Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Ah the holidays.  And enough free time to actually update my playlist on the normal day.  Of course the isn’t usually much chart movement this time of year and 2012 is no exception.  2 tracks in, 2 tracks out, and 4 songs missing from Spotify.  Hopefully there’s enough good tuneage here to help you avoid in post-Christmas letdown and to keep you rockin’ right up to the new year.

Missing songs this week:
One More Shot – Rolling Stones, Hollow – Alice In Chains, Demons – Candlelight Red, 
Scarecrows – One Bad Son
New to the Spotify list this week:
Street Jesus-  AerosmithGluttony-  Buckcherry
Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
When A Blind Man Cries – Metallica, Unstoppable – Charm City Devils

For the larger (once again nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s even more new music, including a new hit from Red, newcomers Blacklite District, Farewell to Fear and more.
You can find it at this link

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Christmas 2012

Folks who have known me for a while, or at least know me pretty well, are probably well acquainted with my generally low-key approach to the holidays.

I’m probably not quite the Scrooge I was in my pre-parenthood days but nobody is likely to confuse with any of Santa’s elves either.  Just not in my nature I reckon.  Still, I’m not totally unaware or disinterested in the season this year, if anything I’ve probably developed a bit more perspective on it than I’ve had in quite a while.

As I’ve enjoyed a variety of pictures on Facebook lately it has struck me that I’m transitioning into another phase of life as the holidays go.  Among my friends I have at least my fair share of both relatively new parents and relatively new grandparents.  Even grumpy old me has enjoyed some of the cutest Christmas pictures to ever be caught in digital form (can’t really say “film” any more).   See, cantankerous as I might be, I’m not the person you’ll catch complaining about pictures and stories about other people’s kids and grandkids.   I actually enjoy all that stuff, it’s part & parcel (and often the best part) of the lives of the people I know & care enough about to have in my digital circle.  I’m quite content to enjoy it with them if they’re willing to share.

At the same time, this year has also highlighted some of the quirks of Christmas at my house.  For example, it’s been a while since we’ve even made much pretense on trying to hold back my son’s presents until 12/25.  He’ll be 15 next spring, his presents have been from us rather than Santa for quite a while now, honestly I don’t see much point in being overly worried about the calendar.  Once the school break starts, especially now that exams are part of the mix leading up to the break, as far as I’m concerned Christmas is underway and he’s more than earned as much time to enjoy those gifts as he can squeeze in before going back to the grind.  I don’t see much opportunity for kids to be kids these days, nor even teens to be teens, so the notion of keeping stuff sitting untouched simply because of the vagaries of the calendar strikes me as somewhere between silly & wasteful.  I’m not dogging anybody who does it, just saying that it really doesn’t fit my own personal worldview & would be uncomfortable for me.

He’s also at an age where I can just straight up ask “do you think we’re kinda ruining Christmas for you?” and get a pretty reasoned response.  Luckily I think he’s long since figured out that what passes for “normal” around here — Christmas or otherwise — may not be “normal” to a lot of other folks but that we do a pretty good job of figuring out what works best for us … and that there’s value in that.

The other thing that struck me tonight, part of the realization about how I’m entering a transitional phase of my own life, is that there’s a reasonable chance that I’m now closer to a hypothetical grandchild’s first Christmas than I am to my own child’s first Christmas.  Do the math, if he ends up with a kid before he’s 30 then that’s pretty much where we’re at.  If he happens to read this I’m sure he’ll be suitably horrified by that sort of math but math is objective, it doesn’t care whether we like it or not, it just is what it is.

I think that all contributes to me feeling a little more mellow this Christmas.  Not melancholy, just kind of laid back.  Like I said, I’ve never been a big Christmas guy but the difference in pressure & pace this year was noticeable to me versus the past decade or two.  And that’s in spite of work being unusually busy in November & December this year.  Maybe that’s part of the difference, the past 4-5 weeks were so crazy with other stuff that I didn’t have as much time to stress about this present or that decoration or this meal or whatever.

Not sure there’s a whole lot of brilliant revelation here, I’m absolutely certain that this contains nothing unique.  Maybe once in a while a blog post just serves to mark where we are at some point in time, a little mile marker on the highway of life.

If nothing else, it’s a chance for me to wish my readers a Merry Christmas.  May all of your assembly required be easy and all of the batteries that weren’t included be the right size.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Been crazy life has.  Last time I updated my playlists was three weeks ago and at the time I explained that it was a matter of work and a cough/cold thing getting in the way.  Yeah, I just thought I’d been busy.   On the bright side, having work to do certainly pays better than having no work to do.

Missing songs week of 12/17/12:
Demons – Candlelight Red,  Scarecrow – One Bad Son, One More Shot – Rolling Stones
New to the Spotify list week of 12/17/12:
Freak Like Me- Halestorm, The High Road – Three Days Grace, Saturday Night – Drowning Pool
Dropping off the Spotify list week of 12/17/12:
Chalk Outline – Three Days Grace, Psycho- 12 Stones, Let’s Be Friends – Leogun

New to the Spotify list week of 12/10/12:
War of Change- Thousand Foot Crutch, Let’s Be Friends – Leogun
Dropping off the Spotify list week of 12/10/12:
Out Go The Lights- Aerosmith, I Came To Party –  Deuce

New to the Spotify list week of 12/3/12:
Psycho- 12 Stones, Out Go the Lights – Aerosmith, Bombs Away – Age of Days (re-entry)
Dropping off the Spotify list week of 12/3/12:
I Miss The Misery – Halestorm, Purple –  Pop Evil

For the larger (once again nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s a ridiculous amount of new music, nearly two dozen new songs in all, including the latest from Alice in Chains, the solo debut of former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, Black Veil Brides, Hardcore Superstar, Crashdiet, Black Oxygen and a whole lot more.
You can find it at this link

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J3C College Football Top 25 (heading to the bowls)

The final week of the regular season / conference championship week certainly had its share of surprises.

None bigger perhaps than the one that almost happened in Atlanta.  Georgia took Alabama down to the final seconds, coming up just a few yards short of the second biggest win in school history.   For all that’s being interpreted to say about the state of the Bulldogs, I think it says almost as much about the state of the Tide.  But more on that in a minute.

The Dawgs may feel as though they’ve gone from the penthouse to the outhouse of opponents when they meet Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day (being reported as of this writing anyway).  That’s the Nebraska team that just gave up 70 points and over 500 rushing yards to an 8-5 Wisconsin team that came into the weekend losing three of their last four games.

Georgia Tech almost surprised Florida State in Charlotte Saturday night.  I’m not so sure that I’m entirely surprised about that near surprised.  Both teams came off of thorough whippings at the hands of their SEC in-state rivals the week before and after watching Florida score with ease on the ‘Noles in the 4th quarter of that game, the Jackets having a final possession with a chance to win isn’t entirely unbelievable.  The outcome of that drive — the wrong quarterback throwing to someone wearing the wrong jersey — was entirely predictable.  Reggie Ball, Jr. strikes again.

On Friday night in the MAC Championship game, Northern Illinois seems to have crashed the BCS party by surprising Kent State.  The bigger surprise is that the Huskies coach won’t be making the trip to the Orange Bowl with them, he’ll be settling into his new office in Raleigh as the head coach of NC State.

The other surprise of the weekend, for me at least, is how I currently see the national championship game.  If that game were being played this weekend I’d go into it expecting Notre Dame to win.  Alabama has appeared vulnerable ever since LSU exposed their defense, including that game 3 of the Tide’s last five opponents have put up 400 yards or more (okay, Georgia had 394) and the two that didn’t were Western Carolina and Auburn.   The regular season schedules faced by the two teams were not nearly as different as you’d probably suspect.  Notre Dame has escaped by the skin of their teeth more than once this year, they aren’t likely to be unnerved by a game that goes to the wire.

Notice that I said if they played this weekend, I’d pick the Irish.  But they don’t play this weekend, they don’t play until January 7th.   That will be six weeks since Notre Dame beat Southern Cal, five weeks since Alabama survived Georgia, and over a month’s worth of preparation in the meantime for both teams.  I suspect that Saban will find a way to contain Notre Dame’s pedestrian offense (51st in total yards, tied for 75th in points scored) between now and then, but I don’t see a blowout coming and I don’t know if there’s nearly so much separating the two teams as we all believed a few months ago.

And with that, the penultimate J3C Top 25 for the season

1. (1) Notre Dame
2. (2) Alabama
3. (3) Ohio State
4. (4) Oregon
5. (6) Georgia
6. (5) LSU
7. (7) Texas A&M
8. (8) Stanford
9. (10) Kansas State
10. (9) Florida
11. (11) Oklahoma
12. (13) South Carolina
13. (12) Florida State
14. (15) Clemson
15. (18) Oregon State
16. (19) Northern Illinois
17. (16) UCLA
18. (20) Boise State
19. (22) Northwestern
20. (23) Louisville
21. (24) Michigan
22. (25) Utah State
23. (21) Texas
24. (14) Nebraska

25. (Un) San Jose State

Dropped Out This Week: Kent State (17)

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