Monthly Archives: November 2013

Three Things (for 11/29/13)

I got your thanks … right here ūüėČ

1) I’m thankful that I live in the era of a lot of stuff.¬† While I don’t much care for a lot of the societal changes that have transpired over the decades, I’m much better suited for this technological era than those ages past.¬† To each their own, that’s cool by me … but you can have all that outdoors / low-tech / bed-by-dark stuff.¬† I’ll take 24/7 access to information, computers over yo-yos and dinner out over cooking over the ol’ potbelly.¬†¬† We could likely work out some tradeoffs I’d be willing to make but since that option hasn’t really been offered to me, at least the proverbial “wonderful toys” allow some relief from the more unpleasant realities.

2) I’m thankful that I’ve somehow ended up with a fair number of creative and talented people in and around my life.¬† Writers, musicians, photographers, “artists” of various talents.¬† For someone like me — a guy who¬† somehow managed to play records off-key, can’t take a picture that isn’t blurry, and scuffles to write passably for an audience more often than not — it’s a pleasure and a privilege to not only enjoy your creativity but also your (cyber) company.

3) I’m thankful that, over the years,¬† I’ve learned to worry a little less about what the world thinks of me and more about what I think of me.¬† I don’t mean that to be quite as self-centered as it might sound, I’m just thinking about the reality of how I’m the person that has to wake up with me 365 times a year.¬† Not my earthly judges, not my critics, not the self-appointed Pastors/Popes/Mullahs/Grand Poobahs. ¬† ¬† I have enough trouble dealing with what’s in my own head where I’m concerned — I’m acutely aware of my flaws, thanks — so it seems sort of masochistic to give away space to a mob carrying pitchforks.¬†¬† The sheer numbers of those in turn make me even more thankful for the friends I’ve been blessed with who bring comfort instead of pain, understanding instead of … well, instead of being self-righteous sanctimonious pricks.

Granted, this isn’t the typical I’m-So-Thankful holiday post … sue me, since when have I been “typical” anything?

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

No holiday break for me, at least not when it comes to making sure we’ve all got the good stuff to listen to.¬† Only 2 in & 2 out of the Spotify this week, a sort of typical slowdown before a holiday.¬† Still only two songs that should be included currently missing from Spotify.

Missing songs this week:
False Alarm – Smile Empty Soul, One Pill – Flash Lightnin

New to the Spotify list this week
Spore РQueensryche (re-entry),  Forgive Me Father РIll Nino

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Misery Loves My Company РThree Days Grace, Bad Man РBobaflex 

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s¬† no less than a dozen new songs added this week, including the latest singles from The Pretty Reckless, Farewell To Fear and Blowsight.¬† There’s also debuts from Ventura Lights, Circus Life, Lastdayhere¬† and several more.¬† You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 13)

It’s getting down to crunch time, when it seems that contenders find a way to carry on and pretenders end up carried out.

For Alabama and Florida State “carrying on” meant annihilating overmatched opponents.¬† For Ohio State things weren’t much different.

And then there’s Baylor.¬† Oops.¬† Oklahoma State owned the red zone — and pretty much everything else — and kept the Bears winless in Stillwater since 1939.¬†¬†¬† But hey, there’s always Oregon … or should we call them “Ore-GONE” now?¬†¬† A team that talked about being bored with the Rose Bowl gave Arizona more than enough help to make boredom appear to be the least of their worries.

Meanwhile Missouri and Clemson took care of business against opponents (sorta) large and definitely small to keep their dreams alive, while Auburn prepared for perhaps the biggest Iron Bowl in some 40 years.

Closer to my heart, Georgia Tech beat up on a high school team from a neighboring state while Tennessee found a way to lose to an in-state rival that — almost inexplicably — simply puts more talent on the field right now.

Contenders, pretenders and all the rest, they’ve now been shuffled in a new Top 25,¬† with only three unbeatens remaining.

1. Alabama  (1)
2. Florida State (2)
3. Ohio State (4)
4. Clemson (6)
5. Auburn (7)
6. Missouri (9)
7. Oklahoma State (10)
8. Baylor (3)
9. Stanford (11)
10. Oregon (5)
11. South Carolina (12)
12. Michigan State (15)
13. Wisconsin (14)
14. LSU (19)
15. Oklahoma (18)
16. UCF (16)
17. Louisville (17)
18. Arizona State (21)
19. Texas A&M (8)
20. Northern Illinois (20)
21. UCLA (13)
22. Fresno State (22)
23. Duke (24)
24. USC (Un)
25. Cincinnati (Un)

Dropped Out This Week:  Ole Miss (23), Minnesota (25)

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Three Things (for 11/24/13)

If you didn’t know me better you might think today’s three things were almost grumpy.¬† They really aren’t .. at least not particularly moreso than usual.

1)¬† First the FAA announces that they’re looking at lifting the ban on airplane cell phone use, as the long-cited “safety concerns” apparently no longer apply to current technology.¬† Seems like a win, I’ve heard people complain about that sort of thing for years.¬† Now it seems people have found something new to complain about: the fact that the FAA is considering lifting the ban.¬† Seems to me that the only thing that would satisfy the majority of the population is giving them what they really want:¬† permission to do as they damned well please themselves while restricting nearly everyone around them as tightly as possible.¬†¬† I’m not condemning that attitude all that harshly, I’m sure there are no shortage of examples where I’m just as guilty of it … I’m just a little amused by such a glaring example of how nearly impossible it is to please even half the people half of the time.

2)¬† While mentioning a couple of situations where teenage “sexting” led to everyone involved facing criminal charges, I ran across a doozy of a comment in the media coverage.¬† I’m well past the point of being even mildly surprised that teenage girls will send revealing pictures of themselves to teenage boys, I even knew that it didn’t take much for charges to be filed against the recipient of said pictures if they happened to show them to a friend.¬†¬†¬† What DID boggle my mind was this bit of info: “some of the girls weren’t aware that their pictures were being spread.”
Say whaaaaat?¬† I know I’ve got a few decades of life experiences on MS/HS kids but I’m downright astonished that anyone could be THAT naive/stupid.¬† I mean seriously gang, are there actually teens out there who are worldly enough to take & share intimate pictures of themselves but simultaneously tragically ignorant enough to believe that the recipient isn’t going to show the picture to somebody, or at least talk about it?¬† Seriously?¬† If so then all I can say is damn. ¬† Parents, get off your lazy butts, muster up some courage and wisen up your kids, that’s part of the job.

3) Had an interesting conversation with one of my fellow volunteers at yesterday’s gameday parking fiesta.¬† Was getting late in the day & I believe at least some of us had started to reach our individual limits with it all.¬† I made a casual comment about how the whole tailgating scene really struck me more like something from the 7th Level of Hell, that I just couldn’t imagine many scenarios where I’d actually enjoy it.¬† He seemed genuinely surprised by that and remarked how “I didn’t realize you were that anti-social”.¬† As I (sort of) explained, I don’t think I’m THAT anti-social per se, I’m just somewhat selective about who I socialize WITH, even moreso if there’s alcohol involved. Don’t get me wrong here folks, I had a fine time chatting with random people again yesterday, across a range of ages and personalities and on the whole believe I was a fairly engaging and I daresay even entertaining fellow for some of those I encountered …¬† I’m just not sure that I’m inclined to believe that me spending 6-8 hours with, say, 12-18 friends / relatives / acquaintances with typically copious amounts of alcohol involved is the best idea I’ve ever heard.¬† If you know me reasonably well then you already know that “filters” aren’t exactly a strong suit of mine and alcohol tends to further reduce filters on a lot of people.¬† Me less filtered outside of a fairly select group just seems like a recipe for disaster. ¬† I don’t see that as “anti-social”, I think of it more as protecting everyone — me included — from the likelihood of an unhappy ending to that sort of scenario.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

4 in & 4 out of the Spotify list again this week, that’s starting to feel like the “normal” number.¬† Still only two songs that should be included currently missing from Spotify.

Missing songs this week:
False Alarm – Smile Empty Soul, One Pill – Flash Lightnin

New to the Spotify list this week
Weak РSeether,  No One Fits Me РAirbourne, Break The World РNine Lashes (re-entry), Infected РEyes Set To Kill

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
Leader Of The Broken Hearts – Papa Roach, We’re An American Band – Rob Zombie, Loner – Black Sabbath, We Don’t Belong – Black Veil Brides

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s a brand new song from badly underrated North Carolina band Another Lost Year, a typically NSFW song (and even more NSFW video) from Steel Panther, the third single from promising young Canadian band Shelbi ¬† and several more.¬† You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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J3C College Football Top 25 (after Week 12)

Another week is in the books and there’s all sorts of ways to get the job done.

For each of the past three seasons Alabama has suffered a November loss, they avoided that fate — at least for now – in an ugly-but-we’ll-take-it win over Mississippi State in Starkville.¬† Sometimes you just survive in order to advance, that’s what the Tide did in rather workmanlike fashion.

On the other end of the spectrum was Florida State’s 59-3 domination of Syracuse.¬† Sometimes you just have too much for the other guy & you steamroll him.¬† There’s also the Baylor method, spot a decent team a 20-7 lead then beat the crap out of ’em with a 35-7 run to put the game away easily.¬† Then there’s Ohio State, who built a 35-7 lead before dozing off to let Illinois cut the lead to 12, only to make it look easy at the end and win going away.

Of course all of these methods may pale in comparison to how Auburn found a miracle to keep their dream alive against Georgia.¬† I know there’s plenty of talk about the lack of fundamentals in the Bulldog secondary but, just to be honest, I felt more like the fickle finger of fate may have been at work at Jordan-Hare.¬† After that crazy finish the game-winning field goal USC kicked against Stanford seemed tame by comparison, unless of course you were in The Coliseum, fans there seemed pretty happy with it.

With all of that stuff going on you might think the rest of the day was pretty bland but you’d be wrong.¬† Duke beat Miami … in November … and it wasn’t basketball.¬† That alone makes for a remarkable Saturday.¬† South Carolina won a school-record 16th straight home game while giving Florida their longest losing streak since 1979.¬†¬† Central Florida got a miracle catch of their own to beat one-win Temple, Wisconsin rushed for 554 yards in a rout of Indiana while Division 3 Heidelburg Ohio running back Cartel Brooks ran for 465 yards HIMSELF.¬† Yeah, that would indeed be the new NCAA record.

And back on Thursday night Clemson routed Georgia Tech.  What a surprise.

No matter the method, we’ve now reached the point for another new Top 25,¬† where the first four teams remain unchanged.

1. Alabama  (1)
2. FSU (2)
3. Baylor (3)
4. Ohio State (4)
5. Oregon (6)
6. Clemson (7)
7. Auburn (8)
8. Texas A&M (9)
9. Missouri (10)
10. Oklahoma State (12)
11. Stanford (5)
12. South Carolina (11)
13. UCLA (13)
14. Wisconsin (14)
15. Michigan State (18)
16. UCF (15)
17. Louisville (16)
18. Oklahoma (17)
19. LSU (19)
20. Northern Illinois (20)
21. Arizona State (22)
22. Fresno State (21)
23. Ole Miss (23)
24. Duke (Un)
25. Minnesota (24)

Dropped Out This Week:  Texas (25)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

3 in & 3 out of the Spotify list, as a lot of junk on the national radio charts makes room for much better songs that aren’t getting enough attenion. ¬† Still only two songs that should be included currently missing from Spotify.

Missing songs this week:
False Alarm – Smile Empty Soul, One Pill – Flash Lightnin

New to the Spotify list this week
One For The Money –¬†Escape The Fate,¬†Slow Suicide – Scott Stapp, Cry Sister – Royal Bliss

Dropping off the Spotify list this week
The Death Of Me – Asking Alexandria, We Don’t Belong – Black Veil Brides, Break The World – Nine Lashes

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s¬† plenty of new music this week including the new one (almost pop punk)¬† from A Day To Remember, the aforementioned Royal Bliss song which is absolutely one of my current favorites out there, a second single from Blameshift, a new song from Eden’s Curse (without Michael Eden mind you) and several more.¬† You can find it at this link

Also, if you’re wondering exactly how all of this gets put together – the hows & whys of it – this recent blog entry probably explains more than you ever wanted to know.

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