Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Isn't It Funny...

...how I have so little to bitch about while I'm off work, at home enjoying the holidays with my family. Without irritation, I seem to lack inspiration.

Alexis and Emily enjoyed their gifts immensely. Emily, in particular was (is) hilarious. And, she's got such a sweet disposition (her mother's genes, not mine). She took time to stop to play with each and every gift. She "read" (i.e. flipped the pages 1-by-1, pausing to look at pictures) the books, played with the dolls and puzzles...everyone who gave her a gift should know that she enjoyed them all!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

What The F*ck Day Is It, Anyway?!

I think it's Christmas Eve, or at least it's the day of Christmas Eve, since it's not really "Eve"ning yet. This week has been a blur, as the holiday weeks often are. Anyway, Merry Christmas to all, even the bastards I don't really like.

And, here's a special holiday question to the folks at Blogger: In light of the recent "beta" fiasco (my laziness, procrastination, and general reluctance to try anything new served me VERY well on that one--never made the switch), why in bloody hell would I ever want to switch to "New Blogger"??? WHY?!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Alexis!!!

Alexis turns 13 today! Wow! I've been living with her (and her mother, of course) since she was a mere 3-year-old. It's crazy how fast she's grown up. And, it's crazy how that teenager attitude has kicked in the last couple months. Oh, well.

She's a great kid, anyway. So, happy birthday, dear Alexis. Happy birthday to you!!!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lazing Around The House

Reason # whatever that I adore the internets: I'm listening to a Pearl Jam/Neil Young show from 1995 that I just finished torrenting yesterday. It was supposed to be a Pearl Jam show in San Francisco's Polo Fields on June 24, 1995 in front of 50,000 avid fans. Unfortunately, Eddie Vedder was quite ill. After just 7 songs, he announced to the crowd, "This has been the worst 24 hours of my life...I was puking and shitting--I'm all fucked up..."

Super Neil to the rescue!!! Neil Young takes the stage with the rest of Pearl Jam (i.e. minus Vedder), and blisters through a set of his classics intertwined with songs from the to-be-released-3-days-later Mirrorball LP. What a madman! This is proof once again that Neil Young is rock and roll.

Disc I: 01 Last Exit 02 Spin the Black Circle 03 Go 04 Animal 05 Tremor Christ 06 Corduroy 07 Not For You 08 Ed talking, Neil intro 09 Big Green Country 10 Act of Love 11 Throw Your Hatred Down 12 Powderfinger 13 Truth Be Known 14 Rockin' In the Free World 15 The Needle and the Damage Done [tt:72:36]
Disc II: 01 Hey Hey, My My 02 I'm the Ocean 03 Down by the River 04 Downtown 05 Cortez the Killer 06 PA announcement, Jeff talking 07 Peace and Love 08 Rockin' in the Free World [tt:69:41]

Read much more about the event here (thanks, Thrasher).

Monday, December 18, 2006

I've Been Tagged Again

I've been "tagged" to share 6 weird things about me.

1. I eat a bacon double cheeseburger from Steak N Shake for breakfast at least twice a month. What a way to start the day! Artery clogging in full effect.

2. I have sleep apnea...fairly severe sleep apnea. This manifests itself in buzzsaw-like snoring, and horrifying (to my wife) bouts of gasping and general struggling to breathe in the middle of the night. I sleep through it all...like a baby. However, when tired enough, this can carry over into my morning shower. I have, on several occasions, feinted in the shower, crashing through the shower door to the floor in a puddle. Many other times, I have caught myself "forgetting to breathe" and am overwhelmed by a staggering sense of deja vu every time. Some bizarre, dreamlike state, in which I recognize everyone and everything being said, but then cannot recall the exact details after. Very strange.

3. I feel a great sense of accomplishment after a particularly large bowel movement. I am not quite proud enough to take photos. But, just barely...

4. I love to watch sports. That's not weird. My favorite teams are the University of Illinois (especially men's basketball), Chicago Bears (Da Bearrssss), Chicago Cubs, and Chicago Bulls (Da Bulllsss). Not too weird, either (though many would say otherwise about the Cubs). Here's the clincher: I am certain that my viewing or failing to view a game actually affects the outcome. Intellectually, I have my doubts. But, emotionally, I am convinced that my failure to watch a game will result in a loss by my favorite team. However, I am also convinced that my watching a game and overtly rooting for my favorite team will also result in said loss. So, I try to watch the games while striking an I-don't-give-a-shit attitude. And, I drink lots of beer.

5. I don't drink very often at all (regardless of the last sentence in #4 above). I like to talk about drinking as if I do it a lot. And, in "my" day, I did. In fact, I started drinking beer as often as I could at age 14. I drank like the proverbial fish in college. I was a huge binge drinker. I once woke up with my eyes sealed shut by my own dried vomit (closest I ever came to a rock-star death). I was pulled over for driving under the influence on New Year's Eve (actually, 1:30 AM on New Year's morning) when I was a 16-year-old high school junior. These days, I seldom drink. When I do, it's either 1 beer, 2 beers, or approximately 17+ beers. No in-between...moderation is impossible.

6. My self-image has not aged since college. I still tend to think of myself as 22 years old. For a few seconds, that is. Then, I am reminded of my real age. Painfully reminded. I'm not sure why this is. I assume it's something about the lack of annual milestones in adult life. The last milestone birthday for me was 25 (discount on car insurance).

As is my custom, I decline to tag anyone else. However, I enjoyed the game!


I had a great weekend, which included Alexis's 13th birthday party (Friday night), and an early Christmas celebration at my mom's on Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful to get together with my siblings and their spouses, as well as my mother, stepfather, and grandparents.

Then came today, which only required going into the office for 3 hours to handle two "emergencies." Great vacation so far.

Whining over.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Smart Move

It's a good thing this guy (6'3"-300 lb Tank Johnson) had loaded assault weapons, and a convicted-violent-felon "bodyguard" in his home with his young kids running around.

I'd hate for him not to feel safe in the crime-infested streets of Gurnee, Illinois.

Smooth move. It's not exactly the old Cabrini-Green, you dumbass.

Seems my Bears are trying to self-destruct in a manner to which I've only grown accustomed from my Cubs.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Roy Buchanan Plays "Hey Joe"

Seriously, where in the Holy F*CK is all of the "Roy Buchanan is the greatest guitarist EVER" hype?!? Surely he's more deserving than 'you-know-who' is...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Have You Ever Loved A Woman? Pt. II

Now, here's a Freddie King version from 1970 (apologies that the volume is much lower---what can you do? It's 36 years old). I still prefer this myself. What do you think?

Have You Ever Loved A Woman? Pt. I

The best Clapton video I could find on YouTube (and, it is pretty good--he actually seems into it):

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Speaking of ZZ Top and Influences...

...we have here Mr. Freddie King (R.I.P.), Texas bluesman extraordinaire. See if you can pick out the possible influence on ZZ Top (among MANY others). I don't think it'll be a stretch. Even if you don't like the blues (perish the thought), this video is worth it for Freddie's shirt collar alone!!!

I think this video helps prove my "3 Kings, a Guy & a Hooker" theory: > 95% of the guitar parts in rock and roll can be traced back to one of the following: B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, or John Lee Hooker. Anyway, enjoy!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Clapton v. ________, Vol. IV

Speaking of great and influential guitarists, we have here the late Mr. Albert King (R.I.P.). A virtual mountain of a man, he played a 'Flying V' left-handed, and not re-strung!!! Man, could he bend those notes like no other. Here's a clip from the Fillmore East in 1970 (wow, that has a familiar ring to it...seems like some other guitarist I prefer made a couple stops there that year...hmmmmmm...anyway...). Check this out if you ever had the blues:

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Women's Rights In Pakistan--NOT SO FAST!!!

Apparently, some in Pakistan are not so happy with advancement of women's rights. In fact, a law allowing charges of rape without four (4) male witnesses is being called "unIslamic" and "against women's rights" (to be raped, one presumes). It is also prophesied that this law will turn Pakistan into a "free sex zone."


And sad. Very, very sad.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Clapton v. ________, Vol. III

Clapton v. Prince (wait until just after 3:30 into the video):

YOU be the judge. (Many thanks to Rabid T for the heads-up.) Prince has to travel with a giant, bouncer-looking dude, just to keep his little ass from falling off the stage. He's in the f*cking ZONE, man!!! Best of all, at the end, he throws his guitar up in the air, and it's so damned hot it defies gravity and never comes back down! It just melts into the stratosphere. Nice.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Clapton v. ________, Vol. II

Since there appears to have been some consternation regarding Hendrix being too tough an opponent, I will take a page from the University Of Florida's football scheduling policies (cough) Central Florida (cough)...AND, (cough) Western Carolina (cough):

Clapton v. Anna Nicole Smurfette

As there is no recorded evidence that Anna Nicole Smurfette has ever played a guitar, Clapton is clearly a better guitarist than she is.

But, c'mon, dude. She's just an animated character, and basically a pirated one at that. Not too impressive a victory, although enough by BCS standards, I suppose. Clapton's current win/loss record stands at 1-1.

Clapton v. ________, Vol. I

Since rock music history is a bit of a hobby of mine, and since I'm not quite over my Clapton-bashing mood just yet, here's a new semi-regular feature on HH: "Clapton v. _______."

This should provide endless hours of edutainment!

Let's start from the top: Clapton v. Hendrix.

Judge: Counselor, am I to understand you wish to file a motion on behalf of your client?

Attorney: Yes, your honor, on behalf of the late, great Mr. Hendrix, I would like to file a motion for summary judgement.

Judge: On what grounds?

Attorney: "Machine Gun," your honor.

Judge: Motion granted. Mr. Clapton, you are hereby found guilty of being a pale (pardon the expression) imitation of Mr. Hendrix. In fact, you are not even worthy of licking the sweat off his dead balls. Your lawsuit seeking recognition and respect is hereby dismissed. Furthermore, in light of your remake of "Little Wing" (clearly the worst track of the Derek & The Dominos project, and a horrid butchery of a majestic Hendrix tune), I am ordering the body of Mr. Hendrix exhumed, and hereby sentencing you to suck on his decaying pelvic bone. This court is adjourned.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

By Request: Emily Discovers Snow

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Continued from the Comments in the "Clapton Is God" (Lie) Post Below

Write Procrastinator:
A) Cream was just Clapton's I-wish-I-were-Hendrix phase. Great music, but where was the "innovation"? Jack Bruce wrote the songs and Clapton imitated Hendrix on guitar. It's entertaining and accomplished music, but not innovative. Blind Faith was merely a lark on which Winwood was clearly the driving force. Clapton was along for the ride. Again, that album is a good-to-great listen, but I don't see/hear the innovation (Mainly, I just hear Winwood's distinctive vocals).
B) Derek & The Dominos - OK, now that album is some good shit. The song "Layla" is overrated. But, "Bell Bottom Blues" is a f*cking killer...love that little tickling-of-the-strings thing he's doing around two and a half minutes into the song...way cool. "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" is some pretty inspired playing, as well.
C) The rest of his catalog (1972 or 3 on up) varies from uninspired (e.g. "Lay Down Sally") to unlistenable (e.g. his wretched cover of "I Shot The Sheriff").

Old Lady: See, it's the "landmark" type of talk that kills me. I've never understood why he's singled out as such a great player. As you can see from my reply to Write Procrastinator, I have a decent appreciation for most of Clapton's '60s music (up through, and especially the D&D stuff from '71). He was just always at least a half a step, if not a full step or more, behind the curve. For those who rave about his work with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in 1965, I'd like to turn your attention to other white-boy blues guitarists of that era (Read: Mike Bloomfield with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in 1964--You know, the guy who played the killer riffs on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited LP). Hey, I don't find Clapton to lack "technique" but GUT FEEL is where I find him lacking. And, he was never an innovator...never.

Keith: It's not Clapton. It's the kiss-ass chorus that seems to surround him. The guy is good...just FAR from deserving of all the praise.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

If This Dog Were Taller...

...would its piss wash away the horrible lie which has been scrawled upon this wall?

One can only wonder. And pray. Pray for a giant dog with Windex(TM) urine. Or, would it take bleach? You're right. It probably would take bleach.

Hold The Phone...

…nothing to say at the moment. I just like this photo. And, yes, I’ll try to get Emily-all-bundled-up photos posted soon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

True That

Cynthia Tucker gets one right in this Yahoo! column. (Incidentally, my brother had this story over at AMillionMonkeys more than a week ago.)

Now, someone please tell me, was the woman 92 or 'merely' 88? Just curious.

Also, according to Headline News at lunch today, Al Sharpton is on the case. So, all should be resolved favorably and soon.

F*cking Monday

Sounds like somebody has a case of 'The Mondays.'

I can't wait to get back to the orifice--I mean office. What fun!

Yes, Emily was fascinated by snow. She's hilarious.

OK, I'll grudgingly stick with the conventional wisdom that DeNiro is better than Pacino. Let's just see if we can keep him closer to Scorsese, and farther away from shit like Hide and Seek, or whatever that crap was called. SPOILER CONTENT: It was him! Wow, there's something that hasn't been done a thousand times before.

So, it appears that USC, UCLA, and Florida all got my rematch memo. Unfortunately, Arkansas did NOT. Talk about a pathetic collapse. Once again, we do not have the 2 best teams playing for the national championship in college football. Michigan, who played Ohio State within 3 points at Ohio State does not get a neutral-field rematch. Instead, Florida will go in and be demolished by a minimum of 3 TDs. Go Gators (he says sarcastically). PS - My consolation is that I hate Michigan anyway ("Muck Fichigan," as the popular t-shirt at Illinois used to say). The REAL consolation would be if they finally installed a play-off system.

Friday, December 01, 2006


3' high snow drifts have me barricaded in my house. My boss just called to ensure I "not even attempt" to go to work.

It's a SNOW DAY!!!

I will be lounging around the house listening to music all damn day. Beautiful.