Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Champagne

From an email to my pal Ruz, now in Iraq serving in the Air Force as a firemen. regarding the house Joy and I are working on and getting ready to move into in the coming weeks..


Speaking of which, when we first got in the house to start stuff last week, I bought an 18pack bottles of High Life for 9 bucks at the Rite Aid up the street from the new pad. It is, indeed, the Champagne of Beers. I get it now. Always believed, now I understand. I could have wrote my Ph.D on why no man can truly appreciate the High Life until over 30. Maybe 27 if he's exceptional. Those commercials the past year were absolutely dead-on. The older you get, the less tolerance for b.s. you have just by evolution it seems. A man just wants a beer he can sip on or take a swig, and he doesn't want that beer arguing with him, taste or price-wise. I wanna beer, I wanna relax, I don't wanna get crazy, just give me some something refreshing and smooth that won't slow me down, I got enough crap on my plate to deal with (picnic plate literally and life plate figuratively).

I'll enjoy my Guiness when it's the only thing to do when out on the town, with friends over. But it's an insult to the Guiness and to you if you can't enjoy it appropriately. How much can you savor your Guiness holding it at your side while watching the steaks grill? High-end beer is like a girlfriend in that you just can't leave them somewhere alone in a strange place for a significant stretch of time, much less forget where you left them, and expect them to be fine when you get back to her. Leave your lady on a ledge in the garage for a half hour and see if she's just as fine as when you left her there (when you found her again) looking for the charcoal fluid.

Working on that house, yanking moldings off the floor walls, hauling paint into the house, kicking up dust, mowing the lawn that looked like a field of green wheat it was so high... I truly and without impedance understand why real men (usually with the title 'Uncle' in front of their name) had a fridge full of beer in their garage. I filled our new friedge with that whole case of beer, taking up all the room in there gloriously. As I admired the rows of liquid gold so well lit by the fridge light, it reminded me of beer fridges of my relatives. ("Ahhh, I get it now. Keep a shitload of beer in another fridge so there's more room for actual food in the food fridge... GENIUS!") Those old school jukebox-shaped fridges from back in the day, with the cooler door handle latch. You knew you were opening up something serious opening up the beer fridge.

And when Uncle Frank told you to get him a Pabst from the garage during the family holiday get together, well, no nephew worth his new Keds bungled that mission. You can make cousin Brian spew milk out his nose at the kiddie table via a strategically placed sweet pickle up your own nostril all you want, or toboggan down Aunt Nancy's sweet steep staircase on a beach towel while the Aunts sit at the dinner table and smoke those chocolate colored Kool cigarettes while they gossip about everyone else's kids. Hell, you can climb up on to the roof of the sunroom addition via the 3-faced piping TV antenna next to the house so you can jump off the roof and play stuntman. But when it's Go Time for the suds, and Uncle Ken and Uncle George, in their red holiday cardigans send you...not tell or ask you... to get some beers for them, well, that was the High Life to me.

It was my first taste of it and I didn't even know it.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

One of the best things about Revenge of the Sith, from a technical standpoint was how they made the CG Yoda's lips stiffer when he talked, so it transitions better to Empire when we get to the puppet. His lips in Empire and Jedi just opened and closed.

Ep2 he had quite the rubbery articulation that just wasn't there with the puppet. Glad Coleman and the SW CG boys caught that.

Wanna see some cool Easter Eggs from ROTS?
The Millenium Falcon was in there indeed.

Monday, May 23, 2005


The 2nd guy to be Fred Flintstone's voice died, Henry Cordon. Henry took over in 1977 when original Fred Alan Reed died. Henry has been doing the Fruity Pebbles commercials all along.

I gotts say, I knew there was a different guy in the past 20+ years. One of my things, one of my super talents (and I think everyone has a super talent or two) is that I know voices and faces. Especially voices. Not bragging, just telling. I can pick out voices on commercials, in voice-overs, you name it. I have a really sensitive audio memory. People's inflections, timbre, cadence. I just know it. I'm good with faces too. I knew for a long time that Fred Flintsone's voice changed, but the guy who was doing the Fruity Pebbles commercials was really good. But his timbre was like a diagonal half-step lower than Alan Reed's. It sounded riht, but was tired ins some way. I just thought Alan Reed might have gotten older and his voice mellowed. But something in me always said "No dude, it's not the same guy." It was in the way some of his vowels were stronger or softer in certain words compared to Alan Reed's. Henry had a bit more melody to his inflections than Alan. Henry's long vowel sounds would rise or fall in pitch over their duration sometimes. Alan's was a solid note from consonant to consonant.
Henry/the Fruity Pebbles commercials would exclaim "Baaahr-nee" with the "nee" a lower pitch than the "baaahr"
Alan's "Baaahr-nee" would stay same note for both syllables.

Anyway, this proved me right.

And double anyway, here's a cool picture of the original Flintstone's couples from back in the day.
Fred, Wilma, Betty, Barney

Good job Alan and Henry. Fred was a great one. Just like Jackie Gleason who he was modeled after.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Good weekend

Saw Star Wars twice so far. What a fun movie.



Joy and I park and start towards Whole Foods when I notice a nice Lincoln Town car next to us with it's trunk open/unshut completely. And no one around. I wonder if I should close it for the person who may not realize it didn't shut. I casually look in and there's groceries and valueables. Do I help my fellow man, or just walk away?

So I shut the trunk.

And the alarm goes off.


Between the 2nd and 3rd PAMP! I have already promptly (and stone-faced) turned back towards Whole Foods and head off into the store fed up, shaking my head as I angrily marvel at the irony via a tight-lipped fed-up smirk that would make Harrison Ford proud.

As George Costanza would exclaim: "Ya know WE'RE LIVING IN A SOCIETY HERE!!"

Ya try to help a guy out, but he's got himself so protected even the good guys can't get in.

And really folks, have you ever seen anyone anywhere hear that PAMP!PAMP!PAMP!PAMP! and get up concerned saying "Hey everyone! Someone's car's being broken into! We need to catch the bad guy!!"

No. Ya don't. What you see is everyone half turn towards the barrage of PAMP!'s and go back about their business with a whisper of a look on their face that's saying "some a-hole's alarm is now going to ruin everyone's mood within earshot. Please God let it stop within the next 3 seconds."

Friday, May 20, 2005

Good Shot Red Two!

Episode 3 works.
Pop in Episode 4 when you get home.
It's all new again.


The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.
Here are this year’s winners:

Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Bozone: the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

Karmageddon: It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes, and it’s like, a serious bummer.

Decafalon: The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

Arachnoleptic fit: the frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.

Beelzebug: Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Ignoranus: A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

From the annual "Dark and Stormy Night" competition.
Actual analogies and metaphors found in high school essays.

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking
alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar
eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now
goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a
dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had
disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude
shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the
way a bowling ball wouldn't.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty
bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had
an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another
city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots
when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers
raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight
trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55
mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket
fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two
hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she
was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Grandpappy had a mind like a steel
trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But
unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from
not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck,
either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from
stepping on a land mine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one
slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids
around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard
bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

26. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten
to put in any pH cleanser.

27. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing

28. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally
staple it to the wall.

Friday, May 13, 2005

You know you're getting old when googling the term 'cinderella story' for a pic of Bill Murray in Caddyshack returns back pages of Hillary Duff living every American Daddy's girls dream.


My bro The Ruz is a firemen in the Air Force. This weekend his fireman team deploys to Irag for their required 120 days tour of duty. Living out in that 120 degree heat in those deluxe tents, walking around in full camo and battle gear, with an M-16 in his hand. Flying out Sunday in one of those big C-5 Galaxy cargo planes that can fly like 5 tanks inside it. The plan is he's just to do what he's been doing in Texas, but in Iraq - hanging at the Firehouse on the base waiting for fire or plane crashes.

But their flying into Baghdad airport (the one we took over) and then convoying over to their base, sitting in those transports with an M-16 in his hands. Crazy. I really hope it goes ok and he just hangs out there and comes home safe and well. I think I've had more bro-to-bro talks over more beers with him than anyone, besides my best pal from high school Dr. Dan.

Sitting in my little Trenton upper flat drinking Guiness for years, him chillin on the couch, me lounging in my purple Lazyboy, just going_OFF on whatever was worthy of going off on in our lives. Girls, jobs, music, drumming, rock, jobs, politics, getting into/thru/and out of ourselves alot of just maturing and growing up shit that people do. You know - the pal you have who you can sit in a room for 6 hours with and just vent or rant or laugh with over beers, jamming tunes, reflecting on what you think you're starting to think about your life (and life in general) as it evolves in your mind and in front of you.

The friend who you actually admit to what you're fucking up in your life. It's not just escapist entertainment hanging out, it's good talkin'. The friend who, after hours of watching concert vids, or jammin tunes, laughing your ass off at a movie and beers, at 2am you're both near passing out reflecting on your own sh*t and saying with all dead honesty "Dude, f*ck man..., I gotta [insert recent epiphany here] and get my shit together, this is bullshit." THAT kind of bro. The kind who calls you out when you're runnin' some b.s., whether on others or just yourself. I guess that's what a best friend is.

For whatever that's worth.
I got great friends.


Tonight I recalled the sheer tectonic funk intensity of the George Clinton show I saw about 4 years ago...I couldn't take it after 3 hours. It was too much funk. I'm too white to go the distance. I made an admirable effort, but I remember turning to my buddy Judd and saying there was no way I could carry on. Its was too much funk, I had been carpet-bombed repeatedly with Music Missiles. Da Funk was exploding my brain. It was a wall I hit, which I when I try to think of a comparison, what comes to me is being kept in a small windowless padded room in an asylum and the drumbeat from the Zeppelin song "When The Levee Breaks" is played constantly for days. At first you can groove to it. Then it gets really hypnotic. Then you play silly games like making yourself pretend its the sound of a factory next door, or a big civil War train chugging along slow. Then you get tired of all that and wish it would stop, just for a bit to catch your psychological breathe per se, but it won't. Then after awhile you think that deep pocket of groove is going to make your head explode. It's so heavy, the military gun council gave a rock beat a .calibur designation. It's like that.


I read in a CNN piece today about the celebrity charity premieres of the latest and last Star Wars movie 'Revenge of the Sith.' One of the celebrities attending was John Ratzenberger, "Cliff" the postman from TV's 'Cheers'. Yes he was in Star Wars. Seriously, no Below sarcasm here. Do you know where? Guess.

Give up?

He was in Empire. On Hoth. A rebel chief. When Leia gave the Rebel Hoth troops their evacuation and rendevouz information pep talk, near the wing of the parked X-Wing. Right after she says "Good Luck", a sargent kinda guy immediatley says" Ok, everyone to your ships, LET'S GO!"

That's Cliffy. Listen to how he says it, specially the "Let's GO!" His "GO!" has the rounded O of that Boston accent he had on Cheers. And you can hear its his voice.

He had alot of bit parts in big movies back then. He was one of the radar tech/watchers in the first Superman movie. When Superman was chasing the two missiles Lex aimed at both coasts, there's cliffie with the headset mic with the military chief over Cliff's shoulder watching missiles as graphics on his screen.

I'm not lying, but I'm too tired to google for the exact shots.
Ok, lemme try, we'll see if first tries work.

Even better, proof of him in both movies here.

Remember this next time for 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.
Oliver Stone to Yoda.
Oliver directed Woody Harrelson in Larry Flynt, Woody was with Cliff on Cheers, Cliff was in Empire Strikes Back.

We're not Generation X, we're Generation C(able).

Monday, May 09, 2005

iWhat? I podded. Podded what? The plants, iDid.

Blogging late after my first ever "Worked Out On An Elyptical Machine While Listening To an iPod."
Visual distraction was an old Seinfeld I couldn't hear anyway.
Music tonight was Queen's 'One Vision' and 'Headlong'. Each about 3 times.

"...Gimme Gimme Gimme Gimme FRIED CHI-KUN! (Chii-kuhn, chiiii-kooohn, shooow cooone...

Well, what are You listening to on the treadmill??
Counting Crows??


Aw shit, I'm supposed to do that at the end.


Check out this surfing video. I don't know of this is CG trickery or not, but man it's awesome.
As in truly full of awe-ness.
-Thanks Jan


Umphrey's McGee is playing the Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, Saturday night, June 4.

"You will go see Umphrey's McGee..."
"This IS the band you're looking for."


This movie sounds really cool. A possessed drummer who has 4 different voices speaking thru him. His going mad and letting this happen on stage makes him become a hugely popular lounge act.
There's something I feel I need to be learning from this.


I finally got the sitemeter counter back on this page. Now I can see for myself again how only 3 friends of mine visit this blog. They learned to laugh at my ranting years ago during the EMU 'Animal House' years...

[New person to one of our parties]: "Whoa, who's that dude ranting and smiling and waving his arms all over. He seems really angry."

[Zac, Brendan, Andy, Bill, Micael, Ruz, Matt, Rob, or Joel]: "Naw, that's just Dave. He's just really passionate."

[New person]: "Passionate? Passionate about what?"

[Zac, Brendan, Andy, Bill, Micael, Ruz, Matt, Rob, or Joel]: "Anything you think sucks. Anyway, here...balloon?"


Don't put this album in your notes, put it in your life.

We'll just say it was road-tested.


Sunday, May 08, 2005

Saw Trey Anastasio Saturday night in Cincinnati. First road trip with coworker Steve Bekkala. First time seeing Trey live together as I kind of pushed him to see Phish, and luckily he got to twice before they disbanded. So that was fun.

Being a big Phish fan, it was a strange thrill seeing Trey live without the other Phish guys.

But if what Bekkala and I witnessed from Trey (and his band) was something that was indeed being contained or impeded by the natural dynamic of 'The Chemistry That Is Phish' after 17 years, I'm happy for Trey and glad Phish called it when they did.

Trey went to 11.

And at once it made me love Trey AND Phish even more.

HUMONGOUS PROPS to the opening band the John Butler Trio. Astounding.
You will be hearing about this group, I guarantee you.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Here comes:

Baby Got BOOK!

A religious version of the Sir MixAlot classic.


Ah, Double Standards...
Note the mascot's choice of books. Priceless.


The National Highway Safety Council has done extensive testing on a newly designed seat belt.  Results show that accidents can be reduced by as much as 45% when the belt is properly installed.  Correct installation is illustrated below:


Wonder is right...


Hooray for Small Enterprise


Ok, personal stuff:

Talk about geeked. Out of the blue, this remastered deluxe edition of the first Power Station album came out a week ago.

Re-mastered, plus some remixes (eh, whatev), a bonus track that was a song they had on the soundtrack to 'Commando', that Ahnuld movie from 1986 where he kicks ass rescuing his kidnapped 10 year-old not-naked-all-the-time-yet, but-in-near-future-will-be-bitching-about-naked-pics-of-herself-on-this-new-internet-thing Alyssa Milano daughter. The song 'Someday, Somehow, Someone's Gonna Pay' sounds like a heavy rock song that plays during the end credits after a movie like that.

And it wasn't Robert Palmer singing but Michael Des Barres who sang after Palmer left to be the Robert Palmer we all remember in the Addicted To Love video. Kinda run of the mill, but the pocket is heavy as hell thanks to Tony Thompson on drums. Tony's the guy who played with Zeppelin at Live Aid. He hammered and felt the pocket like Bonham did. And that's almost sacrilegious to say, but it was true.

I wanted to smack Robert for skipping out like that, especially for missing Live Aid with the Station. Not that the Live Aid dvd has the Power Station performance on it. But therein lies the reason I'd say.

Michael Des Barres...sounds familiar don't it? That's because you probably remember his former wife Pamela Des Barres, former groupie to the classic rock icons of the 70s and 80s.
She was like the 70s Tawny Kitaen of rock whores except Pam went on to get a book deal to talk about Jimmy Page's penis (among MANY others), rather than get arrested like Tawney for beating up a baseball player boyfriend after leaving O.J. before "Tantrum '94".

Aw, you know Tawny, the redhead who slithered on the cars in the Whitesnake video.

HEY!, speaking of the 'Snake, no shit, they are playing the Toledo Harley Davidson Store parking lot this summer! Man, that would be a blast! Just the sound of that gig invokes beer, crank, and blistering guitar leads.

Say it again:
Whitesnake at the Toledo Harley Davidson Parking Lot.

You'd think we'd need to call Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels to keep the peace for this one, but Curt's too busy guest-hosting Sean Hannity's radio talk show.

I don't know if it'd be cooler to see them there or at the Royal Oak Music theater 4 days later. Wait. Yes I do. Well, at least in the Toledo Harley lot the people there wouldn't be cynical hipsters trying to act like they're only there because it's some kind of a mock-retro appreciation dickhead thing to do for a laugh. Sipping on the PBR they don't really like, using exaggerated body language to over-prove to people around them that they're only there as a lark because they 'd never really admit that Whitesnake indeed does put on a hellacious rock show.

Look you fuckin' wienies, if you're gonna act and dress like you're rather be listening to Weezer and Elvis Costello, then stay home and do it. I'm not talking about just this Whitesnake show, I'm talking about the rest of your life.
"Can ya hear me now? Good. Cuz I wanna tell you you look just like me."


Yeah...I'm thinking being outside on some blacktop, on a summernight, with rows of Harleys behind me, swirling rainbows of color from the stage light show in the chrome exhaust pipes of the bikes moving to the strains of "In The Still of The Night''s Zeppelin rip-off violin bridge would be pretty fun. Or I could do it standing in the 'cinder-block warehouse with drapes' that is the RO music theater, where the motto is "Good sound? City Ordinance 341 prohibits that."

Aaaaanyway... this new Power Station album also came with a DVD containing this sweet 30 minute promo video that used to exist with all 3 PS videos, plus in-studio stuff of them playing. Always wanted that. AND!... the band playing 'Some Like It Hot' on Saturday night Live in Feb 85. I saw it once, and always wanted a tape of it.

I vividly remember seeing it in 1985, all 14 years of me, thinking "Man, this is confusing EVERYBODY in that audience. It's the 'Doctor, Doctor, Gimme The News, I Got a Bad Case of Loving You" guy in a suit, with the two guitarists from Duran Duran dressed like leather samurai's, one of whom is wearing a skirt, and some professor-looking black dude wailing funky rock beats on drums.

Gimme eccentric and eclectic lookin' cats who can play anyday.

R.I.P Robert, Tony Thompson (the drummer), and Bernard Edwards (producer and member of Chic who produced the Power Station)

Fortunately I got to meet Robert, Tony, and Andy Taylor at Clutch Cargo's in 97 when they put out a 2nd album (11 years after the first). High school friend of mine was taking photos for Rolling Stone and got me into the Meet & Greet. Got autographs on my Power Station CD sleeve. Pics of the show are at popfolio.com, her site. Loads of great pics of all kinds of bands there. Big bands.