound like ‘R’s. The movie would have been better off without it. 3) There is just a lot of profanity for the sake of profanity. I know that they are Lampooning other movies and the such, but no one really ever says Fuck that often…Not even me and I am a potty-mouth. 4) The ‘running joke’ about the main character sucking ‘Spotswoods’ dick had lost most of its steam by the time that it actually happened. While I did find it a bit humorous, I don’t think it was actually necessary. I am sure that there are a few issues that I am overlooking, but I want to get on to the good stuff, so I will leave that all for a later date.

What I liked about the movie, now that is a tough one. I would probably have to list at least half of the movie to get all of that across. I will try to just list a few extreme laugh out loud (xlol) moments.

Xlol moment 1: This one is covering two scenes, the destruction in both Paris and Cairo. I was laughing so hard because that is just the way the rest of the world seems to look at the U.S.A., Destroying every precious, ageless monument, yet declaring victory after leaving the country in ruin.

Xlol moment 2: The twangy, country-western style song that Trey is singing while the main character makes up his mind about going to fight for his freedom. The song ends with something close to “Freedom isn’t free, it costs a buck-o-five”. I may have been the only one in the theatre laughing, but that one really tickled me. Take that all you country-western artsists that write songs about freedom, yet would never ‘slip on your boots’ to fight for it!

Xlol moment 3: The first time the team started to roll out of Mt. Rushmore, when they first started to sing “America, America” in a pretty dignified tone, then followed that with the hammering, “America, Fuck Yeah!” on our way to save the mother-fucking world, Fuck Yeah! Or however it actually goes, I damn near pissed myself with laughter. I think that was mostly because it reminded me a lot of the song from the old G.I. Joe cartoon themesong at least I thought it did right until I just listened to the g.i.joe theme again, not even close. Still, that was really, really funny when they broke that song out.

Xlol moment 4: There were a lot of times during this film that I laughed out loud, that is quite unusual for me as I try to never be noticed, ever. After the first half hour or so of the movie I was able to contain my laughter for the most part, and as such the fourth xlol moment was in the credits. There are the two separate sets of credits, the ‘team america’ credits (which appear to be in steel with rivets) and after that the actual, normal credits roll. During the first credits, while the ‘America, Fuck yeah!’ song is playing, they start throwing out random terms. Like, “the internet, Fuck Yeah!”. There are a lot of them that I didn’t actually hear, but one of the last ones was, “Slavery, Fuck Yeah!”. I nearly split my gut with laughter, while I guess my wife didn’t hear it at all.

Jesus titty-fucking Christ, that is the funniest movie of all time. Well the funniest movie in this century. Then again, this century is only four years old…The funniest movie counting the last two centuries then…But, I guess they didn’t have movies before then, so I guess it really must be the funniest movie of all time.

As far as the fact that the characters are just marionettes, it really only comes up when they really want you to see it. The first ‘fight scene’ illustrates that, but I am pretty sure that it is done on purpose. In the latter part of the movie, the marionettes do some hand to hand fighting that looks, at the very least, as realistic as most of the crap that Hollywood has to offer. Also, and unlike Hollywood prodcutions, with one exception, when the people are dead, they are dead. Having no head, splitting your torso in half, these things will keep you down for a while. No one in this movie gets slapped and then ignored for the duration.

I guess I better stop now, if I don’t I will likely go on forever. Just go watch the damn movie!


So, you know how I Often say that I don’t really have anything to talk about? That is certainly not true today. Whether I run out of steam before I get to the bulk of the bitching, though, remains to be seen.

• On the work front, I agreed to leave work an hour earlier than usual to go pick up a part for the bosses van, a part which I am sure they will ask me to install tomorrow. The unfortunate part of this transaction was that I said I would do it just for the money I paid for the gas to get there. Due to some unfortunate planning, I was driving directly into the setting sun, with a dirty windshield and the nearest ‘squeegie’ far enough behind me that I didn’t want to go back to wash the damn window. I did spray the window with the cleaner that is in your little ‘window squirter thing’ and turn on the wipers, only to find that one of the wipers had crumbled to dust, and the other one was only barely alive. I eventually had to pull over and use a rag from the trunk to try to clean the window enough that I could see at all. Even with the outside of the window cleaned up, I was still driving almost half blind, since the inside of the windshield has had a weird film over it ever since the car over-heated a couple of years ago (which made me run the heater to try to circulate whatever water was in the car). I guess what I really need to do is hit the damn thing with a bit of windex before I go volunteering for jobs that require me to drive into the sun. Perhaps I will do that this weekend.

• The real story today is going to be all about homosexuality.

I happen to have a brother that is gay. He is not being gay as a way to get back at his parents, he is not looking for attention, he is just plain gay. I, more than most, have developed a sort of tolerance towards homosexuality because of it. I mean it is pretty difficult to go out ‘gay bashing’ when you know that you have a family member who is just the same.

I have often thought that his being homosexual was a choice, but my wife emailed me This article from CNN that is making me finally think a little bit differently. Of course you could find a study somewhere to back up literally anything, but the odds that CNN is going to be posting incorrect information, on purpose, is pretty laughable.

One study does not a fact make, I understand that. What I do understand is that I have a brother that happens to be homosexual. That brother is still my brother. This same brother is trying to marry his partner, yet it is not allowed under state and federal laws. They are not trying to marry as a mockery of the “man/woman” union, they are trying to marry so that one spouse can be included on the other spouse’s health insurance. Why is it that that is not possible?

I understand that there are staunch beliefs, on both sides of the coin, about this type of marriage, but, who does it really hurt?

If two gay men do marry, there is no way that they can ever procreate. Convoluted laws will make it damn near impossible for them to ever adopt a child, they will be just “life partners”. Isn’t that the whole point of marriage? You pick the one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with? Why is it so wrong that one of the partners can’t pump out children?

I find it humorous to hear anyone talking about homosexuals trying to ‘bastardize’ the ‘sacred union’ of marriage. I bet, if you actually run the statistics on that, there will be very few homosexuals that ever divorce. Why? The homosexual people seem to be looking for the right person as opposed to settling for the person that is ‘close enough’.

A lot of hetrosexuals make tons of mistakes along the way (while looking for their perfect mate), that is because they are doing their best to just snatch up someone, anyone, before they are too old and no one wants them anymore. I think that the homosexuals kind of have it better in that respect. They have been looking their entire lives, have been shunned by society, and just want to find that one person that makes them happy.

Homosexuality is not a crime, it is not even a ‘condition’, it is what that person is. Loving another person of the same sex should not carry the taboo that it currently does, there are homosexuals that are brave enough to admit it everywhere, even children of those in the oval office.

Here I must actually site a particular quote from Dick Cheney, while being questioned about the homosexuality of his own daughter:

Cheneys Criticize Kerry’s Remarks on Daughter
“You saw a man who will say and do anything in order to get elected,” Mr. Cheney said. “And I am not speaking just as a father here, though I am a pretty angry father, but as a citizen.” The vice president went on to describe the Massachusetts senator as too vacillating to be commander in chief and unwilling to support American troops at war.

You see how he just avoided the question, then made it a question of homeland security? That worked for the first four years, not gonna work for the next four, at least I hope.

Why using the absolute, stone-solid FACT that the Cheney’s daughter is gay is ‘doing anything to get elected’ really escapes me. I think the fact that you do your best to hide it really says more about personal character…

It really must suck for Cheney, to be so opposed to homosexuals, having one as a child, then to find out that you aren’t even gonna be the veep any more. I bet we will see his ‘true colors’ shining through pretty soon…Mark my words…

Commercials; Government; Writing

Today’s post brings good and bad news. The good news is that I don’t have any desire to talk about John Saul, or books at all for that matter, today. The bad news is that I did yesterday, and while I completely forgot to post it, I am just gonna throw it on the bottom of this page since I have all but run out of issues to tackle.

Let that be a lesson to all of you who are thinking about starting your own website, especially if you are palanning to try to put up news with your own opinion or snark, don’t start in an election year! For the first six or eight months that I was doing this site I could easily find some news item to go off about, yet now it is all politics. Actually it really isn’t so much about politics as it is about which candidate says what about the other, and which one made the most weird faces in the last debate. Is that what politics has come to?

I was watching some show on TVLand the other day, possibly MacGyver, and they showed an old commercial (That is one of the things that TvLand is famous for, they air old commercials for lots of products, I can remember seeing a Parkay margarine commercial from the ’70s and a Shake-n-Bake commercial from around the same era. They are really pretty nostalgic to look back at.), when an old, black and white commercial came on the screen. The only thing in the entire commercial was a picture of rain falling on a random street, with a voice-over saying something like, “It may rain this November Eleventh. If it rains, get wet. It is that important.” (again that is not actually a quote but the best I can recall and I can’t find that commercial anywhere on their website, or anywhere else on the internet for that matter). The screen then flashed up a ‘Vote for ___’ logo. I don’t remember the exact candidate, nor do I know the year the commercial was released, so it is difficult for me to try to find the damn thing. At any rate, I think you will see the point here. Political advertising used to be about spreading the name of the political candidate, now it seems to be about conveying the worst ‘half-truths’ about the opponent.

I am certainly not a political pundit, but I do know a bit or two about us grunts that actually work for a living. Not a damn one of ‘us grunts’ really care what the presidential candidates were doing in the early ’70s. ‘Us grunts’ would like to see the war in Iraq ended with the fewest possible casualties on all sides, but that is not all that we think about. ‘Us grunts’ are also a bit concerned about a couple of policies. You see, most of ‘us grunts’ weren’t born horribly rich (George W.), most of ‘us grunts’ didn’t marry horribly rich (John Kerry), most of ‘us grunts’ don’t give a damn about taxes for the richest 1% of the population, hell most of ‘us grunts’ don’t give a damn about taxes on the top 20% of the population. ‘Us grunts’ are looking for a bit of substance in the presidential claims about policies that actually involve ‘us grunts’.

Health Care is a really big ‘for instance’. ‘Us grunts’ don’t really have a lot of options; Making too much money to get free health care, yet not making quite enough money to actually afford the care that we do have. Despite that, laws are being passed to keep us from trying to obtain medicine at lower prices, ‘us grunts’ don’t care for that at all.

Another thing that ‘us grunts’ just can’t seem to understand is why buying a huge, gas-guzzling SUV can get you a tax break. It seems like the price of gas has been going up awfully fast lately, ‘us grunts’ are looking for the most fuel effecient automobile that our meager income can buy. Of course ‘us grunts’ might be able to afford those huge, gas-guzzling SUV’s were it not for the fact that minimum wage is at its lowest point in thirty years (adjusted for inflation), yet I doubt that ‘us grunts’ would buy them anyway… Why waste a precious resource that is already nearly drained?

I would really, really like to care about which candidate has better hair, which candidate did what in the ’70s, which candidate’s daughters have been arrested on the most drug charges, but I just can’t. There is more at stake here than just a figure-head for our country. There are lobbyists, albeit on both sides of the coin, that are willing to give millions or billions of dollars to whoever comes out of this thing as the leader. I have had almost four years to watch what one of them did with that power, now I would like to see anyone else in his position, to see what that power might bring. Damn me for being partisan.

PostScript: I know that the term ‘us grunts’ is not grammatically correct, but nothing else I ever write is either. I used the term ‘us grunts’ only because it starts with two letters that are important to me.

First off, and much to the great relief of everyone here I’m sure, I am not written off of the christmas card list of the friend who sent me the John Saul novel that I have been bitching about so much. In fact, said friend also has his own copy of the novel and was not able to make it through the first few chapters before he realized that he had basically read it in other Saul books. That means, at the very least, that anyone who reads and is also capable of retaining knowledge will know that Saul just keeps recycling the same story. The only explanation for this (why people still buy the books I mean) is that I think a lot of the readers are adolescent and just looking for a quick read with an easy to follow story.

My mother also read this book, my copy in fact, while my wife and I were on vacation, and she thought that it was pretty good, yet, it also seemed oddly familiar. I am now beginning to think that the way Saul is able to have continued success (31 novels worth) is that there is absolutely nothing remarkable about anything he has written. You certainly can’t walk away from the book with a fear of any one person or thing, within a couple of days you wouldn’t be able to name any of the main characters even if threatened with torture. I guess I should just call his work ‘disposable fiction’. Then again, all of the Saul that I personally own is in hardcover, and while I never paid cover price for any of it it is still far too expensive to simply throw away, yet that is what your mind tries to do with it.

If anyone other than John Saul were to send a John Saul novel to a publisher in the hopes of getting it printed they would likely be laughed right out the door. Mind you, that could be said for a lot of authors today. In fact if you start looking at the novels that are called ‘classic’, there are very few authors that have more than one in that category.

Interesting thought, that. Perhaps all of the authors that we consider great today only ever had one good novel, while the rest was mindless dribble, or at least very derivitive of their initial work. That is an unimaginable idea however, since most of the great authors of the past never made a single cent off of their work. I suppose that it would be really great to know that your story has outlasted you, but they never knew; It takes a century or so to see if the story can transcend to that status.

I seem to remember that Edgar Allan Poe (take this test, its fun) died penniless, in a gutter, none of his work ever made him a penny. Yet, some of Poe’s stories are required reading a hundred and fifty years later. On that same note, I somehow doubt that any John Saul will be ‘required reading’ in the year 2154, I could be wrong. (if you happen to be in the year 2154, and are reading this, and John Saul is required reading, please shoot me an email so that I will know that I was in error.)

When I was in my teens, even into my early twenties, I thought that my writing was going to change the world. Of course I have since sobered to the reality that I am likely never going to get a single word put to print before I die. I am not capable of writing with correct grammar, nor do my ideas do more than stem off of the fiction that I have read. The few, truly original, ideas that I have had work well in my head but do not seem to do well when put to paper (computer screen in this case). I do enjoy writing, my friends and family enjoy reading what I have written, yet I don’t seem to have that ‘it’ that is going to make me rise above every other guy in the world who tries to write anything. My ‘fan base’ could be counted on one hand, my grammar is horrible, at this point I am just hoping that someone within the family tries to get the hundreds of short stories in my file cabinet put onto paper someday. The one thing that I do have is really screwed up dreams, that is where the short stories come from. I never have a dream long enough to work itself into a novel though, and that means that what I write is just as forgettable as every other book you have read in the last few years.

As if that is not enough, I just went to the bathroom to find out that I have been wearing my underwear inside-out all day! Life Sucks!