Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

A more timely update to my Spotify Top 40 this week, with four more songs finding their way in (or back in).

Missing songs this week:
Passenger – Trapt, Black Rebel – The Lazys, Let’s Go – Def Leppard, Guardian – Queensryche, Fathom 2.0 – Awaken

New to the Spotify list this week
Save Today – Seether, Wash It All Away – Five Finger Death Punch, Nails – Pillar (re-entry), I Will Break Your Heart – Danko Jones

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Jekyll & Hyde – Five Finger Death Punch, Killpop – Slipknot, You Want A Battle – Bullet For My Valentine, Waiting – Light Up The Darkness

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s nearly a dozen additions including new singles from Shallowside, Black Tide, Skarlett Riot, Moccasin Creek and 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 4 )

Offenses ahead of defenses, alleged contenders crashing back to full-fledged pretender status, a couple of impressive performances.  Kind of like a standard Saturday really.

Neither Ohio State nor Michigan State were overwhelming against mid-major opponents but they were more than enough … TCU only needed a last minute tip to remain unbeaten, not a huge surprise to me honestly … Notre Dame & LSU both started a bit slow but finished strong enough to pull away.  Credit Syracuse for a much more game performance than I expected …  Ole Miss played like a team looking past their opponent but they stayed in that mode more than I’d be entirely comfortable with if they were my team … UCLA laid the smack down on Arizona but Utah brought the jumbo can of whoopass and poured it all over Oregon to score the most impressive win in the west … Oklahoma State might have been the luckiest winner of the weekend … BYU stunk up a stadium more unexpectedly than perhaps anybody … Tennessee may be settling into the sad realization that it doesn’t have the coach it will take to get them beyond mediocrity.  Young team has to learn how to win but I’m not alone in doubting they have the staff on hand to teach them … Georgia Tech is simply what they tend to be: pretenders.   Last year was a fluke, fun but not something you should expect more than on rare occasions …

No shortage of movement this week but is there a legitimate threat among the newcomers or climbers?   Jury is still very much out on that but I do have a certain sense that maybe the top of the pack is falling back towards the middle instead of the other way around.   Regardless, it’s time for the latest JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25 (last week’s ranking follows their name)

1.  Ohio State (1)
2. Michigan State (2)
3. Baylor (4)
4. TCU (3)
5. Notre Dame (5)
6. LSU (6)
7. Ole Miss (7)
8. Florida State (8)
9. Clemson (9)
10. UCLA (11)
11. Alabama (10)
12. Georgia (12)
13. Utah (17)
14. Oklahoma (14)
15. Texas A&M (15)
16. Northwestern (18)
17. Stanford (19)
18. USC (20)
19. Wisconsin (23)
20. Michigan (Un)
21. Oklahoma State (21)
22. Mississippi State (Un)
23. West Virginia (Un)
24. California (Un)
25. Duke (Un)

Dropped out: Oregon (13), Arizona (16), BYU (22), Arizona State (24), Georgia Tech (25)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

On the road for a few days, only now able to actually share the updates to my Spotify Top 40 for the week.  Four additions to help you at least finish out the weekend rocking properly.

Missing songs this week:
Passenger – Trapt, Black Rebel – The Lazys, Guardian – Queensryche

New to the Spotify list this week:
I Won’t Give In – Asking Alexandria,  Speed Of Light – Iron Maiden, Vice Grip – Parkway Drive, Everything – Art Of Dying

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Unstoppable – Motionless In White, Here Comes The Light – Within Reason, Inside A Storm Starts To Rise – Reform The Resistance, Nails – Pillar

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen additions including the next singles from Seether and Hollywood Undead, new Def Leppard, new Ugly Kid Joe, and 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 3 )

Nothing like football until well into early Sunday morning, right?

Yes, I’m kidding.  Let’s get the games back into a reasonable hour where they belong, it has to really suck to watch til that ridiculous time for football only to be on the wrong end of the score.    Ask the folks around Tuscaloosa.

Ole Miss looked good, but to my eye they would have looked a lot better if they didn’t let the game keep returning to the “in doubt” status repeatedly.   Then again I’m not sure how good any of the alleged contenders look this weekend … Ohio State is the latest to put the notion of 2 quarterbacks = 0 quarterbacks to the test.  Their grip on the top spot suddenly looks a lot more tenuous … Continuing the apparent 2015 theme of winning but looking bad doing so was TCU.  Without a defense – and they don’t appear to have one right now – they feel more & more like a pretender to me … Notre Dame wins with relative ease, exposing an over ranked opponent in the process by making it look easy with players well down their pre-season depth chart … LSU looks awfully good, or at least dangerous, but we really won’t know for sure until they play a game where their quarterback matters and that has to happen eventually.  Right? …  Georgia may, or may not, have disproven the importance of quarterbacks.  Record setting day but barring turnovers I don’t think it really would have mattered a lot.   Frying the chicken was fun for the Dawgnation I’m sure but let’s be honest,SC  might not finish first in  several of the better high school regions in Georgia right now.   They’re bordering on being Vandy bad … Tennessee did what they should have done against a so-so high school team, but it was still fun for Evan Berry to get a touchdown on special teams with his brother Eric on the sidelines … UCLA vs BYU was a pretty good ball game ..

Time for this week’s JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25,where it feels like there’s a definite shortage of teams worthy of “being ranked” as early as I can recall.  (last week’s ranking follows their name)

1.  Ohio State (1)
2. Michigan State (4)
3. TCU (3)
4. Baylor (5)
5. Notre Dame (8)
6. LSU (9)
7. Ole Miss (12)
8. Florida State (7)
9. Clemson (10)
10. Alabama (2)
11. UCLA (11)
12. Georgia (14)
13. Oregon (13)
14. Oklahoma (16)
15. Texas A&M (17)
16. Arizona (19)
17. Utah (21)
18. Northwestern (25)
19. Stanford (Un)
20. USC (6)
21. Oklahoma State (Un)
22. BYU (20)
23. Wisconsin (23)
24. Arizona State (24)
25. Georgia Tech (15)

Dropped out: Auburn (18), Missouri (22)

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Four changes in my Spotify Top 40 this week,with two true newcomers and two re-entrys.  It’s hot, it’s fresh, it’s the best way to rock while skipping all the irritating lightweight pseudo-rock.

Missing songs this week:
Passenger – Trapt, I Won’t Give In – Asking Alexandria, Black Rebel – The Lazys,

New to the Spotify list this week:
Fallen Angel – Three Days Grace, The World I Used To Know – We Came As Romans (re-entry),
Nails – Pillar (re-entry), Dream Eater – Separations

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Cross My Heart – Awaken The Empire, Halo – Starset, Vicious Cycle – The Protest ,Defame Me – New Year’s Day

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen additions including the aforementioned Three Days Grace, new music from Skindred, Atreyu, Wayland and 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 2 )

What the first weekend lacked in surprises, the second weekend tried to make up for.

I’m not sure I’m entirely shocked by 2015 Michigan State beating 2015 Oregon.  I’m at least surprised however since the past few years haven’t been kind to Sparty when facing ranked teams early.  First ranked opponent 2014? Lost.
First ranked opponent 2013? Lost.  Technically second, but week three, ranked opponent 2012?  Lost.  Hence my surprise … Auburn’s near disaster was shocking, hardly anyone thought they could look THIS bad.   It also may be one of the more damaging wins a team has had in a while … Tennessee melting down in Neyland only surprised me in the sense it had been 35 years since they’d blown a lead THAT big at home.  You know, when that Herschel fella had his coming out party.  They don’t have the talent yet to be what some were painting them as, I’m not sure they have an overall coaching staff to be that either, they simply aren’t there yet & they proved that in a sad spectacle Saturday night … Georgia Tech certainly has the bottom-feeders covered with ease, Notre Dame should be a stiffer challenge but the Jackets get an enormous break from the crippling injury problems that have hit the Irish offense in consecutive weeks … Much like GT, Ole Miss has looked awfully good but has done it against teams that had no business playing them.  And, much like GT, they’ll find out a lot more this week when the competition takes a rather large upgrade … All summer I kept thinking about that old saying “the team that has two quarterbacks may not have one”, Georgia fans have to be feeling some of that after a lackluster performance in Nashville.  The running backs are awfully good, maybe that will be enough for them a lot of weeks but eventually you have to figure it catches up to them

So strap yourselves in, shuffle up and deal,  it’s time for the updated JonsThreeCents College Football Top 25 (last week’s ranking follows their name)

1.  Ohio State (1)
2. Alabama (2)
3. TCU (3)
4. Michigan State (6)
5. Baylor (4)
6. USC (8)
7. Florida State (9)
8. Notre Dame (10)
9. LSU (12)
10. Clemson (11)
11. UCLA (14)
12. Ole Miss (16)
13. Oregon (5)
14. Georgia (13)
15. Georgia Tech (15)
16. Oklahoma (16)
17. Texas A&M (18)
18. Auburn (7)
19. Arizona (19)
20. BYU (Un)
21. Utah (Un)
22. Missouri (21)
23. Wisconsin (22)
24. Arizona St (24)
25. Northwestern (Un)

Dropped out: Arkansas (20), Mississippi State(23), Boise State (25)

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14 Years Ago Today …

Another September 11th, another blog entry.
If that seems a bit, well, blunt, I suppose I can only ask for your patience.

As my social media feed slowly fills with mentions of 2001, my mind — which was really focused primarily on very micro/personal concerns as the day dawned too early for my taste — actually turned toward other years past, previous remembrances.

In 2013 I briefly mentioned how I feared that we were regressing somehow, repeating the mistakes that allowed the events of 2001 to take place.  Otherwise I referred to my post from 2011, which at that time stood as the most viewed entry in the history of this blog.  (It has since been surpassed by at least two other items)

In 2011 I wrote “10 Years Later”, the post I’m probably still most proud of over some five years here.  I’ve said numerous times that I don’t really think I’ll ever do anything better on the subject so if you’re looking for my best, please give it a look.

Earlier today though I actually ran across something I wrote in another space, in response to a 2003 question about “Where were you when … ”  Reading that is actually what prompted me to write anything at all today.

I was here at home, sleeping in after staying up late with some paperwork.

My wife woke me to take a look at CNN after seeing the footage of the first tower strike. I got up in time to see everything that followed.  And I remember staying in front of the TV until after 3 a.m. the next morning.

What I remember most from the day though are three things I did that day — a round of telephone calls to radio stations to get them to pull one of our client’s commercials off the air (it was a military-themed humor spot, inappropriate under the circumstances) — trying to explain to my then three-year old son what had happened & why mama & daddy kept crying — and trying to reach a close friend of ours who normally used the WTC subway stop on her way to work and whose fiance often had to go to the WTC for work (both were fine and were elsewhere at the time as it turned out).

Among the things that struck me after reading my own words was how much time has passed, how memories that are still indelible do seem to begin to fade ever so slightly.   Maybe that’s just age creeping up on me but …

I realized, mostly I think, WHY my thoughts & focus today was really on more mundane matters, the micro rather than the macro, the simple day to day bullshit we all go through one day after another: those seem to be the ones I really do much about.

In 2003 my recollections were still fresh, I distinctly recall(ed) how the confusion & emotion of that day felt.

In 2011 I was still relatively hopeful, that we could still act in meaningful ways.  Why else would I have said “We have to be willing to learn from the past, to accept the responsibility of reality however unpleasant, and to teach those truths to all who will have them.”  I saw & felt like we could still DO something going forward.

In 2013 I was concerned, increasingly so, but still seemed to feel like there was time & purpose to keep looking toward improvements.

Today?   I don’t seem to find one realistic shred of hope or optimism or … whatever the hell you want to call it.   We, as a society/culture/nation, seem to have abandoned reason, logic, common sense.   Collectively we seem hellbent on not only avoiding any chance to improve things but actually determined to make them worse.  Good is bad, wrong is right, up is down, on and on.   You could hardly screw things up more if you actively tried (actually, I believe that’s pretty much the case, there IS an active effort to do so on many front).

And that realization helped me understand why I was feeling so focused on … the mundane, isolated, micro, whatever phrase works best for you.  It’s pretty much what’s left.

I think there’s a fair argument about what the real goals/aims/purpose of those who attacked on that day was but there’s certainly a popular narrative that runs along the lines of “to destroy America”.

September 11, 2001 is still a horrible day in the history of the nation.  I’m not saying anything here that should be interpreted or construed as minimizing that in the slightest.

Rather, my take today is pretty simply this:  as an operation designed to “destroy America” they not only failed but failed miserably.  They didn’t really have to do anything toward that end, we’ve been far too busy doing that ourselves, voluntarily and with considerable enthusiasm.

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