Monthly Archives: July 2016

Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Five new additions to my weekly Spotify Top 40, that’s nearly a dozen changes in the past two weeks.   If the music were any fresher you’d have to slap it.

Missing songs this week:
Howlin’ Woman – The Lazys

New to the Spotify list this week:
Rotting In Vain – Korn, Bad Guy – Islander, The Enforcer – Monster Truck, Breakin’ Outta Hell – Airbourne, Push – Thousand Foot Krutch

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
From The Pinnacle To The Pit – Ghost, Stick To Your Guns – Sick Puppies, Remember Every Scar – Escape The Fate, Know My Name – Sate, Fire Will Be Free – Shadow Hunters

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s nearly a dozen songs added including the aforementioned Korn, Monster Truck and Airbourne, brand new Alter Bridge, good stuff from Silvertung, a rockin’ wrestling theme from Downstait and more.   You can find it at this link

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Six changes in my latest weekly Spotify Top 40, with five new songs and one re-entry.   Definitely freshens up the sound as we get into the heart of summer.  Stay cool my musical compadres.

Missing songs this week:
Howlin’ Woman – The Lazys

New to the Spotify list this week:
Open Your Eyes – Disturbed, Prayers For The Damned – Sixx A.M., Lanterns In The Dark – Fight The Fade, Avalanche – Bring Me The Horizon, Know My Name – Sate (re-entry), Here It Comes – Shaman’s Harvest

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
All The Words – Motorleague, Where Were You – One Less Reason, Welcome To The Freakshow – The Protest, Stay– Aranda, Not For Sale – Crobot, Sorrow & Sin – Lola Black

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen songs added including a fantastic new song from Shallow Side, the latest single from Black Stone Cherry, another tune from the mighty Stuck Mojo, and more.   You can find it at this link

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Three things (for July 16, 2016)

Not just any plain ol’ three things either, but three from just a single evening

1) A change in dinner plans after a mix-up about restaurant hours led us back to a place we hadn’t been in at least ten years.  Jim Stalvey’s, in Covington, was a regular haunt of ours in Will’s early days and it was interesting to return after so long an absence.  I’ve always know that “it’s funny what you remember” but it’s often interesting to see just what pops into your head.  Before we were even seated I remembered that this was the only place where I ever had to take the young one outside & have a little, ahem, “discussion” about proper behavior when dining out.   It only took the once, never had an issue again.   Meanwhile, he remembered being very young and slightly confused about why the clam chowder he always had never looked like what he had in mind.   Probably because what he actually wanted (but hadn’t heard by name at that point) was french onion soup.   And all three of us immediately remembered their dandy horseradish dipping sauce for the onion rings.

And in less than a month that same child leaves for college.
1) I am now a level 4.5 trainer in Pokemon Go!  With an 83 CP Golbat even.   Yay me … or something.  Mad skillz, umm, I may not haz ’em.   But it was certainly interesting for me to see some of the finer details in action.

I’m particularly impressed by the degree of precision they managed from thousands of miles away with the design consistently having Pokestops be juuuuuuust far enough outside the range of the main roadway to force players off the road & into a specific location.  Not all of them, but a high percentage.  This seems likely to be a marketing force going forward, the technology has caught up & the developers have shown the path for copycats down the line.

Otherwise, I’m impressed by the crisp graphics, especially with the gyms.  Some of the most striking I’ve seen in years of gaming honestly, they nailed it.

Downtown Covington was bustling with people playing, downtown Monroe had less people but an exceptionally dense concentration of spawn points so it was definitely prime territory.   And people from across an exceptionally wide spectrum all acknowledging each other’s activity and being sociable where we would have typically found no common ground nor reason to even speak to one another.

3) Finally tried out the (not so) “new” Wal-Mart neighborhood grocery here in Athens.  It’s not quite as close to me as the main superstore and off my most beaten path as well but as it worked out, there we were so what the heck.   I have to admit that I was more than a little surprised to find not one single item priced higher than the superstore, and roughly 1/3rd to 1/2 the items in a “need this n’ that” run be actually a little cheaper than the price I’m used to.  Slightly less selection in some grocery departments but, 18 cents/item here and 14 cents/item there, and only maybe half the walking … probably not my last visit.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Four new songs added in the latest update of my weekly Spotify Top 40, seems as though the pace may be on the verge of picking up again after a little slowdown for the holidays.  If you’re feeling the need to catch ’em all, this ought to help keep you moving.

Missing songs this week:
Howlin’ Woman – The Lazys

New to the Spotify list this week:
Fake My Own Death – Sum 41, Not For Sale – Crobot, Fire Will Be Free – Shadow Hunters, Sorrow & Sin – Lola Black

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Mayhem –  Halestorm, Running With Giants – Thousand Foot Krutch, Death Dance – Sevendust, Give In To Me – Letters From The Fire

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s over a half dozen songs added including new singles from TFK, Sixx A.M., I Prevail and more.   You can find it at this link

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Blue

Just feeling like it’ll be healthier to get something off my chest.  Or at least help clear up any possible confusion about my feelings on something.

I sure do seem to see a lot of mentions about the police lately.  The Fuzz.  John Law.  Da Man.  Tha Po-Po.  Flatfoots.  Five-O.  The Heat.

Yeah … I’m going to talk about “them”.

Between being a plain ol’ regular citizen and some years spent in the media, I’ve had my encounters with a variety of law enforcement.  I’ve hung out with several to one degree or another, broke bread with quite a few, even drank with one now & then.

At least two of those that come to mind are dead now.  Both gunned down in the line of duty.  One caught a shotgun blast while trying to rescue a hostage.  The other, arguably the best officer I ever saw, was more simply murdered in cold blood during an otherwise routine traffic stop.

Ah, those media encounters.   I ended up with a pretty hard shell about the stories I covered, it’s a way of allowing yourself to function and deal with any emotions later, after the job was done.  But every once in a while, you’re overwhelmed.

That was the case on a quiet weekend morning when I left the radio station to cover a serious two-car collision that sounded pretty bad.  The scanner didn’t really prepare me for the sight that awaited.  A head-on crash just before lunch, killed a young mother when her relatively new car didn’t stand up to the impact of a solid steel early 70s model.   She was killed instantly, her two screaming pre-schoolers pinned in the wreckage were in pretty bad shape.

I’d rather not go into the details of what extreme measures had to be taken to extricate those children from the mangled car.  It was gruesome, tragic, horrifying, and I basically lost it.   I stumbled to the side of the road and puked.  I was honestly embarrassed by that, I’m supposed to be a professional after all, but as I tried to regain my composure I became aware of hearing someone else in the same situation.  I looked around to see a veteran state trooper from the local post just down the road having the same experience.   He shortly joined me on the sidelines, and we sat there in silence … and wept.

We cried even harder as we watched the occupants of the other vehicle being prepared, uninjured, for transport.   Three youths, drunker than the proverbial Cooter Brown … so out of touch with reality that they were giggling.  They didn’t even seem to realize they’d crossed the centerline in their morning stupor, much less the hell and misery they’d caused.  Or maybe they just didn’t really care.

Cops and reporters seem to get along surprisingly well at times.  While our jobs are occasionally at odds, we often have a similarly dark sense of humor or maybe sharing a similar seen-it-all feeling about life, so I’ve talked to a few officers after hours, off-duty.  What stands out to me about those times aren’t the stories they tell, it’s the stories they start to tell … but don’t finish.   The cloud that overtakes their faces, it always seems to be the same, no matter if they’re young or old, black or white, from a big city or small backwater.

Of course not every officer is the same.  Nor a saint.  I’ve known more than one megalomaniac that ended up with a badge.  I’ve been pushed around a few times, been threatened with a choice of arrest or bodily harm, seen authority abused for personal instead of professional reasons.   In other words, pretty much the same behavior I’ve seen in every other profession.   Bad cops do exist, same as bad anything else.

There’s occasional great ones, some good ones, a wealth of average ones, some bad ones, once in a while a really bad one.   Same as pretty much anything else … except, in my observation, not really the same.

See, unlike the vast majority of professions, they’re expected to run toward danger.  To stand between the innocent and the predators.  They’re held to a higher standard of conduct than John and Jane Doe, with greater expectations heaped upon them.  When things go to hell around them, they’re expected to be THE final line between civilized people and the savages that steadily seem to increase in number with every passing day.   And they get it right the vast majority of the time, I’d even argue that they make significantly more errors on the side of caution & restraint than they should ever be put in position to endure.

When push comes to shove, when the rubber meets the road, when there’s a decision to be made in a split second … I trust them more — exponentially more — than I trust “the average citizen”.   They’ve proven themselves for generations, and continue to do so.  The “average” citizen?  Not nearly so much so as far as I’m concerned, and the bar for “average” has been in precipitous decline for a very long time.

Give me facts about a situation, all of them, and I’ll draw a conclusion on an individual basis.  You won’t see me taking a default position of backing criminals, thugs, scofflaws, or the legion of useful idiots that seems to be without end.  That motley collection of miscreants that seem to ally themselves frequently has earned my contempt but that’s about it.  For the initial assumption, an expectation, the benefit of the proverbial doubt … I’m going with blue (or tan, or khaki) every time.

They’ve earned it.

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Ready To Rock (weekly playlists)

Waving the flag proudly as three new entries join my latest weekly Spotify Top 40 despite coming off a relatively slow holiday week.

Missing songs this week:
Howlin’ Woman – The Lazys

New to the Spotify list this week:
Wasn’t Enough – XXI, What’s Left Inside – Conquer Divide, Give In To Me – Letters From The Fire

Dropping off the Spotify list this week:
Know My Name – Sate, Feel You Falling – Devin Williams, Blameshift – Sons Of Texas

For the larger (nearly 200 songs) YouTube version there’s a half dozen songs added including new music from Evans Blue and The Winery Dogs, as well as new Cilver and more. You can find it at this link

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