Saturday, June 23, 2007


The deftones played the Fillmore last night and I was there. My buddy's brother is a bigger fan than me, apparently, and when he had a spare ticket, I got the call. So, James, you wanna go to the deftones?

You kidding me? Is Abe Cunningham the best living drummer in the world?
Chris's brother was one of the first ones in line and by the time I got there, he had already reserved us an eye level table close to the stage, safely away from the moshpit. We had stools and a waitress and a neat white line we weren't supposed to cross.

The first two bands I had never heard of and really weren't my thing. I didn't really want to see them, but it gave me the opportunity to engage in one of the oldest concert going traditions: enduring the opening act.

It also gave me the opportunity to engage in one of my favorite pasttimes: people watching.

Across the aisle, there was a group of people, mostly dudes, with a few of their girlfriends in the mix. There was this one girl, a beautiful blonde that looked like a cross between Cameron Diaz and Tanya Roberts. She was wearing this t-shirt with the collar cut out so that it hung on her shoulders. And no bra.

I was sure I'd be flashed by the end of the night, the way it kept falling down, barely concealing one breast or another, but she was expert enough to keep from exposing herself.

Her boyfriend, though, what a prick. He was a possessive, obnoxious jerk and every now and then he would say, or do, something especially prickish. Then she would get mad at him, and grab one of her friends by the arm, dragging her out into the crowd to commisserate.

After a while, she would return and it was like Groundhog Day, a new beginning. Big smiles and kisses, as if there was no reason to be mad at all.

They must love the drama.

As for the show itself, the deftones were great. Great review, huh? What can I say, but "You shoulda been there, man!"

Friday, June 22, 2007

Supply and Demand

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post bitching about the oil industry. In it, I asked a rhetorical question:
Last year Exxon Mobil made $4.5 million an hour, the largest profit of of U.S. company ever. So I guess the question for Exxon Mobil is this: what's getting the bigger chunk of that profit, company executives or reinvestment in your refining capacity?

It's a rhetorical question because on some level, you already know the answer. With massive prices leading to massive profits, there's little incentive for the oil companies to increase refining capacity.
Of course, I don't expect the oil companies to admit this. Brutal honesty is rare in a world where good PR trumps reality.

Instead, I expect some easily penetrated excuse. The traditional one explaining away why there has been no increase in refining capacity?

"The environmentalists won't let us."

Sorry, folks, but "the environmentalists" just aren't that powerful. Oh yes, I know, I know. They do raise their objections when drilling in ANWR is mentioned, or adding a new offshore facility to the Gulf, but come on, man. Who are you kidding?

You expect me to the believe that the oil lobby, backed by the most profitable business ever, is cowed by some fundraiser-dependent enviro organization? Please.

If an oil company had the will to open a new refinery, they could do it. They just choose not to.

And now they have a new reason.
Oil-industry executives no longer believe there will be the demand for gasoline over the next decade to warrant the billions of dollars in refinery expansions - as much as 10 percent increase in new refining capacity - they anticipated as recently as a year ago.
See, it's not just those goddamn environmentalists, it's ethanol!

We've got environmentalists messing with the supply and ethanol messing with the demand. What's an oil company executive to do? You can't make money in such a market...wait, yeah you can. You can make lots of it. You can make more money than anyone's ever made.

But you can't make excuses. So let's just be honest.

Let's just say that refining capacity chokepoints are not really indicators of inefficiency, but instead they are highly valuable profit centers. The oil industry seems intent not on meeting demand, but pinching it for every last nickle.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Icky Thump

I'm digging the White Stripes' new song Icky Thump. It's not metal, but it's heavy nonetheless.

Favorite line:
You can't be a pimp and a prostitute too.
Best truth-to-power:
All Americans, what, nothing better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out?
You're an immigrant too.

She Mishears Confusing Lyrics

I have a plugin for my Media Player that displays the lyrics to the song I'm listening to. There are a few caveats. You better have the song spelled correctly or else it won't recognize it. Little designations like "Corrosion of Conformity - Albatross (Live)" also confuse it.

But every now and then, you run across mis-transcribed lyrics. And mis-transcribed badly.

Take this verse from Velvet Revolver's She Builds Quick Machines:
She ran away to Texas
To keep away the assholes
Old lexis man is dope back taxes (??)
She put him through another test
A test across America
The all night sex show so far from home
Listening to the song, I'm pretty sure that several of these lines are quite wrong. There is no mention of "assholes" in the verse, I can tell you that.

Searching for another version, I came across this, which is somewhat better but just as wrong:
She ran away to Texas
To keep away the access
Oh, ripped and beggin’, stroke back Texas
She burnt through the heritage
Desert ‘cross America,
And they all look sexual so far from home
Listening to it again, this is what I think it truly says:
She ran away to Texas
To keep away the excess
Ole hicks and beggars brokeback Texas?? (This line is confusing)
She burned her inheritance
Danced across America
At the all-night sex show so far from home
Take a listen and you tell me what you think.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Ghetto Gardenblogging

The Ghetto Garden is shaping up. As the days get longer and the afternoons hotter, the plants are unfurling their leaves to lap up the sun, bent on one thing and one thing only: reproducing. The flowers bloom. The vegetables bear fruit.

So far though, my flowers have barely bloomed and the vegetables are just now starting to get to the point where they will start producing. Tomatoes and peppers, two staples of my garden, love the heat and long sunny days, but they're not too happy when it gets colder than 50 degrees at night.

Now that we're in the middle of June, they won't have much to worry about. Here we have Tomato Heaven, the most vigorous part of my garden. There's already about ten plants in the ground here, in at least six different varieties (roma, yellow pear, super sweet, early pick, early girl, plus a few others I don't even know about). I have another half dozen in pots waiting for transplant living there as well.
On the other side of Tomato Heaven, we have Pepper Hell. This is where my hot peppers grow: Jalopenos, yellow cayenne, Ancho, serrano, Anaheim, etc. They're just seedlings now, but it won't be long before they become green bursts of flame shooting out of the earth.
In the Tire Tiers, I have several different kinds of young flowers, some not ready for bloom. Perhaps in another two weeks or so, I'll have some color. It's off to a good start, I'll say that.
These Coleus plants I grew from seed. I'm kind of proud of that. my reserves. Mostly various tomato varieties, but some flowers and veggies mixed in. They will someday make their way into the ground.

And finally, my container garden. With the exception of the tomato plant in the back row, I started all these from seed. Back row, left to right: peas-in-a-pot, a special bush variety of peas; red cherry tomatoes, bought as a plant and intended for a patio; picklebush cucumber, also specifically intended for a container; a mystery tomato variety, all I know about it is that it won't be red; jalopeno peppers, because there just isn't enough room in Pepper Hell. Front row, left to right: super-sweet tomato; a puny seedling of yellow cayenne pepper; baby bush okra, for pots natch; another picklebush cucumber; and more jalopenos.

Monday, June 18, 2007


If you think you've heard a really rocking Audioslave/Chris Cornell song, don't be fooled. That's not Chris Cornell. That's Operator, a new band I never heard of until Soulcrusher blasted through my buddy's speakers on poker night. Satelite radio, gotta love it.

After several listenings since, I was able to decipher some of the lyrics a bit. I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's about my ex-girlfriend.

Here's the vid. Just be warned: It's more of a home click than a cubicle click. That Parental Advisory label ain't no joke, man!
PS. You gotta love it when the lead singer hops out of a coffin, two-fisting a pair of machine guns to shoot up the devil.

PPS. I just found out that the singer of Operator is a guy named Johnny Strong. He might be familiar to you from a few movies. He played Randy Shugart, the Medal of Honor winner, in Black Hawk Down. He was also in the Fast and the Furious, but that doesn't really count because that movie sucked! This may or may not be relevant, but Randy Shugart was a Delta Force guy, and they call themselves "operators."