It's all a matter of perspective.

Friday, September 27, 2002

My Pop is a golf expert. These are his comments after day one of the Ryder Cup
1) Hal Sutton has lost weight - he looks good - they won this pm

2) Is Tiger tired of getting his butt kicked yet?

3) The slow green made a huge difference, however, these are the best players in the world. They should have made the adjustment by pm

4) The crowd has been awesome. Americans could use some lessons in golf etiquette.

5) If we are lucky it will be only 7-3 at the end of the day. Anything better would be a plus at this point.

6) The winner of day one wins the cup 98% of the time.

7) My prediction....we are toast!
Michael Kelly on the same speech:
Gore's speech was one no decent politician could have delivered. It was dishonest, cheap, low. It was hollow. It was bereft of policy, of solutions, of constructive ideas, very nearly of facts -- bereft of anything other than taunts and jibes and embarrassingly obvious lies. It was breathtakingly hypocritical, a naked political assault delivered in tones of moral condescension from a man pretending to be superior to mere politics. It was wretched. It was vile. It was contemptible. But I understate.

Geez Mike, tell us how you really feel.
I realize that I am a couple of days late to this, but I finally got around to reading Charles Krauthammer's response to Al Gore's speech in San Francisco earlier this week. In the speech, Gore venemously criticized President Bush's foregn policy and basicly contradicted everything that he (Al Gore) ever said about Iraq as vice president and as a senator. He was obviously trying to wiggle out a spot to run for president from, as all of the current Democrat presidential contenders have pretty much agreed with Bush on the war. Krauthammer is right on when he writes:

The New York Times reports that Gore wrote the speech "after consulting a fairly far-flung group of advisers that included Rob Reiner." Current U.S. foreign policy is the combined product of Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz and the president. Meanwhile, the pretender is huddling with Meathead.

Had it not been for a few little old ladies baffled by the butterfly ballot in Palm Beach, Fla., American foreign policy today would be made by Gore-Reiner instead of the Bush brain trust. Who says God doesn't smile upon the United States of America?
I received this note from my sister earlier this week. I feel her pain.

Confession: I LOVE HAM!! Not just any ham, but smoked ham….no not just smoked ham, Kroger lunch meat smoked ham. It comes in a one pound bag, and my roommate and I go through at least one bag a week. After rolling out of bed and stumbling into the kitchen, I quickly retrieve two slices of ham from the meat bin in my refrigerator. Nibble, Nibble, Nibble. Each bit is savored. It must take me fifteen minutes to eat those two slices. And then I go back for seconds. Generally this sequence is repeated three, maybe four more times in a day. Honestly, I think I could eat both hams off of a 400 pound sow. I wonder if that could explain my cholesterol level of 286. Maybe it does…or maybe, just maybe it’s that high because the one thing that will make me turn and sprint from ham is bacon. A whole damn plate of it.
Neal Pollack's Road Diary is equally funny.
I was reading Ken Layne the other day and he said something about Neal Pollack, so I went over and checked out his site. He is hilarious.So funny in fact that I just ordered his book as a birthday present to myself. He has a blog on his front page that is a perfet parody of Andrew Sullivan's site. I don't mean one entry, the entire blog is a parody. It is so funny.
Because I am one of the world's largest and most committed geeks, I subscribe to the dictionary.com word-of-the-day e-mail. For my birthday, the word today was.
convivial \kuhn-VIV-ee-uhl\, adjective:
Of or relating to feasting, drinking, and good company; fond
of festivity and good company; sociable.


That is better than a horoscope!
Today is my birthday.

Old
Paul Simon

The first time I heard “Peggy Sue”
I was 12 years old
Russians up in rocket ships
And the war was cold
Now many wars have come and gone
Genocide still goes on
Buddy Holly still goes on
But his catalog was sold

First time I smoked
Guess what - paranoid
First time I heard “Satisfaction”
I was young and unemployed
Down the decades every year
Summer leaves and my birthday’s here
And all my friends stand up and cheer
And say Man you’re old
Getting old
Old
Getting old

We celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas day
And Buddha found nirvana along the lotus way
About 1,500 years ago the messenger Mohammed spoke
And his wisdom like a river flowed
Through hills of gold
Wisdom is old
The Koran is old
The Bible’s old
Greatest story ever told

The human race has walked the earth for 2.7 million
And we estimate the universe at 13-14 billion
When all these numbers tumble into your imagination
Consider that the Lord was there before creation
God is old
We’re not old
God is old
He made the mold

Thursday, September 26, 2002

I guess that I need to give my review of the Allman Brother’s concert I went to in Memphis, TN on Sunday night 9/22. This is the set list that someone has posted on their web site:
Statesboro Blues
All Night Train
Ain't Wastin' Time No More
Woman Across The River
Hot 'Lanta
Midnight Rider
The High Cost Of Low Living
Trouble No More
Rocking Horse
Desdemona
Instrumental (untitled)
Black Hearted Woman
The Same Thing
Soulshine
Dreams
Good Clean Fun
In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (with Kofi Burbridge on flute)

Encore:
Revival

It is pretty close. I don’t remember them playing Good Clean Fun, and Dan even made the comment on the way home that they did not play Soulshine. Other than that I think that it is pretty accurate.

The weather was fantastic, even a little chilly. The venue is great: The Mud Island Amphitheater. Our seats were row 18, stage left. The cast was me, my sweet Ms. J, and my bestest buddy Dan. There was a high school couple sitting next to Dan making out.

While Mud Island is a great place to see a show, it does have one major problem. There is seating for 5000, yet only one bathroom each for men and women. The men’s has about eight urinals and four toilettes. I only went once while I was there (I can’t afford many six dollar beers) but I had to stand in line for twenty minutes. I can not imagine why they do not do something about this. This is a problem at every single show. Get a clue, Mud Island.

The Derek Trucks Band opened the show. Our tickets said showtime was at 7:00, they started at 6:50. Only about a third of the crowd was even there. The boys were eager. They were really great too. Kofi Burbridge played amazing keyboard and flute. He is about the funkiest keyboard player since Bernie Worrell. Their drummer was great too, especially when he was spurred on by the ABB’s Mark Quinones who came out and played the damndest solo on the timbales since Tito Puente jammed with Russell Huxtable. Derek Trucks was amazing, and I can not wait to see his group in a club.

After roadies broke down the Trucks band’s stuff and set up the screen and projectors for the famous liquid light display, the Brothers come out and came early with the hits. I won’t bore you with a detailed song-by-song review; I just want to make some general observations.

First of all, Otiel Burbridge is an amazing bass player. He brings a lot to the band and he does not even get to show a tenth of what he is capable of - I have seen him in a bar with his own group. I wish the Brothers would give him a little more room to shine.

I love Warren Haynes’ guitar playing, but for the life of me I can not figure out why he needs to change guitars so much. He is turning into Rick Nielson from Cheap Trick.

During In Memory of Elizabeth Reed they featured the drummers. Everyone else left the stage and the percussion section went off for about fifteen or twenty minutes, maybe longer. The three of them really are amazing and it was a captivating drum solo (trio?) if you can imagine that. But it was obviously nearing the end of the show, so people were taking advantage of the lull in the action to try to get ahead of the traffic. While this was going on I had this vision in my mind that the drummers would keep going and people would keep leaving until finally the drum solo reaches its thunderous conclusion and there are about twenty-five fans left in the stands and all of them have on Zildjian or Pearl or Latin Percussion T-shirts. They are all clacking drum sticks together and yelling “Wooohoo!!” Thank God that is not what happened.

This was my third time to see the band. I am a huge fan (I named my firstborn son Allman) and the last time I saw them it was so amazing that I literally cried at several points in the concert. The first time I saw the Warren Haynes/Allen Woody band. The second time I saw the Otiel/Jack Pearson band, and this time it was Warren Haynes/Derek Trucks/Otiel. Founding member Dickey Betts left the band (was fired) before the tour started this year. My favorite Allman Brother’s Band songs are Dickey Betts songs. I was a little apprehensive about seeing this group. How did they stack up against previous incarnations? Eeehhh, they were OK. I mean by any other standard they were amazing. Warren and Derek gave solo after solo that were technically impressive. Greg Allman was singing and playing better than ever. It is just that the whole group did not seem to have a lot of chemistry. There was no defined leader, and everyone seemed to be going their own way at times. That is not to say that I did not enjoy it, it just never made me cry.

Allman Brother’s concerts always provide plenty of great people watching what with their large following in the hippie and redneck communities. After the show I saw the two greatest hippie moments that I have ever witnessed. When we got out to the Mud Island Parking deck where our car was I noticed that there was a big crowd of hippies standing around holding black balloons to their mouths. Sure enough, through the crowd I could see a big tank of Nitrous Oxide with some dude filling the balloons and passing them out to all comers. I passed on the notion. I don’t think that it was valid laughing gas, because no one was laughing.

But the funniest thing I saw was on the way out of the amphitheater. At a closed nacho stand, the attendant had left behind the large pan that had held the cheese sauce. It was mostly empty and obviously about to be thrown away. Gathered around it were about a half dozen stoned-out, dirty hippies. They were dragging their fingers along the sides and bottom of the pan and eating the cheese furiously, as if it was Soylent Yellow. Hilarious!

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Hippies come in all shapes and sizes. The have long greasy hair and they smell like patchouli oil. They wear old tie-dye T-shirts and corduroy pants from resale shops. Sometimes they wear funny hats. You can find hippies at the park playing hackey sack, or down town trying to score some weed. When they eat, hippies are not very neat. Sometimes hippies will tell you that they are an artist or a poet or a musician. It has been my experience that they are probably not very good at it. This is likely an excuse to not have to get a real job. Hippies can be divided into several sub-cultures. There are skater hippies, redneck hippies, deadhead hippies, lesbian hippies, new-age hippies, nature hippies, and finally there are old hippies still hanging on to the sixties. This is not important, because all hippies are communists.

Sometimes hippies will give up and get a real job, but they usually aren’t hippies for long after that. Sometimes hippies have been known to stay in college for up to a decade or even longer. They rarely graduate. They major in English or Women’s studies or Sociology, but they are really majoring in catching a buzz. You can always find them underneath trees or overhangs or sitting on top of picnic tables: a whole herd of hippies sitting there smoking and talking about the capitalist pigs. Maybe one of them will have a guitar and play a little bit of Knocking on Heaven’s Door. Every hippie knows the chords to Knocking on Heaven’s Door; few of them know anything else. None of them believe in private property except when it comes to their bag. Try to get a hippie to sponsor a joint.

Sometimes musical groups will attract hippies - The Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers and then Phish and then Widespread Panic. These musical groups are usually very talented and composed of former hippies who were so afraid they might have to get a job that they learned how to play a musical instrument. Now they are all capitalist pigs, but their hippie followers don’t know it. The hippie followers usually only know a catchy lyric or so. They don’t go to the shows to hear the music; they go because there are other hippies there, and they think they might get to get high.

Perhaps you have a hippie in your family. Check the couch. Is someone lying there? Perhaps someone thin with long greasy hair that looks and smells like they need a bath? Now look in the driveway. Do you see a Volkswagen Microbus? How about an AMC Pacer? Perhaps an old Chevy Love pickup with a mountain bike in the back that is worth more than the truck? My dear friend, you have a hippie infestation. Act now, before all of your kid’s cereal goes missing. Grab that damn hippie by his sideburns and put his nose right next to yours. I know that the smell of his breath will be putrid, but it is necessary for effect. Yell out to him, “Hey you lazy stinking hippie. Get off of my couch, stop watching my VH1 Classic, stop drinking my booze, and go get yourself a job!”

This will accomplish nothing of course. He will be back in two hours with some playstation games he borrowed from a friend and he will have red slits where his eyes used to be. He will say, “hey man, I tried to find a job, but the man, you know . . . (cough-cough) they are always trying to change me . . . holding me back . . . know my potential . . . oh, hey man, I stole you a new six pack of beer from my friend Jeff. You want one?”

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Pastor Tim took one of my blog posts for the CCF web site. I am flattered, even though he removed the cuss word. (actually I told him to.) But what really flattered me was when he asked me to jam with the Kenyans that will be at church this Sunday and he referred to me as his "brother from another mother." I think that is translation of a Swahili word that his Kenyan friends have called him. I like it a lot. Dan, Currey, Steve Coleman, Luke Pittman, Barber, These guys are not just friends of mine, they are brothers whom I will never loose touch with.
The more I read James Lileks the more I find out that he and I are exactly alike. The only differences are that he lives up north, he gets to write for a living, and he is married to lawyer. (which could be why he gets to write for a living) His bleat today is about how his child kept him up all night. This is at the end:

All day I wondered how much sleep I actually got. As I laid in the dark downstairs at 5:50 AM I remembered how once I scoffed at sleep, regarded it as a bothersome imposition. Sleep was for the weak. Sleep was for incurious dullards. In a way I still feel this way; a friend once noted I’m the only person he knows who actually manages to live the way he did in college and still make a decent living. Staying up late still seems like the best perk of adulthood. I’ve always regarded the world as divided into two warring camps: the House of Night and the House of Morning. (I have tolerance for people who belong to the latter, of course. Mine is a religion of peaceful coexistance.) Now I live in both camps, and I buy only candles that have wicks fore and aft. I like it this way. I do. The small post-supper nap keeps me going; the mornings give me time with my daughter, and the evenings end with 90 minutes of TV that scour away all the drivel and contrusions of the day. So why am I writing now? Why aren’t I watching Episode 4 of the Sopranos?


If only he was stuck in a horrible, soul-sucking, dead-end job - we would be soulmates.
Also, Barber's Sweetie may not be the most prolific writer around, but she is really, really good.
I know that I keep harping on the same people, but Barberman has got a sunday school story that you have to read.
I realize that when I don’t say anything for a few days that you people get all depressed. I appreciate it. I miss you too! I want you all out there to know that I have so much to say to you, but I just don’t have time to get it down. There are other blog sites out there, but those guys don’t love you like I do. They will say that they will be there for dinner, but they won’t show up and they won’t even call. You can rest assured that I will never miss dinner.

I’ve got a list of topics sitting on my desk that I plan to blog over; I just can’t find the time. From the constant annoyances of customers to fascist professors at school insisting I do the course work, I just don’t have time for the important things in life. I am a writing major, I can not understand why my instructors will not just read my blog and give me an A. (Well, maybe not an A. This is not the most well written site on the net.)






My garden loves this damp, cool fall weather that we have been having. Yesterday I went out to see what needed to be picked and I had about fifty chili peppers and about thirty jalapenos. I decided it was time to (as my Memaw would say) put some of them up.

I am new to gardening and new to canning, so it has been a summer of learning for me. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased a dozen half-pint mason jars with lids and screw-tops. Then I went to the grocery store and got some vinegar, fresh garlic, and baby carrots to put in the jars with the peppers. When I got home I fumbled my way through it. The whole process lasted about an hour including clean up. (In my kitchen there is always pre and post clean up, because it is too small to do anything if it is not perfectly in order.) Best of all, every single one of my jars sealed up tight. Now if I can just stay out of them long enough for them to age well.

I had decided that I wanted my peppers cut up, like the ones you get with nachos at the ballgame. I sliced the jalapenos diagonally and cut the little chilies once long ways before putting them in the jars. After I got finished I sat in my chair and watched some TV. I had my arms crossed and my left hand resting on my mouth. After about an hour I noticed something felt funny. I got up and looked in the mirror and my bottom lip was swelled out to about the size of a polish sausage. Always wear rubber gloves when you cut up hot peppers. Now, fifteen hours later it is still a little puffy on one side.






My sleeping schedule is still all screwy from going to the concert in Memphis this weekend. We did not get back until nearly 3:00 AM and I took the morning off yesterday so I could sleep in. Of course last night I did not want to go to bed until 1:00. That means that this morning I hit the snooze button in my sleep until I finally noticed that it was 7:15 and I had to be at work in fifteen minutes. I made it, but I did not get any breakfast.

That does not cut it. I have to have breakfast. It takes a strict regimen of calories and fat grams every day to maintain this gelatinous body shape. So when I got to the office I went up stairs to Mr. Rector’s snack bar. Mr. Rector is an old blind guy that can tell what denomination of money you gave him by how it smells. He has a lady running a breakfast hot bar with biscuits, gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, sausage patties, grits, you know – the essentials. Whenever I go up there I always order one biscuit with gravy and an order of scrambled eggs. The lady scooping the slop does the most amazing thing . . . she puts the biscuit in the foam to-go box, then she puts the eggs kind of half way on top of the biscuit, then she fills the entire box to the brim with thick, steaming, creamy, gravy. Now that is what I call soup. You just take a knife and cut up the biscuit, then stir it all up and go to town!

So this morning I walk up to the counter and say, “I would like one biscuit with gravy and an order of eggs please” and the sweet cook prepares this little treat like she does every time. There is this short old bitty standing in line behind me making faces like she has a used gym sock tied around her neck. She looks at me a groans, “You put gravy on your eggs?”

I said, “Nope, she puts it on there for me.”