Friday, November 09, 2007

Random Friday Ten - Delta Blues Edition

In honor of my birthday, the end of my work week, and the fact that it's Friday...

The Random Friday Ten, taken from my "Recently Added" folder:

1) Horrorscope - Overkill
2) Can't Get Enough - Bad Company
3) You Need Love - Muddy Waters
4) Kentucky - Hermano
5) Opus One - Gene Krupa
6) Down Home Rag - Chick Webb and His Orchestra
7) Forty Four - Howlin' Wolf
8) Polly - Nirvana
9) Hard Time Killing Floor Blues - Skip James
10) Forty Days and Forty Nights - Muddy Waters

As you can see, I'm on a Delta blues kick...

Happy ME!

My name is James. Today's my birthday. Today, I'm 31 years old.

And in a little over three hours, I'm done with this non-stop working thing...for a couple days at least. Which is good...cuz I'm beat.

More Deadwood

Can you let me go to hell the way I want to?
-Wild Bill Hickock

More From Swearengen

Here's my counter-offer to your counter-offer. Go fuck yourself.
Now that's what I call negotiation!

Great Moments in Great TV

From Deadwood:
Jane Cannery: You think I'm scared of you?
Al Swearengan: Sure you are. If I take a knife to ya, you'll be scared worse and a long time dying.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Lift With Caution 8-Ball

Predicts another wave of Mexican immigrants heading northward in the very near future. It's gonna happen.

Live poor and legal? Or (relatively) rich and illegal?

What would you pick?

Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?

-Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience
Transgress them at once!!!

Blaze of Glory

My stint on the night shift mercifully ends tomorrow night. When it's all said and done, I'll have been working 10 hours a day for 11 days straight, a 110 hour work week that took two weeks to complete.

That's a lot of overtime, but not much James time. No, don't feel sorry for me. You do what you have to do, and if my Dad passed away and I had to go to Belgium for the funeral, I would hope someone would work my shift too without too much complaint.

At any rate, I learned a few lessons on this stretch, the most important being that I need to change the message on my cellphone. Rather than the standard "You have reached 303-XXX-XXXX..." recording I will need to customize it to say something like this:
Hey, what's up, it's James. I'm working the night shift again, so if you get this message, just know I'm not screening my calls, nor am I ignoring you. I'm probably sleeping. Not only that, but I probably won't be returning your call any time soon...Unless of course, you want me to call you when you're sleeping. E-mail might be better. Thanks. BEEP.
You know, just so I can avoid all the "How come you never answer your phone?" questions.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Who Said It?

Who said the following?
“You can’t be the president and the head of the military at the same time."
I'll give you a hint.

The Commander in Chief, the Decider, yep, the Great War President himself.

Illegal Immigration

So my gentle's an honest question.

What are your views on the illegal immigration issue? How important is it to you? What do you think should be done in the near-term? The long-term?

You know where I stand. I guess I'm just trying to figure out if I'm the weird one...

I think I might be.

What A Wonderful World

This is a small point, but I can't stand any punk, or post-punk, cover versions of Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World.

They all suck.

More Info Please

There's something missing from this story...

I want to know what this guy was trying to be with his blackface, dreadlocks, and prison uniform. It would be nice to see the pictures as well.

When I first heard that description, the first thing that popped into my head was Pacman Jones.

But with the full story incomplete (not to mention getting the Orwellian Ministry of Truth treatment with the deletion of the picture), I'm not sure if this is an example of racism or something else.

A failed attempt at politically incorrect humor perhaps?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose

When I heard MSNBC was in talks to give Rosie a new show, I didn't believe it. I was under the impression that MSNBC wouldn't let anyone (okay...any woman) on the air unless they've won at least one beauty contest...

I'm not saying it's right. I just thought that's how it was.

Amy Robach, Contessa Brewer, Erin Burnett...and Rosie O'Donnell? One of these things is not like the other.

Maybe they're straying from being the Massively Sexy News Babe Channel.

Boycotting Beowulf

All hail to Robert Zemeckis. The guy has made some interesting films over the years and almost always pushes the technical envelope. From the Back to the Future films to Who Framed Roger Rabbit to Forrest Gump and What Lies Beneath, he's a wizard.

But...I won't be seeing his new film anytime soon, even though I have a soft spot for the source material and huge respect for Zemeckis.

Here's why:

So much effort was put into making Angelina Jolie's character (Grendel's mother) look like Angelina (strange, because Grendel's mother is supposed to be a beast).

Anthony Hopkins's Hrothgar looks like Anthony Hopkins. John Malkovich's character looks like John Malkovich.

But Beowulf, played by the great Ray Winstone, looks NOTHING like Ray Winstone!

This is a somewhat unflattering picture of Ray Winstone:
And this is Beowulf.
See the resemblance? Me either...

Monday, November 05, 2007

Birds of a Feather

I don't know about you, but it warms my heart that President Bush and crew are such good buddies with this dude...

What a mess of nuclear proportions.

Obviously the solution to this problem is to bomb Iran...

Hypothetical Question of the Day:

If President Bush suspended the Constitution, dissolved the Supreme Court, and started locking up the opposition, what would you do? Would you go to work today like nothing happened? Or would you take to the streets with a pitchfork in one hand and a torch in the other?

Also...this paragraph from this story is somewhat disturbing:
While President Musharraf said the suspension of the constitution was made necessary by the growing threat of terrorism and out-of-control judicial activism, opponents said Musharraf was trying to avoid a Supreme Court decision expected in the coming days that could have ruled that he was not eligible for another presidential term.
Terrorism and judicial activism?

Woah...Musharraf sounds almost like a Republican there, doesn't he?

Lost in Wiki-Land

I'm watching Mary Shelley's Frankenstein on HDNet right now. The height of Kenneth Branaugh's egotism, I'd say, with him playing the main part, directing the picture, and spending most of his time without his shirt.

Consulting the wiki, I learn this of the Mary Shelley novel:
During the snowy summer of 1816, the "Year Without A Summer," the world was locked in a long cold volcanic winter caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815. In this terrible year, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, age 19, and her lover (and later husband) Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was consistently too cold and dreary that summer to enjoy the outdoor vacation activities they had planned, so the group retired indoors. After reading Fantasmagoriana, an anthology of German ghost stories, Byron challenged the Shelleys and his personal physician John William Polidori to each compose a story of their own, the contest being won by whoever wrote the scariest tale.
All very interesting stuff, especially for a book nerd/writer like myself. But wait, what's this about a Year Without a Summer?
As a consequence of the series of volcanic eruptions, crops in the above cited areas had been poor for several years; the final blow came in 1815 with the eruption of Tambora. In America, many historians cite the "Year Without a Summer" as a primary motivation for the western movement and rapid settlement of what is now western and central New York and the American Midwest. Many New Englanders were wiped out by the year, and tens of thousands struck out for the richer soil and better growing conditions of the Upper Midwest (then the Northwest Territory).
Fascinating. The same volcanic winter that kept the Shelley's inside also inspired America's westward expansion!

But there's more.
High levels of ash in the atmosphere led to unusually spectacular sunsets during this period, a feature celebrated in the paintings of J. M. W. Turner. It has been theorised that it was this that gave rise to the yellow tinge that is predominant in his paintings such as Chichester Canal circa 1828.
Following the link to Krakatoa's page, it seems that Turner wasn't the only artist who witnessed strange colors in the sky and committed them to canvas. Edward Munch's Scream may also have been recording a Krakatoa reddened sky:
I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.
And that, my friends, is why I love Wikipedia.

You can start off with Frankenstein, get to volcanoes and environmental cataclysms, then end up at the Scream, and as disparate as those subjects are, they are nonetheless linked (via relevancy and hyperlinks).

Cheated Out of My Extra Hour

Last night was unbearable. The end of Daylight Savings time is usually celebrated as the time when you get an extra hour of sleep. That's generally true, unless you work the night shift.

At 2:00 AM, I watched the clocks revert back one hour to 1:00 AM. It was quite painful.

And to top it all off, I didn't set my alarm clock an hour back so I didn't get my promised extra hour of sleep anyway.

The horror!!