Thursday, August 31, 2006

top 5 songs i'm almost embarrassed to say i like.....

E! Network started running a show this week called "101 Guiltiest Guilty Pleasures". I don't know what all of them are, but #101 was Patrick Swayze. If you're old enough to remember him as a sex symbol, you might be considered old now.

So I'm sitting here doing some writing for work, and from iTunes Classic Hits Radio comes a song that I haven't heard in probably 5 years or longer. It made my top 5 at #2. Here they are:

5. B.J. Thomas - Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song

I don't know what there is about this song, but once I hear it I just can't stop listening. For some reason, I've always like B.J. Thomas' singing voice.

4. The Carpenters - Rainy Days and Mondays

The second chorus says it all: Walkin' around, Some kind of lonely clown, Rainy Days and Mondays always get me down. (The Carpenters' "Top of the World" would have made this list 25 years ago.)

3. aha - Take on Me

For 1981, this video was the most creative of its time. I remember listening to it over and over at Myrtle Beach that summer.

2. Starbuck - Moonlight Feels Right

Blue Oyster Cult's record producer Bruce Dickinson's fever might have been cured only by a prescription of more cowbell, but where else besides halftime at a high school football game are you going to get a xylophone solo????? Pure genius!

1. Al Stewart - Year of the Cat

Maybe it's the piano, maybe it's the melody, I don't know. But I burned a 70's mix CD the other day and this song was the first one that came to mind.

What? You were expecting "You Light Up My Life"? Uh, no. You must have me confused with my lovely bride.....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

a change is gonna' come.....

Ever do something that you're really proud of, then do something to completely negate it? The most painful part of it is trying to kick yourself in the butt for letting it happen.

About 4 years ago I lost almost 30 pounds in 4 months. I had gone to basketball practice with Meg and we ran drills with the girls that night. After about 4 half-court drills I was exhausted. I came home that night and saw that the waistband from my nylon warm-up pants had left an indentation around my waist. That night I decided to start working on my weight loss. At 9:30, I went out in the dark of a cold early-January night and started running. I made it about 2 blocks before I had to stop because it felt that my heart was going to leap out of my chest. But little by little I built up to a mile. Within about 6 months I could do a little over 3 miles without stopping.

Over the past 4 years I've let it all but 8 pounds return. How? Different factors - laziness, poor eating habits, and age. It's amazing how much difference 4 year makes. I told a friend of mine about this the other day and she said, "Don't talk about 4 years ago! There's a whole lot more I could do 4 years ago that I can't do now."

So this weekend I decided to "sow my wild oats" when it came to food. I didn't go overboard, but I ate stuff that I wanted to eat and enjoyed it. I topped it off Sunday evening with an ice cream sundae (after having had cake and ice cream earlier in the evening), knowing that I was going to go hard-core, cold turkey starting Monday morning. It's the same low-carb diet that helped me lose the 30 pounds before. And I've found that if I'm going to lose weight, I have to be strict about what I eat. I can do it if I make my mind up and discipline myself. It's just that I've told myself all summer that ice cream at night is OK; that chips and dip for lunch are OK; and that one more roll from Logan's won't hurt.

My pants are too tight around the waist. I've come close to emulating George Costanza, preferring shorts and pants with elastic bands to those that zip up. The only articles of clothing that fit right any more are my shoes.

I'm adopting the chorus from a Sam Cooke song as my mantra:

It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will.....

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

it's just a limp, don't worry about it.....

I've been told that I snore.

I don't do it all the time. Just when I'm sleeping deep. And just so I don't sleep too deeply, the bride has a way of "bringing me back" to keep me from snoring. She nudges me. At least that's what she calls it - nudging. I call it something different. (At least she hasn't bought one of these for me yet.)

Here's part of our conversation just after I turned the lights out last night.

The Bride - "Will you please not snore tonight?"

OFIT - "OK, will you please not kick the crap out of me tonight?"

The Bride - "I don't kick you! I just nudge you to get you to roll over so you'll stop snoring."

She, on the other hand, never snores. The only thing she does is when she has alergy problems (like last night) she treats me to sounds that can only be compared to when the angels sing on high. Some might say that it sounds alot like a cell phone on vibrate sitting on aluminum foil that's been covered with marbles. Not to me. Sweet, melodic strains of pure heavenly bliss. That's what it is to me.

I'm one lucky guy. I sure do hope the couch is comfortable tonight.....

Monday, August 28, 2006

huh? conflict of interest? fugidaboutit.....

New York Post, 7-10-06

While New York state grapples with a serious budget shortfall, the speaker of the state assembly works at a law firm that trolls for "victims" of injuries at state parks, with a suggestive Internet-page list of accidents that might lead to lawsuits against the state. (In August, after the New York Post exposed the page, the law firm withdrew it.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

remember, it's a work in process.....

I'm still working on my train layout. The bride and our daughters got me a nice N scale train set for Christmas, and I've been toiling away on the layout ever since. I've still got a long way to go on it, but it's been fun building the buildings and wiring for lights.

A couple of weeks ago I took a few pictures of what I've done so far and here they are:

This is a view from the southeast side of town, just beyond the tracks.

Overhead view of the town (oblong) circle.

View of the freight station and back side of town. The Monsters, Inc. poster really gives it an authentic look, huh?

View of the town from the northwest. You can see the trolley tracks in the foreground, and the town church at the head of the circle. Not sure of the church's denomination yet.

Overhead view of the entire layout. The passenger station depots and steps are missing from these pictures; not sure why because they were the first structures built. The pond/lake is dry for the moment, and the dock is missing even though it's been built for some time. There will be a school in front of the pond/lake. Just across the track from the pond will be a small neighborhood. The roads are still under construction. I need to build some kind of factory for the layout. Trees, shrubs and grass still need to be installed. I'm thinking about a hill/mountain somewhere in the town but I'm not sure where.

I haven't gotten to the point of wearing and engineer's cap and saying things like "all aboard!" and "choo-choo" when I run my trains. I guess that's something that might happen over time. Once this layout is finished, I want to start another one - hopefully a bigger one. Those words aren't exactly music to the bride's ears. But she's the one that got me started, so it's really her fault.....

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

is this going to be on the test?

The bride and I attended Freedom Intermediate's open house Monday night. About half-way through 4th period history class, she leaned over towards me and said "I'm so glad I don't have to go through school again."

The more I thought about her statement, the more confusing it became to me. My wife did very well in school. She graduated from college Cum Laude. I'm convinced that her GPA would have been much better had I not come into her life 15 months before graduation. I think I was a distraction. I'm not bragging, I'm just sayin'. Anyway, I always figured that people who did well in school pretty much liked school. Now let's take a look at the flip side.

I didn't like school at all. I did OK, but could have done better. I actually had two goals when I went into my freshman year of college - play lots of intramural sports and graduate in 4 years. I did both, just not much else. I did just enough to get by unless the subject interested me, then I cared about how I did. If one were to look at my report cards from college, one would summize that not many subjects interested me. Did my diploma say Cum Laude? Not quite. Uh, how 'bout Laudy How Come? It wasn't until I met the bride that things changed for me and I started caring about what I did and how I did it. Funny how I was a distraction to her and she was a motivator for me.

We did make it through open house and the limited schedule of 10-minute classes. All of Sara's teachers seemed very nice. Her homeroom teacher could be a young stunt-double for Don Cheadle. We did do something that was reminiscent of my college career - we skipped the related arts class and hung out in the hall talking to other parents. Someone started a nasty rumor that we went out back behind the gym and smoked and made out during this period, but that was completely unfounded.....

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

uhhh, no, thats a space peanut.....

Sounds like Joe Dirt 2 to me.....

More than 70 children got separated from their parents during the Taste of Chicago festival on June 30, but one 6-year-old boy was still unclaimed as of July 7, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, citing a police spokesperson. The boy was eventually turned over to the state Department of Children and Family Services, which found that his family had a spotty record of supporting him even before the festival. [Chicago Sun-Times, 7-8-06]

Monday, August 21, 2006

just a few things.....

* I started cleaning out the garage last weekend. Our garage had gotten to the point that it looked like a tornado had come through and had thrown all our stuff to the sides. Now that I've gone through it all and sorted out what needs to go, it looks like the tornado has come through again - only this time it left the walls clean and the middle of the garage in chaos. There were a few things I wanted to take to the dump that the bride wanted to keep. Good thing I've cleared things out in the garage, because if I throw something out that she wants to keep I may need a place to sleep.

* I had the opportunity to play in a corporate golf tournament last week. I also watched Tiger tear up the field at the PGA over the weekend. It's obvious to me that we play very different games.

* Let's say that you're talking with someone about cars. And just for the sake of argument, let's say both cars are the same year and price. You say that the Lexus is a better car, and they say the Yugo is a better car. And they're convinced. In fact, when you try to sell them on why the Lexus is better, they give you a very confused look, like you've got a third arm growing out of your forehead. I had a conversation with someone this morning that went alot like that, and it had nothing to do with cars. I was dumbfounded. Still am.

* Economists aren't the most stimulating of speakers. Even when they try to tell a joke.....especially when they try to tell a joke. In fact, whenever you hear an economist say that a chart they're about to show you in their PowerPoint presentation is "sexy", you realize just how different your life is from his, and you're very grateful for it.....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

warning letter.....

To: Toshiba eStudio 350

From: The OFIT

Re: Perfomance Issue

In accordance with Policy A54, this is a letter of warning. This action is based on your inability to consistently function as a normal copy machine.

On previous occassions detailed reviews of expectations regarding your performance (or lack thereof) have been undertaken to ensure that you understand the requirements of your position. They have been discussed with you orally (like when I kick or hit you and simultaneously scream at you whenever you screw up my copies). However, you continue not to meet these expectations.

You are a copy machine - nothing more, nothing less. You are supposed to copy material that office personnel put into your feeder. At first I thought it might just be me, that it was a personal thing. But alas, other office personnel have begun to complain about your inconsistent performance.

Perhaps you're having personal problems. Maybe your belts are too tight, your levers need adjustment, or your toner cartridges require different powder. Or maybe there's trouble at home. If that's the case, we have an excellent Employee Assistance Program. Please refer to the section on the company intranet for contact information.

Your failure to adhere to the requirements of your job on an ongoing basis has a serious impact on the operations of our company, and our ability to meet our goals.

Once again, you are expected to operate properly on a consistent basis. No more paper jams. No more taking 2 sheets at a time. No more illegible copies. Period. Failure to meet these requirements will result in further corrective action, up to and including termination. In addition to this, if you are terminated I plan on hauling your no-good hunk of plastic carcass out onto I-40 and watching with delight as a passing semi crushes you to small, unrecognizable pieces.



PS - I literally despise you.

cc: Personnel File
HR Director
Employee Relations Specialist

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

welcome to another installment of the duh-zone.....

Last Friday afternoon, I was badly in need of some caffeine to make it through the rest of the day. The Idols concert from the night before left me tired, seeing has how I was up past 11:00 and that's way too late for someone my age.

On my way to the vending machines, I passed by someone from a department here in my building. I said, "Hey, D*, how are you doing?"

His response was, "Hey, Bill."

That's funny, I mused to myself. That's the second person in the past few weeks to call me Bill! Oh, well, I thought. No big deal.

As D passed me, he started singing the chorus to the song "Shannon." I thought to myself, he's singing that terrible song. I can't believe this! I just wrote about how much I despised that song a few days ago. What a coincidence!

No, please, don't get ahead of me. Just wait for it.

I got back to my desk and it finally hit me. D had obviously read my blog. Duh. See how bad I needed the caffeine? I ran into D during lunch yesterday and we had a good laugh over it.

With D reading my blog, I now have a readership in excess of 4 people.....

*Alias provided to prevent damaging this person's character

Monday, August 14, 2006

let's see, i'll take a mellow yellow and a dozen grubs.....

The bride found this while cleaning out the drawers in the computer table over the weekend. This is a picture of my buddy Chance and me standing beside a live bait vending machine. There were 5 of us heading for a men's retreat for the weekend. (What do men have to retreat from? Their wives, of course! What? Hey, I kid because I love. Bygones.....)

We had stopped at this little store somewhere near Gallatin to get something to drink. When we got out of the car we saw the live bait vending machine and thought it was the funniest thing we'd ever seen. This was probably 6-7 years ago, so maybe live bait vending machines are everywhere now and it's not as funny as it was then. What do I know? I don't fish so I don't go looking for them.

We didn't have enough quarters for the crickets, though.....

Friday, August 11, 2006

the top 10 delivered.....

Not long after we sat down in section 330, row D, seats 7-10, Sara leaned over and said, "That 'Chicken Little' dude isn't singing tonight, is he?'" I calmed her fears and said that Kevin Covais didn't make the top 10, so, no, he wouldn't be performing with the others. There was a reason he didn't make the top 10, and the others on stage proved it last night.

Our seats were in the top section, but I figured with the big screens showing everything we'd be OK. And we were, really. It's just that the pictures don't show it. To the human eye, the seats were fine. With a camera, even with a 10x zoom, the performers still look small. And in some of the pictures, you'll just have to take my word when I say who the person is in the picture. And out of 150+ pictures, not many of them came out clear. Too much zoom, too much motion. (The bride has promised me that we'll get lower level tickets when Mr. Hicks goes on his solo tour. WOOOOOOOO! YES! SOUL PATROL!!!!!! Ahem.....yes, well then.....)

I stopped by the office of a good friend on my way back from lunch yesterday and mentioned that we were all going to the American Idols concert last night. He said, "Man, I could score some major points with my wife if I got tickets." Later that afternoon, he ended up with floor seats. I'll tell you just how good they were later in this post.

So here's my take on last night's concert:

Mandisa - As a friend of mine says, "Sistah' can saaaaang!" Her voice is very strong and pitch perfect. She led off with "I'm Every Woman" and nailed it. You could tell she was glad to be back home in Nashville. She did another song (can't remember what), then said she might have a special guest join her on the next song as she started singing "I'm Your Angel". Great performance!

Ace - Mr. Young was the special guest on Mandisa's song. The second he walked out on stage, every girl under 18 lost their ever-loving mind. Including Meg. There were shrieks, squeals, screams - you name it, they did it. I wasn't a big Ace fan during the season, but I have to admit that he was the biggest surprise of the night for me. His voice sounded much better than it did on the show. He finished "I'm Your Angel" then did "Father Figure", and ended with Maroon 5's "Harder to Breathe". Very strong. He'll do well when he tours.

Lisa - Although she's not the youngest member on tour, her performance shows she has the farthest to go. I think she'll do well one day, but she may not be a solo artist. I see her more as a Broadway-type. She came out doing a verse of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" then went to the piano where she played Elton John's "Your Song" and "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." Not as strong as the first two performers, but good. Then Lisa introduced her best friend.

Paris - Lisa and Paris started off with "Waterfalls". Let me tell you, this little girl has unbelievable talent. Her small frame belies her powerful voice. And moves? Please! She did "Midnight Train to Georgia" they Beyonce's "Crazy in Love". As the young people are so fond of saying these days, "girl was shakin' her boo-tay" for all it was worth. Very, very good performance. This young lady will go far.

Bucky - I didn't "get" Bucky when I first saw him on Idol. I thought he talked like he had a mouth full of grits. And maybe he still does, but over time he's grown on me. He came out singing "Superstition" and the crowd loved it every time he mentioned how much he loved Nashville. Word has it that he's working with a record company and will be moving here soon. He isn't as smoothe a dancer as Paris, but he pulled off the heavy metal head bobbing admirably. All in all he was pretty entertaining. He started on his last song, "You're the One That I Want" and was joined by the next performer.

Kellie - Now I ask you, who wouldn't love seeing Pickler in black leather? Come on! It would be hard to not enjoy listening to her sing and talk. After finishing her duet with Bucky, she led off with "I'm the Only One" then did a little talking. She told the crowd that Nashville was going to be her new home starting the day after the tour ended. (We're currently looking for a house on our street for her.) Then she sang "Walking After Midnight" and "Something to Talk About". She then came and sat on the steps and rambled for a few minutes, telling everyone about her first trip to the Grand Ol' Opry about a year ago. Kellie told everyone that she wants to meet Dolly Parton, and if we see here we need to tell Dolly about it. She walked up the stage ramp and said it was time for intermission.

Chris - As was the case during the show, if there's fire on the screen it must be time for Chris. The Nashville crowd loved them some Chris. Including the screaming Sara. Only Taylor got a bigger reception from the fans last night. Chris led off with Led Zepplin's "Whole Lotta' Love" and you could tell the second half of the show was going to be better and louder than the first. He followed up with "Dead of Alive", then did another song but I can't remember what it was. I really enjoyed Chris's set, and I think he'll do very, very well after the AI tour. He's got the stage presence thing down. Then it was time for the Chris/Elliott duet of Nickelback's "Saving Me".

Elliott - As good as Elliott's voice is, he still needs to work on his mannerisms and moves on stage. The boy can definitely sing. After "Saving Me", he said "where my ladies at tonight?" which was followed by screams from the female audience as he began singing "Moody's Mood for Love". Very nice rendition, even better than on the show. I can't remember the next song, but he ended his solo set with Elvis's "Trouble". Then he called on 4 of his buddies to join him on stage.

Guys' song - Nice rendition of Guns 'n Roses "Patience". Good harmonies, and again the 18-and-under female population went nuts when Ace hit the high notes toward the end of the song.

Katherine - Two-three-fah, woo-hoo. Katherine led off with "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" and did a very good job with it. She went on to tell about the illness that kept her from touring the first 3-4 weeks, then told us about breaking her foot a couple of days into her part of the tour. She may not be as entertaining as some of the others, but she does have a beautiful voice and she ain't exactly hard on the eyes. Very elegant in her long black dress. She waved goodbye and then the GEC went black. I leaned over the Meg and said, "Now the real concert's gonna' start!"

Taylor - When the first two chords of "Jailhouse Rock" were played, the crowd started its roar. Taylor started singing, but no one could see him on stage. The the screens flashed and you could see him coming through the crowd down the aisle in the section below our seats. The roar went even louder.

Now remember my friend that bought the floor seats? I looked down to watch Taylor snake his way towards the stage. He ended up going behind the row that Phill and Barb were sitting in. In fact, I looked and saw them high-fiving Taylor as he went by, which was followed by Barb grabbing Phill by the shoulders and shaking him as if to say "OH MY GOSH, WE JUST TOUCHED TAYLOR HICKS!!!!" I haven't talked to Phill this morning, but I believe his mission on point-scoring was successful.

Taylor's first song on stage was Bob Seger's "Hollywood Nights". I'd heard that it was good, and I'd heard right. He followed that with "Livin' for the City", the the Beatles "Don't Let Me Down". Both were excellent. He then dedicated "Do I Make You Proud" to the troops all over the world. After this, he exited through the back door of the stage. A few people got up and left thinking that the show was over, but I knew better. After about 60 seconds, Taylor was back on stage in a new shirt and singing "Taking it to the Streets". I was able to record the whole song and you can see it here. Man, the boy knows how to work an audience. Every time he danced, the women in that place lost it. When he played the harmonica, everybody went nuts. He left the stage to roars of approval.

Mayber it's just me, but I think it's almost unfair to compare the other 9 finalists to Taylor. He's been doing this kind of thing for over 10 years. He knows what works and what doesn't. He knows how to work the crowd. He's not just a singer, he's also a musician and you can tell how much he loves doing what he does when he plays.

Can you tell that I thoroughly enjoyed the Taylor concert?

The other 8 Idols came out and did "We are the Champions", then Taylor and Katherine came out and joined them on James Brown's "Living in America".

We had a great time at the show. The only thing I'd change is having better seats, but we can work on that with the next concert.

My only problem today is that I'm tired and I need a nap.....

Thursday, August 10, 2006

i've got my lighter ready.....

Last week the bride and I decided to surprise the girls with tickets to the American Idol concert in Nashville. When I first thought about doing it, I considered taking just the girls because I didn't think the bride would want to come. But when I mentioned it to her, she said she definitely wanted to go.

I've never had a desire to go to an Idol concert until this year. But this year's talent will make it a good one to see. Reviews of the tour that I've read say that all of those in the top 10 are entertaining.

We've all got our favorites. Meg wants to see Ace, he of beautiful teeth and hair (according to Meg); Sara wants to see Chris and Taylor; the bride wants to see several of them; and, of course, I'm going for the Taylor concert.

I think Meg is scared that I'll embarrass her at the concert tonight. I'll make a promise here in this public forum that I WILL NOT take my shirt off and throw it on the stage at any point during the concert. Except maybe for Pickler.....

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

another new season.....

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven

About a month ago the bride took Meg to get her official drivers license. Later that afternoon, she went on her first solo drive. Seeing your firstborn drive is a surreal experience.

Yesterday the bride took Sara to school to meet her homeroom teacher. This is the last time she'll do this, because the process is a very different once 7th grade starts. Parents don't bring their kids to school on the first day - the kids just ride the bus and stay for a couple of hours.

Both of these pictures were taken just 6 years ago - Meg on her way to her first day of 5th grade, and Sara all packed up and ready for her first day of kindergarten.

I moved to Nashville from Kingsport 20 years ago. Sometimes it feels like it was 50 years ago, other times it feels more like last week.

The older you get, the faster the seasons come and go.....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

caveat emptor.....

I've rarely used this blog as a forum to get up on a soap box. But I saw something yesterday that really ticked me off.

I went to a local car dealer at lunch yesterday to have a warranty transferred on the car we got for Meg. Of course there was only one person there who could do this terribly complicated transaction (take my money and put it in a drawer to be mailed; I think the guy had a diploma from MIT) so I waited for about 40 minutes to get into his office.

While I was waiting, I started looking at some of the cars on the showroom floor. Car dealers typically put the nicest, most loaded vehicles in the showroom. These are the cars everyone really wants but ends up settling for one on the lot with less equipment. While looking at some of the window stickers, I noticed an option line that really got under my skin - "MARKET VALUE ADJUSTMENT", which is another term for "Hi, this is a new model, or maybe it's really just last year's model with extra plastic and pin striping, and we're going to try our best to overcharge you even though we realize it's nowhere near worth what we're asking!" One of the vehicles had an MVA of $3,500 (over 20% of the base price) while another one had an MVA of $7,500 (almost 25% of the base price).

Yes, I realize that everything is negotiable on a car lot. But there are some people who don't seem to know this. These are the people who get their brains knocked out at the salesman's desk and leave believing they got a great deal. These are the people for whom MVA was invented. Some may say that people who pay full price on things get what they deserve. Maybe so, but that still doesn't make it right for a car dealer to rip people off.

The funny part of my visit was that the salesman who helped me with the warranty transfer had the gall to accuse oil companies of price gouging. Mr. Pot, I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Kettle.....

Monday, August 07, 2006

named him after a man of the cloth.....

I listen to iTunes radio during the day in my office. It's commercial-free (mostly) and has around 30 different genres from which to choose. I usually listen to Classic Hits Radio's classic rock station. They play songs from artitsts like Billy Joel, U2, Stevie Wonder, etc.

The other day I was working on a spreadsheet and I recognized a song that I hadn't heard in over 30 years. It was "Amos Moses" by Jerry Reed. I used to LOVE that song! They'd play it over and over on WKIN in Kingsport. Although I used to think one of the lines went, "He hunted alligator for a livin'; he'd just knock them in the head with a skunk" when the actual word was "stump" instead of "skunk". I always thought maybe the impact of a dead skunk, when combined with its potent smell, would be more effective in killing alligators. Hey, what did I know, I was a 10-year-old East Tennessee kid. I ain't never seen no alligators. How am I supposed to know how to whack an oversized lizard?

My question is this - How did "Amos Moses" make it onto Classic Hits Radio's playlist? I mean, I like the song and all, but does it really deserve to be there? How do they justify putting "Amos Moses" in between "Living for the City" and "Taking it to the Streets"?

If "Amos Moses" makes it to Classic Hits Radio, I guess "The Streak" can't be too far behind.....

Friday, August 04, 2006

london needs a dose of detective vic mackey.....

Daily Telegraph (London), 6/30/06

Max Foster, 18, complained to a London Daily Telegraph reporter in June that two police officers in Bath, England, had told him they were under instructions not to pursue a man who had been spotted on Foster's stolen moped, because the man was not wearing a helmet. According to Foster, the town's rules of engagement for officers discourage such chases because the suspect might fall off the moped, hit his head and sue the police.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

nice to know.....

So I went to Provence for lunch again yesterday. Nope, didn't run into Rachel Ray, but I did learn something else.

I placed my order and went to the register to pay. The guy sees my security badge and says, "Oh, you work at 'such and such'?" I said that I did, and he proceeds to give me a discount. I said, "I've been eating here for about a year and you're the first person to tell me about a discount." No response. I then laugh and say, "That means I'm probably due a couple of free lunches, don't you think?" No response.

Yeah, I'm not holding my breath.....

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

best/worst one-hit-wonder songs from the 70's.....

Of all the one-hit-wonder bands, and of all their songs, the best one ever has to be "Brandy" by the band "Looking Glass." Hands down - the best, no contest. (And ain't they a handsome bunch o' fellers?)

It had it all. A memorable tune. It was very 70's sounding. The lead singer's voice was distinctive. And the story was great. About a girl who worked in a local tavern. Sailors flirted with her constantly, but she was in love with someone. Someone she could never have, someone who would never be back. Of course when the song was released, I was only 8 and didn't understand the suttle nuances of the lyrics. Great song then, and an even better song now.

Others worth considering:

Fooled Around and Fell In Love - Elvin Bishop
All Right Now - Free
Because the Night - Patti Smith Group
Smoke From a Distant Fire - Sanford-Townshend Band
The Boys are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy

Now for the flip-side. There so many to consider here, such as:

Undercover Angel - Alan O'Day
Disco Duck - Rick Dees
Seasons in the Sun - Terry Jacks
Run Joey Run - David Geddes
Playground in My Mind - Clint Holmes

But the worst song by a one-hit-wonder band/artist has GOT TO BE "Shannon" by Henry Gross. Terrible, whiney, mess of a song. If played at the proper volume, it's been known to cause all dogs within a 7-mile radius to experience violent convulsions. Which is ironic because the song was actually inspired by the death of a Carl Wilson's (Beach Boys) Irish Setter.

OK, animal lovers, go ahead and let me have it for my insensitivity.....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

i wanna' be like mike.....well, for a price.....

Allen Heckard filed a lawsuit in Hillsboro, Ore., in June against Michael Jordan and Nike founder Phil Knight for $416 million each, charging that they are responsible for his "pain and suffering," and his "defamation," in that nearly every day for 15 years, people have mistaken him for Jordan.

Heckard admits to being a pretty good basketball player (though 6 inches shorter than Jordan) and to wearing Air Jordans, and in fact curiously told KGW-TV that, all in all, being recognized as Jordan was a "positive" thing. He said he arrived at the "416" figure from multiplying his age by seven (though he appears to be in his 30s, not 59).

Needless to say, Heckard filed the lawsuit without benefit of a lawyer. [KGW-TV (Portland), 7-7-06]