Born to Run


Some songs, you might think are cover-proof, but hey you never know.

or

or

Those are all fine, but my preferences tend to lie with the original

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“…and my head hurts”


The words of the prophet Yosemite Sam ring in my head this noon, not just because I burdened with a summer cold because a coworker can’t tell the difference between allergies and cold, but for a variety of pesky reasons:

Beck-a-palooza, Beck-th Fare, Beckstock, et al. The gathering of the there but for the grace of God go I society was a little hard for my cerebral cortex. The idea that a middle aged white guy is going to reclaim the civil rights movement seems a little repugnant to this middle aged white guy. I have no problem with polite disagreement and minority opinions, hell that was the dinner table for awhile, but the politics of division and fearmongering is something to be scared of. My honor was fine, I don’t need a guy like Beck coming at me with the minute wax to shine it up. The never-ending newscycle and the need for Fox, MSNBC, and even CNN to fill programming hours and these folks bending over backwards in a ceaseless attempt to sound like Howard Beale (look it up). Olbermann, who writes a great baseball blog, can be over the top, but merits my respect more so because he actually admits when he is wrong. Beck argues with himself in the name of ratings. It doesn’t achieve any greater dialogue, just warps our collective attention span. Easily manipulated poll data has conservatives growing, God doing well in the primaries, bleah! It’s all so much blather and hardly any information.

We’re a sound byte world and it is spooky to me how few people accept that as gospel. Real life allows for the use of more than 140 characters, but it concerns me how few folks read beyond that. Reclaiming Honor? What the hell does that mean? and why were there so many people at the Lincoln Memorial gathered around listening to Beck and Sarah Palin play to cameras at an event that was a campaign event, despite what anybody says, all that was omitted was which campaigns would benefit most from the million loafer march. Entire speeches were given in short-term memory slighted pronouns.

A twitter poster who I know a bit was upset that President Obama was not making a public pronouncement on the day as yesterday marked the 47th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech as well. Think Glenn was using that, just a little. For that, I say good for the President. I’m glad he is above battling media opportunities. There is too much work to be done to trapped in a blather-off with News Corp.’s talking head.

The tone of the discussions have changed in recent years. I remember seeing news footage of John Wayne talking about President Kennedy and saying “I didn’t vote for him, but I hope he does a good job.” Civility from the Duke, no less. That seems to have been lost as many of the minions as yesterday’s rally were there solely because Glenn told them to come, they are against his policies, but have none of their own, so they wrap up in garments printed with stuff like “taking my country back.” From who? Where did it go? Yesterday’s tomfoolery added nothing to the discourse of where we are as a nation, didn’t reclaim honor or civil rights, it was a made for tv event on a nice day in DC. That is all it was.

Full disclosure, I am a progressive leaning independent. I think there are an awful lot of smart republicans and democrats, a lot of placeholders and more than just a few self-serving assholes. I think when the boy scouts are encouraged to boo the President, something is wrong. By the same token, I think President Bush got some shots he didn’t deserve either. It’s fine to disagree or not know everything, that when this stuff works.

These are complex problems in complex times and you need more than 140 characters (and a few nouns) to talk them through.

Big Old Jet Airliner


I get a lot of travel and tourism info sent to work because of my job.I had the following blog sent to my work email and the story about enhanced pat-downs and the full body, leave nothing to the imagination scanners made wonder.

Check it out, it made me think back to one of the buddhas of my youth, George Carlin, and a rant he delivered about the airlines in an HBO concert shortly after 9/11.

There is an awful lot of trappings with the full body scanners, and apparently, in Boston, full body gropings that has managed to strip (no pun intended) any sense of adventure to flying and make the experience as dehumanizing as is possible.

You want to be, like Louie C.K. says, in your chair on the plane thinking “I’m in a chair, in the sky!….OOHHMYGODDD!!!” Instead, you are shoeless in JFK airport because where else would you rather be barefoot?

A ever-shifting menage of regulations, inspections, and expensive malfunctioning equipment hasn’t really changed a thing. In fact, the system is worse. When you actually get to your plane, the likelihood of sitting in that comfy chair and waiting for something to happen has become the norm. Gas prices returned to non-story status, yet the airlines still are charging you for a pillow to help cover the fuel costs and their crappy business models.

I agree with the author as the TSA never explains. We don’t know. When flying home from New York two years ago, my daughter had a bottle of water that the “Guard” took and stepped to the side of the security entrance with, to do something with. I guess if my lovely daughter is properly hydrated, the terrorists win.

The fearmongering is of an invasive variety. The keeping your toiletries in a quart bag was in consistently enforced. Buffalo just needed to see it was on top of the xray of my backpack. Milwaukee made me take it out and show my shampoo to them.

A lot of time and money has gone into the upping of the “Security” and it makes you wonder why. Why are things getting so wracheted up now? What is to be gained? It’s never going to be air tight. There is no such thing as a perfectly safe “anyplace.” To pretend so is foolish. I think old George was on to something when he posited that this was all put in place “to make the white folks feel safer.”

“Click & Clack”


Car repairs are a necessary evil. Maintenance is even more important.

I try to take good care of my ride and it has been a good soldier for me. The hoops you have to jump through to keep things that way can sometimes make your head spin. When getting ready to go to Toronto a couple of weeks ago, I went to the usual place to get fluids checked and topped off. I got a talking to since it had been three months since my last oil change and apparently you can only get one free check between oil changes. Nevermind that the 3000 mile yardstick was not hit yet.

The manager grumbles and scolds me, but does the check anyway. Flawless trip.

I go to get the change last week at lunch — no soap, too busy understaffed.

Came back Saturday prior to work, understaffed again.

I leave work right on time today, and the extra variant of the “Low coolant” light pops on and then off. Probably nothing, but the brief site gets your spidey sense a tingling.

Finally on the third try, everything gets done, but it increases your awareness about every little detail. A little steam came out on the short drive home and suddenly I was focused, radio off, listening “Is that noise coming from my car?” “What did the dead end Kids forget to tighten? “They spill something?”

Ultimately, the answer was nothing, but the prospect puts you on edge. I might put the radio back on for the next trip out.

Three things not to happen during Bikram Yoga Class


Aside from breathing, Bikram Yoga classes are quiet affairs with only the instructor’s guiding voice taking you through the 90 minutes. That said, three things are not real desirable to have happen, especially all in the same evening.

1. A sneeze

2. A Yawn

3. Your stomach remembering you skipped dinner so it makes its displeasure known by screaming like an stereotypical old man “oyoyoyoyOYOYOYOYOYOYoyoyyoyoy”

If you had any flow to your work, that last one takes it away.

Take out the Trash Day


In the grand tradition of dumping the dregs of the week out in one big pile to get rid of them, here is some gleanings from a truly few days.

Mosque-a-pan!
Read the text, away from the histrionics and you get one of the more well thought out discussions of why Park51 should be left alone.

I was getting a little frightened for a bit because there was a time that Newt Gingrich was starting to seem like a thoughtful critic instead of borderline bigoted hothead, but it is nice to see his true colors reemerge. At lease you know where you stand, I guess. How come he isn’t upset about the shopping plaza that is actually planned for the ground zero site? How come these freedom fighters aren’t perturbed about the actual mosque that is closer to the Towers’ footprint than this planned new build. Guess we should be more sensitive to the needs of bigots.

The Bills, eh!
Another Toronto game is tonight against the Colts and a bunch of guys who want to be Colts. I think we need to just see it as a business decision and nothing else. An improvement by the team would be a great help. In Toronto and staying at the hotel that is part of the Rogers Centre, the area isn’t abuzz with activity. The borderline shuttered Bills store wasn’t exactly a hubbub of activity. What buzz there was in the hotel was for the impending arrival of the Red Sox the next day for a series with the Blue Jays, and the buzz was coming from the Red Sox fans. I think Ralph Wilson knows this and I think I’m fine with it. Buffalo residents expecting to be find the Argos’ home field to have any Orchard Park atmosphere are going to forever be disappointed. Until the team gets better, Torontonians have lots to choose from for entertainment and the sound from the games will sound like the teams snuck in while the CFL wasn’t looking.

Downtown
No, I’m not going to burst into Petula Clark, but with all the knee jerk reactions in wake of the shootings in front of City Grill it is a wonder we aren’t all walking in circles. Downtown as everybody knows can be mostly a ghost town. City Grill has been a lone wolf on that section of Main Street for some time, so I’m rooting for them. The setting for the tragedy was coincidental. While it is good that Chippewa tavern owners are meeting with increase regularity to improve security and operations, it would have been better for that meeting to happen before last Saturday morning.

The Fair
Got to sneak it in, just to look at the things you know you shouldn’t eat, but you can’t look away either.
Yeah, going Sunday.