Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rockin Tune of the Weekend: Gov't Mule

Gov't Mule - Slackjaw Jezebel (Live)

For most of my music lovin' life I haven't exactly been a fan of so called jam bands. In my view these bands took the concept of the obligatory '70's "live in concert!" drum solo and needlessly extended it into a collaborative effort. Instead of crafting well honed, tight musical compositions (which doesn't necessarily mean 2 minutes and 50 seconds of formulaic pop) these bands lazily extended jams and ended up distorting what limited musical idea originally drove the song into a bloated, meaningless sonic blob. I know I'll get criticism but some of the greatest offenders of the genre are the Grateful Dead and their odious coat tail riders, Phish.

There are bands that manage to write solid songs that extend past 5 minutes and still avoide this trap and they do so with outstanding results. The most prominent and routinely under rated example, when they were still together, is the mighty Allmans. Yes, they felt the need to play with two drummers - go figure - but anyone who suggests that those good old boys aren't American classics is both wrong, and itchin' for a fight.

As this Wikipedia entry details, one band with similar chops was born out of the reformation of the Allmans. That band is today's Rockin' Tune of the Weekend artist, Gov't Mule.

In addition to a fantastic name for a band, Gov't Mule, for my money represents the modern day torch bearers for the southern twinged, blues based rock that the Allman's excelled at. Slackjaw Jezabel is probably their most radio ready tune to date, so I've included it this week as your first step into Mule lovin' nirvana.

Gosh, I wonder if that last phrase is going to get me some bizarre search hits.


Friday, August 18, 2006

What Song Is This?

I'm linking to a blog with some not work safe, very cool nudes photography. You could say it's kind of an advance reward for answering this question for me:

Who is the artist and what is the song that is playing there. It sounds a bit Portisheadish, but I don't know. I must have this on my Ipod today.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Putting Lipstick on the Pig

I, as much as anyone else, was disappointed that the recent mini-war (mini, that is, unless you happened to be in the middle of it) ended without the total destruction of Hezbollah. As is often the case with these things, passions become inflamed, hopes rise and expectations begin to take on a life of their own, and this latest conflict was no exception. It seemed that maybe, just maybe, Israel might have a chance to take out the noxious "state within a state".

So now that the cease fire has been declared and a multi-national force is moving into place to "keep the peace" (which is UN speak for maintain the odious status quo) my conservative brethren are suffering morning after regrets. True, Hezbollah was allowed to live another day, and yes, Israel was disappointingly less successful than we might have otherwise hoped, but I wonder if the result is really as bad as it seems.

First of all, if prior to Hostilities we had said Israel was going to push Hezbollah back away from the border, see 4,000 rockets land with only 40 civilian deaths and gain a renewed commitment from the UN to enforce a buffer zone, I wonder if we would have thought this to be an all that bad conclusion? I think it is clear, that as long as the cowards who make Hezbollah continue to hide amongst civilians and absent a global consensus that Hezbollah must go, the odds of completely eliminating the terrorist organization were extremely unlikely.

Furthermore Israel did gain quite a few intangible benefits from the month long campaign. First and foremost, there is no longer any doubt anywhere in the world that Iran and Syria are on the side of the terrorists. More importantly, Hezbollah's moral standing in the eyes of all but the most lunatic lefty groups has been severely down graded. Only one side in this fight targeted the civilians of it's enemy and only one side used it's own civilians as human shields against it's otherwise assured total destruction. Shia nut jobs around the world can say whatever they want to try to put some lipstick on this pig, and apparently enough of their pathetic followers will believe them to keep things going for a few more years. But international support from cultures that have actually achieved a thing or two in the last 700 years has clearly attained a new low.

what's more is that that very international support will at some point begin to include more moderate Arab states - moderate being a relative term here. As these states begin to realize the destabalizing force of the Shia - Irani/Syrian threat an Israel that just wants to produce high tech goods, and private equity funds doesn't appear all that bad anymore.

Finally, as we move into the cease fire period, Israel has gained international agreement for both a continued presence in Lebanon until peace keepers arrive, and for the legal authority to attack further Hezbollah provocations. Given that the peace keeping forces seem to be having trouble getting organized, and given that Hezbollah has committed to re-arming, Israel may have the opportunity to advance their defensive cause further in the very near future with greater international support than in the past.

So, I'm not completely sold on this latest peace movement in the middle east, but I can't really see where an improved outcome could practically be expected. Net net I 'd say that our side has moved the ball forward, positioned itself for further gains, and now has the opportunity to build increased international support. Lets see what happens.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A Pursuit Fiction

The loathsome Sully reached a new low today in his secular jihad. In a foul post that equates "Christianism" with Hezbollah, Sully demonstrates the depths he's willing to plumb in his quest against those who he believes are out to turn our country into a Christian nation. Never quite realizing that his fevered anti-Christianism posts are far more hysterical than those he rails against, Sullivan continues to destroy whatever is left of a formerly admirable reputation.

I could go on, but Goldstein beats me to it today in "Andrew Sullivan: Man of nuance", and does it better than I ever could.

Instead, I got to thinking about what kind of person this Sully character must be. I mean my goodness he seems to fly off the handle so easily. One second a guy can do no wrong, and the next he is public enemy number one. Or so it seems to me. Can you imagine what it must be like to be Andy's boyfriend?

As Mr. Mike used to say, I think it would go something like this:

Andy And The Boyfriend's Socks

"Socks on the floor?! Again, with the socks on the floor? What is it with you and leaving bits of clothing all around our tidy little cottage? I've got real issues to deal with dear! Christianism! Bush! Rumsfeld! There is also that evil genius Rove! Is it too much for you to pick up your socks? My God, and I don't say that in a Christianist sort of way but rather in a Gobsmackingly pissed off boyfriend sort of way, why should I have to look at the PTown sunrise with your bloody socks on the floor!"

"I should add that you, my dear fiance, still refuse to acknowledge or account for your own role in the whole boxer shorts on the daybed incident! Again, your inability to cop to even basic moral and intellectual responsibility is a feature of the very slovenliness that I have tried to sketch. Oh sure you still insist that you make a "mistake" once in a while, but you do not make an actual argument against why your boxers were there in the first place! All I can say is that I see deep tropes of medieval Andrew hatred, perhaps invisible to virtually any casual observer! Oh but I know it's there and it is deeply disturbing. Why, how do I know this foul act wasn't committed for political reasons?! In fact, I have a mind to include a whole chapter on the creeping filth with which I'm forced to live in my new book!"

"Now be gone and get me a latte from that hunky barrista down at The Cup! I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I've got modern conservatism to save!"

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Rockin' Tune of the Weekend

This weekend's tune is Joan Osborne's St. Theresa. Joan first became known to me when her hit, One of Us was popular. While that was a terrific song, the CD was chock full of tunes that were even better. Since then I've been a Joan head.

One interesting point is that if you listen closely to the songs on the One of Us CD you hear a resemblance to a band from the late 80's early 90's.....The Hooters. As it turns out, two of the guys in that band, Eric Basilian and Rob Hyman wrote or co-wrote many of the tunes on Joan's CD including, I think, today's rockin tune.

Friday, August 11, 2006

21st Anniversary

Yup, yesterday was the big day...21 years. Yikes!

Went out to dinner at a place in town that we haven't tried before. Five spices powder, pork tenderloin and vanilla froth?

More later.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Link?

As we celebrate the victory in the GWOT today, and I truly hope we accomplished this without looking at any international financial transactions because then the terrorists will really have won, it's worth asking the following question:

Is this related to this?

With a wife flying to Europe on Sunday, I really hope not.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Will They Do The Right Thing?

Life presents us with little challenges all the time. Sometimes these challenges are disguised as great gifts, which are really opportunities to demonstrate that we've learned our responsibility to help others while we're here on earth.

The hardest part about these challenges is that they often have nothing to do with our legal obligations, or even our moral obligations. A strict reading of either would tell us to carry on with our lives, no real obligation exists. Despite this, we may feel that twinge of guilt, the little voice inside of us that asks us to wait, think a little and reconsider whether or not we really should act and do "the right" thing.

I've linked to an article that I found in the paper today that is a perfect example of one of these situations. By now all of us have heard of the Wisconsin cheese factory workers who went in on the Powerball together and won. As a result of their good fortune approximately 100 of them will split a total pot of $208 million. For each, this translates into a take home of around $700,000.

How great would that be?

One person who must be asking that question is Shelly Pittelko, a co-worker who ussually contributes her $1 to the pot when her co-workers play. Unfortunately for Shelly, she was on vacation last week and forgot to leave a buck for her share of the pot, and now finds herself out of the loop when it comes to splitting the winnings. Shelly says she isn't bitter and certainly doesn't feel her more fortunate co-workers owe her a dime. This is undoubtedly correct from both a legal and a moral point of view.

But is it right?

Obviously not. Shelly was apparently part of the gang that went in on the Powerball every week and enjoyed the friendship and comradery of dreaming the big dream together. Certainly, they all shared the common fantasy of "what would happen if we all won and walked in together and quit?!" at one time or another. So why now should she be frozen out? It this the way we should act towards one another, or should we aspire to a higher call?

I'd suggest that in a world where we are so often compelled to our lower instincts of self interest, Shelly's co-workers have an opportunity to stand as an example. What appears as a windfall is really a chance for them to do something quite selfless.

And it would be so easy. One of the problems of having to split a big pot with 100 other people is that what seems like a stupendous win in reality is only kind of amazing. The wonderful thing about this though, is that the cost of splitting the pot between 101 people is only 1% for each person; the difference essentially between ordering a Suburban instead of a Yukon.

I guess then they have to ask themselves one question. What is more valuable; a slightly larger gas guzzler, or the smile on Shelly's face when they let her know that when the real opportunity came calling, they embraced their friend and reminded her that she was still one of the gang.

Sully's Doppleganger?

It's like the alternate universe of Sully!

Sully: The Passion is an anti-Semitic movie marketed to Christians, who just happen to be this country's strongest supporters of Israel

Baehr: Talladega Nights is an anti-Christian movie marketed to NASCAR fans who just happen to be the most solid block of Christians in the country.

Were these guys somehow separated at birth?

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Sully, Again

I've mentioned it before. I have a hard time understanding it and yet it's the same old thing. I'm drawn to Sully's hysterical blog. It's like it has it's own gravitational field, and the harder I resist, the more I want to read. Besides attacking Hugh Hewitt, a radio guy who should have gone in to testifyin' with a name like that, Sully lately seems to have taken a delight in announcing the insanity of those who he doesn't particularly like. Actually, the truth is he sometimes makes the accusations himself, and other times posts email suggesting these things. While this does tend to entertain, since my belief is that Andy himself is a bit of a nut, it still doesn't fully explain the attraction.

Today it all became clear: It's the irony!

First he posts this.

The he follows with this

Does he even read his own blog?

A Prediction

I don't really have a horse in this race, or a dog in the fight. None-the-less, I'm kind of hoping Ned Lamont beats Joe Lieberman today as this would most likely spell certain victory for the Republicans in the fall. I say "kind of" only because I've always liked Joe, not so much for his political views as for his image of being a rather decent guy.

So I'd like to make a little prediction. So many in the media and on the left have invested so much in the Lamont candidacy that they are now at the point of seeing what they want to see, not what is really going to happen.......Lieberman will win.

By two % points.

Cries of "stolen election" will follow soon thereafter.

UPDATE: Coming next; Hot Stock Tips From Pursuit! Winners every trade!

Note to Joe: Nobody like Sore Loserman version 1.0, it's unlikely that 2.0 will have much more success

Sunday, August 6, 2006

The Cross-Over is Complete

Food TV star, or p*rn? You be the judge. Careful! The Barefoot Contessa will never look the same.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Elvis Costello -

One of my favorite tunes of all time, Oliver's Army has it all; a catchy tune, politcal lyrics, social commentary all wrapped up in a two minute thirty nine second video. Best of all, it's the Rockin' Tune of the Weekend!

Why That A-Rab Boy Sounds Like A Sissy

Note: I wrote this a few days ago, and then accidently posted to the wrong site. Needless to say I was deeply confused when I couldn't find it on my blog! At any rate, here, slightly delayed, are my latest deep thoughts.

Sorry Trumpet!

When I went back to my high school reunion I had a somewhat unpleasant experience that Mrs. P found quite amusing. To this day she mocks me relentlessly for it.

You see, in the course of 10 minutes, two ex-class mates came up to me to remind me of the time I beat them up. The weird thing was they both quickly followed their stories with the words, "You know, I deserved it". Even more weird was the fact that both in one way or another kind of thanked me for popping them. It was a bit disorienting since I really hadn't thought of either incident since the sting from my hand hitting their jaw disapated.

I don't want to give the wrong impression, I wasn't a bully in high school at all. In fact I was fairly well liked. It's just that I did have a temper and a willingness to engage in a brawl sooner rather than later. I always found the best way to deal with those that talked a big game and threatened the weaker kids was to take them at their word and engage in some pre-emptive punching.

So today I view the nut jobs in Iraq in much the same light. Whether it's President Amadinejad talking as he did today about "the main solution", Ayatollah Khamani (the moderate!), or the Supreme Leader (does he get a cape?) Khamenei, I find them terribly entertaining but I can't fully enjoy their performances because they're so committed to obtaining nuclear weapons.

What does this all have to do with my high school experiences you ask? Well the truth is that high school is very much a small, hormonally enhanced microcosm of the real world. We can learn from our experiences there, and apply them to the real world as adults. One of the lessons I took away from high school is that bullies and big talkers are at their hearts cowards who really need their nose bloodied but are too afraid to go out an ask for it. Years later, after you've done the deed, if you've done the job well they may even thank you for your efforts!

I've long harbored the view that Islamic fanaticists are, much like my high school bullies; they're cowards. Life hasn't been easy for them, they've never accomplished much and they're troubled by the realization that they just don't add up. So they attack innocents. They hide out among civilians, and Bill Mahr's claims not withstanding, they commit cowardly acts like flying planes into office buildings.

Every now and then they slip though and show their real face. Iran's supreme leader did just that today. I quote:

'America Can Expect a Resounding Slap and a Devastating Fist-Blow From the Muslim Nation'; Hizbullah is the Muslim Nation's 'Front Line of Defense'; 'There is No Way to Confront... the Zionists... and the 'Great Satan' Except Through Martyrdom'

What a pussy! A resounding slap? Oooooooh I'm really, really scared! As if that wasn't enough, the old codger then seems to realize his mistake and tries a bit too hard to reinforce it with, "a devastating fist blow". Fist blow?! Oh no, maybe a mighty foot kick is next! Look out Great Satan!

I realize that we've got to take these people seriously, but it is awfully hard to do when they insist on acting like this. This man is not even worthy of a good pop on the chin. In fact what I think he needs is a swirlly. Lets send the JV team over to do the job.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

New, From Pursuit Productions

So it seemed like a good idea at the time. An India based hedge fund they said! Spectacular returns on the Mumbai stock exchange they said! Pursuit baby, get in while the gettin' is good!

So I invested. Big time. Next thing I know the fund implodes, I can't find the manager and I receive notice that I am the proud owner of the only surviving asset of the fund; an Indian TV production company. Now, I'm not a well known artist, but I have been known to come up with a few creative bursts, and then there is the whole "from misery comes great art" thing!

Well I can say "lights, camera, action" as well as the next Hadji so what the heck? I give it a whirl. Now that we've wrapped and the movie is "in the can" I'm thinkin' I may have a cult hit here on my hands. I'll let you decide.

Click over on the link and view the trailer to my new Movie of the Week: Passion Pursues Pursuit.

Via Annie