Friday, November 29, 2013

Music Friday: "Perfect Far Away" & "Indianapolis"

One album I've listened to quite a bit lately is 24 Hours A Day by The Bottle Rockets. It's a fine album. 

Although you could interpret the first song's lyrics as being creepy, if you have the band's  acoustic album, Not So Loud, you know the song is really about the lead singer being at the VP Fair in St. Louis and not being able to see Dolly Parton perform. He could hear her, but the only spot he could find was one where he couldn't see her. 

In typical Bottle Rockets fashion, the second tune is about a guy held hostage by car repair issues: "I'm stuck in Indianapolis with a fuel pump that's deceased." 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee-Chattanooga

Like we did last season, the Nasty family traveled to T-Town to take in a game. 

For this game we had much better seats, section HH and the 42nd row. Those are probably the best seats I've ever had in Bryant-Denny. We were approximately on the north 40-yard line with a great view of the game--not too high and not too low. 

It was Senior Day in Bryant-Denny, so the fans got to say thanks to likes of AJ McCarron, CJ Mosley, Kevin Norwood, Anthony Steen, Deion Belue, and Kenny Bell, among others.

As was expected, the Crimson Tide dominated the game with McCarron looking good in limited time. Three main players were held out of the game because of minor injuries: running back TJ Yeldon, tight end Brian Vogler, and cornerback Deion Belue. 

So the younger guys got a lot of work yesterday. If I remember right, Cyrus Jones and Maurice Smith started the game at corner, and Bradley Sylve, Geno Smith, and Eddie Jackson also got some playing time. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the two guys who stood out to me were Derrick Henry and Chris Black. While Black only touched the ball twice, the end around he took to the house for 31 yards showcased his raw speed. And for a very large young man, Henry has some speed. On six carries, he averaged 11 yards per carry. He's a bruising but fast tailback. 

Up next is the Iron Bowl. The winner plays in the SEC Championship against either Mizzou or South Carolina. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Music Friday: "Fight the Power" & "By the Time I Get to Arizona"

I have no idea how many current hip-hop artists are socially conscious and making strong political statements in their songs. 

But I remember one outfit that did, and I'm bringing two of their tunes to you now. If you want to revisit the context for the second song, here's "Arizona's Struggle for MLK Holiday." 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

An Odd Career Objective

A colleague told me today about a career objective he saw recently on a resume. 

The objective said this:"An entry-level position in pubic relations"

If you missed the proofreading glitch, it should say "public," not "pubic."

Regardless, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would like a career in that endeavor. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

A couple of summers ago, the Nasty family took a trip to Des Moines to play at Adventureland. A good portion of our time was spent at the water park. My memory got jogged about that experience because I just saw this article on the world's tallest waterslide under construction in Kansas City. It's call Verruckt, German for "insane." 

As I've written about before on this forum, or maybe I haven't, I'm a geek about typefaces. Recently, I decided to use Avenir Heavy typeface for headings in a document, and my mind started wandering. Who invented Avenir, and why call one version "Heavy"? I imagined a bunch of stoned graphic designers playing with the typeface one night, and then one of them adjusts the typeface so it's so thick and bold that boldface is not needed. Then one of his pot-smoking designers says, "Wow, that's heavy, man." And there you go: Avenir Heavy was born. Unfortunately, that narrative is improbable since Avenir was created in 1988 when the word "heavy" was not in mass use for that kind of meaning like in previous decades. 

And if you care about typefaces, here's "Best Practices of Combining Typefaces", "Typographical Twins: 20 Perfect Font Pairings,"  and "19 Top Fonts in 19 Top Combinations."  

A comic of note:

I started reading Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware the other day. It's one of those adult comic books, one in which the main character deals with finally meeting his father he never knew. It's semi-autobiographical, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I think Ware wrote the tale for cathartic reasons, but it seems a bit too confessional for my blood. I'm usually not a fan of confessional stuff, and I guess I'm used to comic books graphic novels that have more action to them, such as the outstanding series Mind MGMT by Matt Kindt. Do yourself a favor and read that series, people. It's worth your time, money, and mental energy. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Hangover: Mississippi State

What a lackluster game. State played the Crimson Tide tough, but last night's game exemplified Alabama trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. 

I don't know how many third-and-longs Alabama had to deal with, but it seemed like a lot. And then when they finally got things going, something stupid would happen. McCarron had two interceptions. One might not have been a pick and was not his fault, but the other one was definitely his fault. In addition, Yeldon and Drake had one costly fumble each. Ugly. 

Lost in last night's yawnstipating performance is the fact Yeldon had a career-high 160 yards on 24 carries. 

Also, punter Cody Mandell had an outstanding game with two punts downed inside the ten and an average punt of 55 yards. Alabama needed that performance. 

Looking ahead to the Iron Bowl, what concerns me about the defense is how they played against the spreadish, zone-read offense of State's that bears some similarities to Auburn's. Auburn has a bye before they play us in Auburn, but the Crimson Tide takes on Chattanooga this coming Saturday, a game three-quarters of the Nasty family will be attending. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Music Friday: "Since Jimmy Came" & "I Bought a Pie"

I discovered yesterday Shonna Tucker and her backing band named Eye Candy had an album come out last month. 

For those of you who might not recognize the name, Shonna Tucker is the former bass player for the Drive-By Truckers and the ex-wife of Jason Isbell. After Isbell was kicked out of DBT, Tucker started singing some of her own songs for DBT, tunes some fans found to be the weakest part of those albums. 

I think a lot of that reception has to do with reference point (see info on prospect theory), meaning after having a stable lineup of who sings ~ Hood, Cooley, or Isbell ~ introducing Tucker as the third voice of DBT got mixed reviews partly out of the quality of the songs (her Alabama accent is pronounced on some of them) and probably because of sexist reasons (for some people). 

That said though, her songs weren't my favorites of those discs, Brighter Than Creation's Dark, The Big To-Do, and Go-Go Boots. I'm a fan of "Where's Eddie?" though.   

After I found out about the new album, I plopped down my $6.99 for a download and acquired A Tell All by Shonna Tucker and Eye Candy. 

It's good. Her voice is smoother and more sustained, and the album has a solid mix of songs. Without the expectation of her songs being Truckers' tunes, I really like the album. In other words, my reference point has changed. 

Below is "Jimmy Came Here" and "I Bought a Pie."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Random Notes from a Crank

In yet another moment of middle-aged reflection, I happened to be listening to the local classic rock station the other day. They played "Even Flow" by Pearl Jam. Early Pearl Jam has now become classic rock radio fare -- ear candy canon fodder. So depressing.

That moment of reflection and depression moved me to put Ten into my CD rotation in the car though. What an outstanding album. 

Because of certain media outlets' love affair with Governor Christie, Grist have provided an important article that details his track record with environmental issues: "Chris Christie is No Moderate on the Environment." 

In a related post on Climate Progress, "Top Climatologist Slams Science Magazine for Getting the Extreme Weather Story Very Wrong," Joe Romm recounts researchers' reactions to a Science magazine article.  

One of my pals sent this article, "Your Personality Type Determines Your Paycheck," to me. As an INTJ (very strong introversion and moderately strong in judging), I'm miffed that the ENTJs are supposedly making more loot than others of us in the "rationalist" category. As I said in a different forum, "I will quietly reflect on this 'fact,' consider the implications, and judge the extroverts for being the bastards they are." [That's me quoting me.] What's clear though is that it doesn't pay to be an idealist. However, the graphic distorts the differences quite a bit. 

If you're looking for more visual stimuli, check out Reid Wilson's "Which of the 11 American Nations Do You Live In?" in the "GovBeat" section of The Washington Post. Wilson talks about Colin Woodard's argument that the US can be seen as 11 politically separate nation-states. I'm sure the dividing lines are a bit murkier than presented, but here's how my life has played out according to Woodard's map. I grew up in the upper Midlands but very close to Yankeedom for eighteen years. I then lived at the northwestern edge of Greater Appalachia for eight years with one year in a major metro area in the Midlands. Then I spent four years in the Deep South and returned to a metro area in the Midlands surrounded by Greater Appalachia. And now the Nasty family lives in Greater Appalachia in a strong "blue state."  

Sunday Hangover: LSU

I'm trying to remember a game where Alabama had a second-half adjustment like they did last night, but I can't think of one. After the Tigers scored a field goal early in the third quarter after the Tide D gave LSU a bunch of gifts, the Crimson Tide pounded the ball at the LSU defense. Then they pounded it and pounded it some more. Alabama walloped the Tigers 21 to 3 in the second half. 

Besides the interception he should have secured, linebacker C. J. Mosley had an outstanding game: 12 tackles, 7 of them solo, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 2 passes broken up. In addition, he  was an integral component in Alabama's fake punt when he got the snap and handed off the ball to Jarrick Williams. 

When asked about trusting Mosley on that play in the press conference after the game, Coach Saban had this reply: "I trust C. J. to do anything -- watching my kids, taking care of my house. So faking the punt isn't that much. C. J. is so conscientious that you know he's going to execute it."

T. J. Yeldon benefited from the dominating play of the offensive line. Even when an unblocked guy was after him, he usually made him miss. 25 carries for 133 yards. 

Last year after the dramatic win versus LSU, the Crimson Tide had a serious letdown at home against A&M. I would imagine that would be a point of emphasis -- not wallowing on the past win -- this week before they travel to Starkville to take on the Bulldogs, a team that looked decent when they played against Texas A&M yesterday. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Music Friday: "Mind Your Manners"

I got the new Pearl Jam album, Lightning Bolt, when it was released. Typical of that band's albums, it has taken some listens for me to warm up to the disc. For some reason, their albums get better with age. 

For example, as I write this, I'm listening to the band's second album, Vs., and I had forgotten how outstanding it is. Kicks ass. 

One song from the recent album that has really grown to my liking is "Mind Your Manners," a good rockin' tune with interesting lyrics.

Below you can find a video and the lyrics. 

Mind Your Manners
by Pearl Jam

I've got an unfortunate feelin'
I been beaten down. 
I feel that I'm done believing.
Now the truth is coming out. 

What they're taking is
more than a vow.
They're taking young innocents,
and then they throw 'em on a burning pile.
Ah ah ay ay

And all along they're saying,
"Mind your manners!"

I caught myself believing
that I needed God.
And if it's out there somewhere
We sure could use a hymn now.

Try my patience!
My patience tried.
This world's a long love letter
that makes me wanna cry.
Ah ah ay ay.

And all along they're saying,
"Mind your manners!"
That's all they're saying.

Self-realized and metaphysically redeemed,
may not live another life,
may not solve our mystery.

Right round the corner
could be bigger than ourselves.
We could will it to the sky,
or we could something else. 

And all along along they're saying,
"Mind your manners!"
Always praying. 

Go to Heaven,
that's swell. 
How you like your living Hell?

Go to Heaven,
that's swell. 
How you like your living Hell?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Hangover: Bye Week

The Crimson Tide spent the bye week healing up, practicing, and getting ready for the annual tussle with LSU. LSU also had a bye week. 

I watched a smattering of games on Saturday. The Nasty family walked up to O'Brien Field to watch the EIU Panthers destroy the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Last time I checked, the Panthers were ranked third in the FCS. They could make some serious noise when the playoffs begin, but the number-one ranked team, North Dakota State, has won the championship for two straight years. The Bison are strong. 

In other games, for a while it looked like Arkansas might make a game of it versus Auburn. But they faded in the third quarter. 

Florida mounted an impressive comeback against Georgia but eventually lost. Fred Taylor's son, a freshman running back for the Gators, looked good, but Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs found a way to win. 

I thought the Volunteers would challenge Mizzou in Columbia, but Tennessee continued to not capitalize on opportunities and play poor defense. 

Florida State looked outstanding against the Hurricanes.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Music Friday: "Harvest Moon"

I've had the Neil Young Unplugged album playing in my car today. 

And since it's fall and all, I thought I'd share "Harvest Moon."