Friday, December 14, 2018

Music Friday: "Once in a Lifetime"

The Talking Heads have always been a band I liked, but I never bought any of their albums ~ even back in my cassette-buying days. 

When I'm driving our Rogue around, songs from the Talking Heads often come on the SiriusXM channels I frequent. 

So this week I finally got one of their albums, a greatest hits album. I know, I'm really going out on a limb, aren't I? 

Here's one of my favorites. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

For whatever reason, when the holidays come around, I get a thirst for ginger ale. So I bought some. I don't know why I mentally connect ginger ale with Xmas. Maybe because of gingerbread? 

This propensity reminds me of one of my posts from a good while back about people drinking tomato juice on airplanes: "Airplanes and Tomato Juice." 

Today Mrs. Nasty made some lil' smokies for her office's food day, and she used Heinz chili sauce to create the sauce the smokies were immersed in. Buying that stuff made me realize I've never used chili sauce before, which makes me think about some of kind of dips I could make with it and cream cheese. Stay posted...

One of my students, an international student from South Korea, gave me a gift at the end of the semester. It's a pretty awesome leather key chain that has my name on it in English and Korean. I need to teach more international students. 

I wonder what my dog thinks when I stop to pick up his crap after he's dropped a deuce on one of our walks. He's gotta be questioning me, "Dude, why are you picking up my scat? That's weird." 

People can make and enforce laws about dog crap, but we can't take action on real issues like global warming, gerrymandering, campaign finance reform, and growing US businesses. 

Ridiculous.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Music Friday: "Call to Arms"

This was the last song on my iPod shuffle tonight as I finished walking the dog. 

When I have earbuds in, I tend to notice the lyrics more closely. This song has some country strong lyrics. 

Enjoy. 

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday Hangover: SEC Championship ~ Georgia

What a game. 

After last night's game, there are all kinds of articles about Jalen Hurts out there. He was clutch. 

I didn't get to watch the game in a traditional way because my son had two basketball games, so I only got to watch it via the CBS sports app via Mrs. Nasty's phone when he wasn't playing. 

Add in a tornado warning and shaky cell service, and viewing the game was not exactly a pleasure. But we got to watch good chunks of the game when my son wasn't playing. 

When I did get sat down to watch the recorded game, there was only about 15 minutes to view because tornado coverage displaced the game. A tornado ripped through east central Illinois on Saturday. 

But it was a sweet win. 

There is much praise to heaped upon Hurts, so I'm not going to wax on about his performance. Other folks have already done that. 

Other heroes of the game were Waddle, Irv, Jeudy, and the defense in the second half. 

Coach Smart has rationalized the gaffe on the fake punt, but from what I've seen of the play, I think he's covering for his freshmen QB who freaked out on the play. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Music Friday: "Speed Queen"

Here's a band you all need to check out, Thunderpussy from Seattle. I read about them in Rolling Stone

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fumbling Toward Culinary Talent: Slow Cooker Roasted Garlic Chuck Roast

As recipes go, this one is simple as hell and tasty. 

Ingredients
1 chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into pieces
Enough beef broth to partially cover the roast pieces in the slow cooker
1 head of garlic, roasted
Salt and pepper to taste

Process
I first roasted the garlic, let it cool, and then pushed out the garlic cloves. I mixed the garlic cloves with the cut-up roast in a dish and let it marinate with the garlic overnight. 
In the morning, I put the roast in the slow cooker and covered it partially with store-bought beef broth. With the size of the roast I had, I used about half a carton of the broth. 

Set the cooker and low and let heat do its thing. 

Eight hours later I shredded the pieces easily and took out any unwanted fat that turned up. I ladled the beef and broth over rice. It would also be good over mashed potatoes too I imagine. 

As it cooked, most the cloves of garlic pretty much liquified. The broth wasn't overly garlicky at all. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

This Thanksgiving was the first one for me without both my mom and dad. Back when they still lived in their house, they'd always have the same argument. My mom would want my father to cut the turkey right away, and my dad, being a man who knows many things about meat, would always blow her off and say, "The meat has to rest." My mom would stomp off angrily, and after a short while Virg would mosey into the kitchen to cut the bird. 

I've tried and tried, but I just can't seem to like green bean casserole. I like green beans, but the casserole is just so damn bland. There has to be a way to make this concoction better. 

Over the past couple of weeks, I've bought some turkeys cheap from our local grocery store. If one uses the market's "max card," the turkey is $ .39 a pound. I got a couple of turkeys for later use. 

Instead of eating them at the holidays, people need to eat turkey all year round. You read that turkey industry, I"m trying to promote your birds for the whole year? Why don't you throw some sponsorship money my way? Write the check to "cash." 

I read an article in Utne about philosophical therapy, but it originally appeared in the UC Observer. In "Move Over, Freud," the author talks about a trend in therapy in which folks with a strong background in philosophy help others work through important questions and quandaries in life. 

The practice makes a lot of sense to me because I have gotten much more out of reading philosophical works than studying psychology, especially Fred, who has now become an intellectual anachronism in psychology, a guy often used by scholars in the humanities to support lame-ass analyses of this or that. 

Here are some stats from the the November and December versions of "Harper's Index":
  • Estimated number of voters purged from Georgia's voter rolls from 2008 to 2012: 750,000
  • From 2012 to 2016:  1,500,000
  • Percentage change from 2000 to 2017 in US consumer spending on music: +25
  • Percentage of music-industry revenue that is received by musicians: 12
  • Percentage of US teenagers who "often" find their parents distracted by their phones during conversations: 14
  • Who "sometimes" do: 37
  • Number of counties in which no local newspaper is available: 176
  • In which only one is available: 1,449
  • Estimated number of US newspaper jobs lost since the year 2000: 241,000
  • Amount of FEMA funding that has been transferred to ICE this year: $9,800,000
  • Minimum number of US cities that have announced plans to establish supervised drug consumption sites: 5
  • Estimated minimum number of cities that have such sites worldwide: 100
  • Number of people who have ever died of an overdose at one of those sites: 0
  • Percentage of interviews with professional baseball players that feature a variation of the phrase "one game at a time": 7
  • That feature a variation of "a heck of a game": 50

From the stats above, the one that disturbs me most is the purging of the voter rolls in Georgia, which stole the election for Kemp along with minor mismatches between signatures such as Quin Nasty and Quintilian Nasty. 

The lack of local newspapers is also a problem because the fifth estate even in those small towns keep on eye on what's going on locally whether it's the local city council or local sports. 

Bunny Colvin's idea of "Hamsterdam" in whatever season of The Wire that was was right. Supervised sites makes sense. 

I know Andrew Luck is having an outstanding, comeback season this year so far, but I'll offer him a bit of advice for the hirsute among us. He needs to shore up his beard game. I get that he wants to grow a beard. I've grown one since my dad's funeral. However, Luck needs to shave his neck to make his beard look more presentable, more kept. Step up your beard game, Luck.

Sunday Hangover: Auburn

That was not a disappointing Iron Bowl like last year.  

It was close in the first half, but then the Crimson Tide pulled away. 

However, Auburn did score on a trick play and a grossly under thrown ball that turned into a touchdown. 

Tua torched the Auburn defense. 

I'm still concerned about the Tide defense's ability to stop the run, especially with an SEC Championship game on Saturday against Georgia, a team that knows how to run the ball. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Music Friday: "Feed the Fire"

Dawes has a new album out this year. It appeals to my pop-like sensibilities, but I still want the band to rock more. 

This is one of the better tunes on the album. 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

[Belated] Sunday Hangover: The Citadel

Wow, I am really late with this one. So sorry about that. 

The surprise of this game was that it was tied at the half. So I imagine the coaching staff had some salty language to the squad at halftime.

The first half just showed how the option attack can be troublesome for any defense, which is why I want to implement a number of option looks for my upcoming JFL season. 

Regardless of my plans for a JFL time in east central Illinios, the Tide come out after halftime and opened a can of whoop ass. 

The Crimson Tide better get up mentally from the start for Saturday's Iron Bowl. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Music Friday: "Invitation"

I was saddened to read a while back that Roy Hargrove passed away this year. As jazz musicians go, he's one of my favorites. 

Here's he and his band playing a jazz standard. 

I've featured him a couple of times before if you search under his name in the search function of the blog. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

When I was driving around our town the other day, I noticed a sign advertising "seasoned firewood." I had never heard of seasoned firewood before. But apparently seasoning is a deal.

Of course, the smart ass in me began to think about what spices and herbs would pair well with wood. Taco seasoning? Sage? Cumin? Maybe a pinch of cayenne pepper? There are so many possibilities, folks, so many possibilities. 

I'm taking over a travel baseball team here in these parts. We held tryouts on a cold, cold weekend. I'm still waiting for my feet to warm up. We're only up to nine kids on the team, so we'll need to add 1-2 kids via a spring tryout.

The team's name was one I didn't like, so I came up with all kinds of possible names as you can probably imagine if you've ever read any of my "Band Names Gratis" posts. 

Here are a number of names I came up with:
  • Blue Jays
  • Slam
  • Slammers
  • Hammers
  • Chargers
  • Athletics
  • Travelers
  • Wolves
  • Wolf Pack
  • Thunder
  • Defenders
  • Raiders
  • Ghosts
  • Crimson
  • Tide
  • Bucks
  • Warriors
  • Demons
  • Diamond Demons

I finally whittled them down to three possibilities, and the kids will vote on the team's name on Friday. If you're interested, reply in the comments about your top three choices. 

In a big win, a Democrat won the US Senate seat in Arizona. Read the Post's "What Democrats' Big Win in Arizona Means" to, as it says, understand what it might mean. 

As could be expected, Moscow Don had a tweetstorm about the California wildfires to show that he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about: "Trump's Overly Simplistic and False Claim on California's Wildfires." 

It's hard to expect anything better from that moron. 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Mississippi State

State can play some serious defense, folks. 

I only got to watch the final minute or so of the first half of the game live because I was holding tryouts for the travel baseball team I'm coaching, so I only watched the second half live. 

From what I saw, the usually stalwart offensive line had its hands full with State's defense. 

Alabama got a gift on one play that the Bulldogs would have scored a touchdown. The Tide db dove for the player and the State wideout put his hands up to indicate he did not block him in the back. However, I think the receiver putting his hands up made the ref think he actually blocked him in the back. 

So in reality it should have been 24 to 7. 

Regardless, that was not the score, and the Tide has now had back-to-back shutouts. 

The Crimson Tide defense was salty once again, surrendering only six first downs, 44 net yards rushing, and 125 yards passing. 

I am concerned about the Oline's ability to protect Tua. 

But next up is home matchup versus The Citadel. My hope is they rest Tua and let Hurts and Jones play most or all of the game. 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Music Friday: "Everything Has Changed"

I am behind on getting new albums that have come out from bands I like and follow. 

One I got this week was Lucero's new release, Among the Ghosts.

It's a solid effort, one of the band's better releases in a while. 

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Sunday Hangover: LSU

I was worried about this game. LSU has a strong defense, and they had been playing well lately. 

While packing for our trip to Iowa, I intended to pack my usual game day attire, but I forgot to pack my away-game t-shirt. 

I forgot it. 

Based on how the Tide played, I guess I should not worry about wearing my typical game day attire? 

Nah, I'm way too OCD to do that. 

Regardless, the Crimson Tide showed up big time last night. They balled out. 

Quinnen Williams was, once again, an absolute beast last night. The commentators related how one of Alabama's linemen described trying to block that young man. I think it was described as trying to "block a bar of soap." He led the team in tackles with a total of 10 (7 solo) with 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. 

What a player. 

The offense looked good. The line blocked well, and overall the offense gained 281 net yards rushing and 295 yards passing. That's the kind of balance I like to see. 

Next up is a game versus State in Tuscaloosa. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Music Friday: "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town"

As we were driving up to Iowa for my father's funeral, I listened to a lot of the Pearl Jam  channel on SiriusXM radio.

This is a tune that rings true in some ways from an emotional level. 



Selected lyrics:
I seem to recognize your face.
Haunting, familiar yet
I can't seem to place it.
Cannot find the candle of thought to light your name.
Lifetimes are catching up with me.
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.
Hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Music Friday: "Please Stay"

This past week I watched my daughter sing in her high school chorus for their fall concert. The advanced chorus sang this song. It was pretty darn compelling. 

The description before the performance gives you the lowdown. 



My daughter's high school director did a great job with the piece. At the end of it, the chorus came out into the aisles among audience as they were singing the song toward the last minute of so of the piece.  

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Tennessee

I was kind of surprised the yearly tradition of Alabama playing Tennessee was televised on the CBS afternoon game because the Tide were heavy favorites, but I guess CBS hadn't had the Crimson Tide for a game yet this season, so they went with the traditional rivalry. 

Cigars were smoked after this one. 

What I found surprising in the game plan for Alabama is that Damien Harris, one of the leaders of the team, didn't play much. Josh Jacobs started the game, and if remember right, Najee Harris was the second back in the game. There is bound to be some speculation on InteWeb message boards about all that, but maybe the offensive coordinator wanted to try a different rotation for whatever reason? Or maybe Damien is banged up a bit? I don't know. 

Hurts gave up a bizarre interception, but he looked good once again in a backup role. By the time he was in the game, the Tide offense was trying not to be jerks. So it was run play this way and run play that way. The game got pretty boring toward the end. 

I suspect the game in Baton Rouge will not boring in two weeks. Both teams have byes before they play.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Music Friday: "See a Little Light"

This week I've been listening to a lot of Bob Mould. 

The other day it dawned on me that Workbook came out in 1989. It's an outstanding album. Just plain damn outstanding.

Here's one of the more famous tracks from the album. 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank


I heard something the other day that flannel shirts are coming back in style. Finally after toting around those shirts from Kirksville, MO to Tuscaloosa, AL to St. Louis, MO and finally to Charleston, IL I'm ready to unleash them on the fashion scene. 

Well, to be truthful, I've been wearing them from time to time all these years. I just didn't really care what people think. 



My daughter went up to watch the Purdue-Illinois game on Saturday. Since she's been indoctrinated correctly, she cheered against the Illini. Of the Big Ten teams out there, that would be probably the last team I'd root for. 




When I go to a store of some sort, when I ask for something, and the clerk/worker calls me "boss" it bothers me. If I go to one of local grocery stores and ask for something from meat counter, the clerk might call me "boss." I don't like it. The guy (usually a guy) says something like "Sure thing, boss" or "Right away, boss." I don't get the reasoning behind calling me "boss." All I am asking for is some meat from you. I don't need you bringing up a word choice that denotes some kind of out-of-whack power differential. 

It kind of reminds me of Marcie calling Peppermint Patty "sir" in the Peanuts comic strip. 

Sunday Hangover: Mizzou

I went into watching this game with a bit of trepidation because of Diggs being out indefinitely because of the broken foot he suffered against Arkansas. 

The Tide's D played much better in this game. Granted, Mizzou's top two receivers were not in the game, but the Tigers do have a decent offense. 

I'm still not liking that teams are able to run on the D as much as they have. Mizzou didn't have a 100-yard rusher, but that Rountree guy has some really nice runs, runs that should have been stopped. 

The offense had two 100-yard receivers in this game. Irv Smith is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on the team. He didn't have a great game production wise, but he's a force as a tight end. 

The two guys in the middle of the line had outstanding games: Quinnen Williams and Raekwon Davis. In particular, Williams had two tackles for loss, a sack, and two quarterback hurries. 

Next up is a hungry Tennessee team. The game is at Knoxville, and the Volunteers are coming off a big upset of Auburn. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Music Friday: "Great Pumpkin Waltz"

I got busy yesterday, forgot about posting this, and then remembered to post later in the day. Then I went to a high school football game. I got home, watched some TV, and feel asleep on the couch. 

So I'm late. 

I was listening to an album from the Vince Guaraldi Trio yesterday, and this was one of the songs on the album. 

As a kid, I loved Peanuts. I would check out those hardbound versions of the comics all the time when I was in grade school. Snoopy was my hero even though sometimes I felt like Charlie Brown. 

But as Charlie Brown specials go, the Halloween one was probably my least favorite because I thought the Great Pumpkin premise was stupid. 

But it has a good song associated it. So here it is. 

The Great Pumpkin reminds me of the numerous times I've gone with the Nasty family to buy a bunch of pumpkins, spending a small fortune on gourds. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas

The Crimson Tide did not punt yesterday. 

The offense had two receivers have over 100 yards receiving (Jeudy and Irv). 

To my surprise, they did have a 100-yard rusher. Harris rushed for 111 net yards on 15 carries. 

I'm sure Coach Saban will have plenty of talking points about what the team needs to improve on defense. The Hogs' Boyd had a 102 net yards rushing. That's the first time in a while that a running back gained 100 yards on the Tide. 

The Tide did give up 31 points, which will get some players into trouble in the film room. However, 14 of those points happened in the fourth quarter when second- and third-teamers were in the game. 

Still, the Tide gave up 31 points to a rebuilding Arkansas team. I worry about the next matchup versus Mizzou. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Music Friday: "Couldn't Stand the Weather"

Here's a classic tune from the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan to start out the weekend right. 

Enjoy. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Louisiana-Lafayette

As is the Tide is wont to do in these kind of match ups, they did not cover the spread. It was looking likely that they would, but two touchdowns against the second and third team defenders did certain betters in. 

I'm not talking about myself. I don't bet on sports except for fantasy baseball and football. If you even consider that betting...

Regardless, the Tide did what it needed to do. Hurts got a big hand for playing in his fifth game of the season, which thereby burned one year of eligibility if he chose to transfer after he graduates unlike the certain quarterback at a national powerhouse who chose to transfer after finding out he was not the starter. 

But about the game: The Ragin' Cajuns got taken out behind the wood shed. 

There are lots of offensive highlights to the game, but Jaylen Waddle's performance stands out: 3 receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown. 

Henry Ruggs III had another excellent also. He had 5 receptions for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Music Friday: "Birth Ritual"

Man, I wish Chris Cornell was still alive and making great music. He is easily one of top five favorite lead singers. 

Here's "Birth Ritual" from the Singles soundtrack. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

In a surprising development that surely is angering the White House, Moscow Don's tariffs on solar panels hasn't had the impact that many advocates of alternative energy had feared. It's hurting the sale of natural gas though because instead of buying from America, China is purchasing natural gas from Russia and Qatar. Read all about it from Juan Cole on Informed Comment: "Trump's China Tariffs on Solar Backfire: American Natural Gas Hurt, as US PV Sales Soar." 

I would imagine this Kavanaugh character getting accused of sexual harassment now from more than one woman makes the GOP fearful for how their defense of him is going play out in the midterm elections. At least from the early polling I've seen, the Republican Party has a problem with wooing a substantial portion of the woman vote. 

I don't know how this Supreme Court nominee confirmation is going to play out, but I'd keep my eyes on Collins (Maine), Murkowski (Alaska), Flake (Arizona), and Corker (Tennessee) if they are going to be any defections and no votes. 

I still believe Anita Hill, 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Texas A&M

I didn't get to watch the game in real time until the second half because I was coaching a fifth grade junior football game. 

The Tide gave up some big runs to Mond, the A&M quarterback, but for the most part the defense played adequately. It was not dominant like the butt-whooping that was Ole Miss, but it was a decent performance. 

What I've been consistently impressed with so far this season is how Irv Smith Jr. is becoming a major weapon for the offense. And heck, the other main tight end, Hentges caught two passes, both for touchdowns. 

As a running game goes, the running backs and offensive line had a fairly pedestrian day. 

Look for that to change when Alabama hosts the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayetter this coming Saturday.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Music Friday: "Holding On"

I've been digging The War on Drugs this past year since I purchased a couple of the band's albums. 

Here's "Holding On" from A Deeper Understanding.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

In the latest of installment of Moscow Don acting like the moron he is, it's pretty clear the US is going to lose this trade war. As the article "Trump's Nasty Fight with China's Middle Class Could Extend Trade War" notes, "As the trade war between the world's largest economies unfolds on the international stage, analysts say Trump's brash approach to try to win concessions from Beijing has provoked a public fury that could ultimately thwart his efforts." 

Also, as a scholar at the Brookings Institution informs us, "The middle class has been critical of the Chinese government, but now that anger is shifting to the United States. Chinese media has portrayed Trump as greedy and crazy." Emphasis should be placed on the latter adjective because economists think what he's doing is downright stupid.


The other day I was walking down the hall of the building in which I work. I had picked up a free book and was curiously reading through the table of contents of a book, interestingly enough, that is about reading instruction. As one of my colleagues was about to pass me by as I was reading and walking at the same time, he said, "Hey, that's the old school version of someone walking and staring at his phone." 


I like the old fashioned technology better. 


I haven't been in a fantasy football league for over a decade now, but I joined one with some folks this season. I'm enjoying it, but Sunday night's game brought out my rotowhoreness. 

I was up on my opponent by 30some points going into the Giants-Cowboys game, but the guy I was playing had Ezekiel Elliott on his starting roster. Late into the fourth quarter Elliott scored a touchdown to accrue six points. I lost the fantasy matchup 177.9 to 180. 

Damn it. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Ole Miss

Apologies for my lateness. 

But that was an ass whooping. 

If you're an Alabama fan, that first play of game made you wonder what kind of night it was going to be. 

That sickly feeling didn't last too long because the Tide offense came out and picked apart the Ole Miss D with precise passing and basic running plays. 

I was kind of surprised that no back amassed 100 yards from scrimmage, but as is typical of these type of games, eight players gained over 200 net yards. 

The passing game shone brightly once gain with 306 yards receiving from various receivers. This offense has many weapons at receiver, and the quarterbacks are using all of them. The offenses in the past that tended to target one stud receiver -- Jones, Cooper, Ridley -- is no longer with us from what I can tell. 

Quinnen Williams led the team and tackles and is quietly becoming one of the best players on this team. In fact, he's played better, from what I can tell, than the highly touted Raekwon Davis. Christian Miller also had an outstanding game. 

Next up is Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny. 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Music Friday: "I Stay Away"

I've been listening to Alice in Chains all morning. 

In honor of great music made in the glorious 90s, I give you "I Stay Away."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Arkansas State

Yesterday was something else on a number of different fronts, so I'm late to posting about Saturday's game. 

For Tide fans, a 57 to 7 victory is sweet news. Both quarterbacks played well. The dynamic three wide receivers of Jeudy, Ruggs, and Smith all had at least one touchdown (Jeudy had a couple). And then Irv Smith and Kief had touchdowns too. 

For the most part the defense played well, but they are going to have to tighten up their ship when they travel to Oxford for the next game. 

The Rebels are a bit mysterious. They waxed the floor with Texas Tech in their first game, and then in their second game they fell behind the mighty Salukis of Southern Illinois and finally pulled away in the second half. 

All I know is that the secondary will get properly challenged because the top three receivers for Ole Miss are NFL-ready talent. That is a scary prospect for a young defense. 

Band Names Gratis Part Seven

As I did once in 2012couple of times in 2013, another time in 2014, one time in 2015, and again in 2017 I'm providing some band names I've thought of. Because I've done these for long and because a man doesn't change all that much, there may be some repeats. If that is the case, I apologize. 

Here they are:

Friday, September 7, 2018

Music Friday: "East Bound and Down"

To honor the memory of the late Burt Reynolds, today's Music Friday post features the song from one of his most famous moves, Smokey and the Bandit

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Stay Positive: Nike's Ad Campaign

As the Senate grills a hand-picked far-right probable Supreme Court justice, it seems more people are concerned about Nike's ad campaign that includes Colin Kaepernick. 

One of my Facebook "friends," a relative by marriage, immediately spread the following opinion piece among his social network: "Why I'm Boycotting Nike: Get Broke or Woke." 

A more measured and nuanced take on the whole situation is this article: "What Did Nike Just Do? Kaepernick Ad May Gain More from Gen Z than It Loses." 

It stands to reason that one of the iconic American brands probably did quite a bit of market research before unveiling this ad campaign. I'm sure they did some serious cost-benefit analysis before featuring Kaepernick in the campaign. 

As the second article relates, a number of companies have taken political stances, which is nothing new. I'm thinking Nike weighed short-term loses against long-term gains and went with the latter. 

As for me, I need some new athletic shoes. My pair of Saucony running shoes have lost some umph on their footboards. I haven't bought a pair of Nike shoes in ages, probably since the 90s, because I tend to like the styles and fits of Adidas and Saucony. When I do my next shopping spree for athletic shoes, I'm trying on some Nikes. 

Regardless, I still don't see how kneeling is a sign of disrespect. Not going out during the anthem or belligerently doing something else might be seen more accurately as disrespectful. 

People can stupidly burn their shoes or tear up their clothing all they want, but Kaepernick was advised by a veteran and 49ers fan way back when to kneel as a sign of respect. 

The rest of all this hokum is just dog-whistling.  

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Sunday Hangover: Louisville

What an outstanding first start for Tua. 

The Tide lit up the Louisville defense with lots of big plays. 

The offense had 23 first downs with 10 via the rushing game and 12 via the passing game. Net rushing yards came out to 222, and net passing was 297. The Tide dropped 519 yards of offense on the Cardinals. 

The wide receivers looked good with Smith, Ruggs, and Jeudy being the main targets. Jeudy had two touchdowns. True freshman Jaylen Waddle had an outstanding long catch when he hauled in a slightly overthrown ball for a 49 yards. And I was quite happy to see Irv Smith, a tight end, have a couple of really nice catches. 

Waddle also had some solid punt returns, ones that reminded me of one of Alabama's best returners in recent memory, Javier Arenas. And Josh Jacobs showed what he can do on a 77-yard kickoff return for a TD. 

If I were going to be picky, I thought the highly regarded offensive line could have played better. The Louisville defense got too much pressure. 

The defense, in general, played okay. However, there were a number of times when receivers were running free for easy catches. They have to get that issue cleared up quickly. 

After watching Ole Miss tear up Texas Tech on Saturday with their three outstanding receivers, I'm leery of when we play them in a couple of weeks in Oxford. 

A player on the DLine who stood out in the game to me was Quinnen Williams. He had six total tackles with three of them tackles for loss for a total for 12 yards.

Next up is Arkansas State for the home opener. 

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Music Friday: "The Rake's Song"

The other day I was reminded of the genre of the rock opera. So I started listening to The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists. 

Here's "The Rake's Song." 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Stay Positive: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Last summer when we were in Ohio for my daughter's national dance competition in Sandusky, Ohio, we took a trip to Cleveland and had the pleasure of touring the Rock and Roll Hall of Hame. 

It was a fun experience. In fact, if I'm ever in the area again, I'd like to tour that place again. What follows are some photos/highlights from the trip. 

The front entry when we were there featured recent inductees, of which was Pearl Jam, one of my favorite bands. 



Next is Vedder's notebook, which shows a draft of "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town," aka "Small Town," from Vs.




And here's Vedder's vintage typewriter. 



The museum also had a feature exhibit on Mellencamp. Here's a draft of one of my favorite songs of his, "Longest Days."



Of course, they also like to feature the famous attire of the stars. Below of two of Hendrix's fly outfits. 






And what we have here is a draft of the famous "Purple Haze." 



Of course, guitars are going to be featured. It is the rock and roll hall of fame after all. 

Here is the late Chris Cornell's Les Paul. 



That one above and the one below, Cobain's,was in the case featuring Grunge. 


 

Here's one of Marvin Gaye's smooth-ass jackets.


And of course, the Beatles were featured prominently later in the museum. Here's McCartney's jacket from the early days of the band and Lennon's famous t-shirt. 



It was also awesome to see Muddy Waters's guitar and Bootsy Collins's bad-ass bass. 



Ringo's drum kit was one of the few kits featured when we were there. 


At the very end the Hall of Fame featured bands from the Midwest, which there were a lot. One of the highlights of that display for me was the demo tape from The Replacements. Lay it down, Clowns. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

As a Washington Post columns lays out, Elizabeth Warren is trying to do something about the widespread corruption in D.C.: "Elizabeth Warren Has Bold Ideas about How to Drain the Swamp." 

To me, the ideas aren't that bold. Rather, they are sensible and fair. First, "Warren’s bill would strike directly at the heart of this problem. It 'padlocks the revolving door' between jobs in government and in lobbying. It bans top elected or appointed federal officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave office — for the rest of their lives. It bans any corporate lobbyist, or any executive of a company found guilty of breaking the law from taking a job in the federal government for six years."

In addition, "Warren calls for banning Americans from getting paid to lobby for foreign governments — period. It would prohibit lobbyists from writing campaign checks or giving personal gifts to anyone running for or holding federal office. She would slap a tax on corporations that gear up lobby campaigns that cost more than $500,000. This would be complemented by her separate bill, the Accountable Capitalism Act , which would require the largest corporations to take all stakeholders into account, empower workers to elect 40 percent of corporate boards, and gain approval of three-fourths of the board before the corporation can use money for political purposes." 

Will it go anywhere? We'll see. With the current makeup of the Senate, I doubt it. But it does take aim at the Confederacy of Whores that is our U.S. Congress (and of course, Agent Orange/Moscow Don and his minions). 

If you're paying attention, Moscow Don is trucking in "narcissistic injury" and "narcissistic rage" as is explained by neuroscientist Bobby Azarian: "Trump's Downfall: A Neuroscientist Explains What Happens When a Narcissist Starts to Lose Power." 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Random Notes from a Crank

A few weeks ago we got a new dog, one of the breeds that I always wanted. He's an eight-year-old Brittany named Sampson. And the name is apropos because he's the tallest Brittany I've ever seen. Breed standard is 25-40 pounds, and he weighs in at 60some pounds. And he's not fat. 

He's just tall, really tall for that breed, so that maybe why his name is Sampson (after Ralph Sampson?). 

Our other dog, a twelve-year-old beagle-lab mutt hated him for weeks, but now I think she's gotten used to him. Knock on wood. She's a grouchy, territorial, old broad. 

The excellent deal about the new dog is that I'm walking him almost every day, so both of use are getting exercise. I think I might have lost some weight already or at least something off my waistline. 

If you ever want to get frustrated, try coaching certain fifth graders to play football. As parents know, there is a difference between hearing and listening. 

Listening and following directions will get you places no matter what your age. 

In good news, Spokane, WA had made news by committing to going 100% renewable energy. In what I hope are prophetic words, the state Chair of the Sierra Club said, “Cities across the country are demanding clean energy not just because it’s the right thing to do for the environment and public health, but because it’s cheaper in the long run than fossil fuels. Spokane’s leadership on this measure will help kickstart clean energy development in the Pacific Northwest and speed the transition to a cleaner, cheaper future.”

In bad news, Grist reports about Moscow Don's propping up of a dying and polluting industry is just going to hurt communities: "When Trump Tries to Bring Back Coal, These Communities Pay the Price." 

And as is related, "The EPA's Coal Plan is a Ripoff for Americans, According to the EPA." So the US is now looking forward to "more hospital visits, more sick days away from work and school, and the early deaths of up to 1,400 people each year, by 2030."

The change is going to cost a shitload of money for Americans: "EPA’s press officers aren’t exactly highlighting the findings that the proposal would leave Americans worse off. In a fact sheet, for example, the EPA trumpets its finding that ACE could save power-plants up to $6.4 billion in compliance costs. But wade into the details to look up that scenario (check out table 18 on page 165), and you see that the EPA weighs that $6.4 billion against health costs that run between $16.6 billion and $75 billion."