Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I've got nothing to say, but it's ok...

Because I'm going to Grayton Beach (loaded with UVs and the sound of waves), my favorite winter destination, tomorrow thru the beginning of the new year. Black Santa who is quite worn out by his peragrational activity of late may be taking the trip also.

Happy New Year to one and all. Sorry I'm going to miss a week of Kleinheider...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

These are a few of my favorite things..

2005 was not a great year for the Hutcheson family - at least health-wise. But, as sad as it seems, we're not the center of the universe, and there were a lot of wonderful things in 2005 that enriched my life greatly...

Huck's post 'My Artificial Drug Dependency' limning the battle between creativity and conformity while beset with the slings and arrows of socialization. I miss ya, Huck, and I hope you're working on that novel.

Rachel McAdams in pretty much every movie she makes an appearance. As the snotty sister in 'The Family Stone' she luminates the house. She rocked in 'The Wedding Crashers' as well.

I've loved the Rolling Stones since I was 12 years old (back in 1964). I thought they made their last good record (it was a record then) back in 1980, and that they just were a touring phenomena now, but the boys (well, 60+ year old boys) surprised a lot of us with the rocking 'A Bigger Bang'. Intelligiently designed and pared down, the CD is one of the best of the year.

Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls and Kristin Bell as Veronica Mars. Two of the most well-formed characters on TV in two of the best shows on TV.

Ricky Gervais in anything he does: BBC Office re-runs and his new hilarious show 'Extras' on HBO.

Nashville's own Reese Weatherspoon as June Carter Cash in 'Walk the Line'. I got to see many of the 'Johnny Cash' ABC show tapings down at the Ryman in the late 60s and early 70s. June would bounce out on the stage to sing with Johnny. Her energy never flagged despite the fact that they would have to re-shoot some of the scenes time after time after time. Reese nailed the bounce and the sassiness.

Amy Adams in 'Junebug'. Playing a pregnant seemingly shallow southern cliche role, Adams reveals a surprising complexity in a movie about southerners that treats us with dignity and not some cornpone hayseed redneck society. Junebug is a great movie and Adams is main reason the movie works so well.

Jeremy Piven in HBO's 'Entourage'. Smoking as the duplicitous protean agent. I've always thought that Piven added zing to any movie or TV show, but this role beat em' all.

Kevin Kidd and Ray Stevenson in HBO's 'Rome'. Their narrative thread as witnesses to the world of Caesar was the best part of a great series.

Finally, to the two best series on TV - one cancelled and one coming back in January. 'Arrested Development' (screw YOU FOX for cancelling this show), the funniest show on TV, with the best character names ever and I do mean EVER. From Jessica Walters as the harridan mom to the doctor who pronounced that her son Buster was going to be 'all right' after a seal bit off his left hand, every character and every show was brilliant.

'The Shield' was the most riveting drama of the year hands down. Glenn Close's turn as the precinct boss was note-perfect. Michael Chiklis is damn scary as the alternating corrupt and great-cop head of LA's anti-gang unit and may be the best character on TV right now.

Oh yeah, one more thing: Apparently many people missed the message that Nashvillians were all fleeing to Brentwood and Williamson County. Nothing against the evacuees, but I'm seeing a LOT of residential construction in the Salemtown area. There are lots of great neighborhoods in Nashville..Salemtown is mine and I'm damn thankful to be here.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

inch by inch, minute by minute, the days will be getting longer..

Is anybody loanin'
A little serotonin?

Anybody else got a dab or a full-tilt boogie S.A.D. thang going on?

It always hits in late November. By March, it's like it never happened. But, in between it just seems so damn overwhelming.

Here's to longer longer days...

Monday, December 19, 2005

This never would have happened in the old Davis-Kidd..

well, maybe it would've, but I'm aggravated enough with the 'new' location that I'm willing to blame the event I'm about to describe, the avian flu and the recent collapse of Ashlee Simpson on the tragic move of Davis-Kidd to the Green Hill Mall.

Like a moth in need of a 12-step light addiction program, I returned to Davis-Kidd tonight in search of a few cards and goodies for those people who were rude enough to spring unexpected cards and goodies on me at the last minute unexpectedly. Sheesh, what are these folks thinking?

Anyway, my total purchase came to $31.37. I laid two twenties on the counter (that's $40.00 for you U.T. grads). The college-aged clerk rings up my items and the cash register showed that the clerk owed me $8.63. I told the clerk that I had thirty-seven cents and plopped that amount on the counter. I got the deer in headlights look from the clerk. I attempted to explain that he wouldn't have to give me any coins back and that if he just gave me $9.00, we'd be even. He looked even more confused and said, 'but I've already rung you up'. I told him that it would all come out even, but he repeated his explaination as to why he couldn't possibly take my thirty-seven cents. I wanted to go through the transaction step-by-step but there were people muttering behind me in line, so instead, I got the extra sixty-three cents in change I really wanted to avoid.

I'm wondering if he was friends with the young woman described in Sarah Moore's recent posting who missed an exam due to schedule confusion and expected the professor to accommodate her desire to take the exam at a more convenient time.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Plot summary of Brokeback Mountain

It's about fly fishing.

ht: WPLN's Wait Wait, don't tell me

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Black Santa throws down the java and flirts with a few bloggers

Black Santa apparently feeling the need to perform a public service announcement about washing up after recycling a latte at Portland Brew.

Black Santa hoping that everyone would leave so he could have some alone time with Big Bad Ivy, - 'It felt GOOOOOD to be held by a real woman'- after crashing the Rutherford County Blogging and Knitting Society Meeting.

Black Santa is a little frightened to discover that there is actually someone as hyper as the author of this blog. He did promise to read at least 15 of Michelle's 37 blogs.

Black Santa also had the pleasure of hanging with Aunt B and hearing Mrs. Wigglebottom stories. Black Santa had hoped to pose with Aunt B for a picture but she basically threatened to roast his chestnuts if he came near. 'A man can dream' he was heard to say as he got in his 1958 Cadillac sleigh and flew off into the depleted ozone.

Stick THIS on your courthouse lawn

Soon after the seasonal debates about decking the public halls with images of the baby Jesus and wise men and the mangy menagerie have faded into the pangs of the new year, the grating society of the religious right will be dickering the demarcation of the decalogue (aka The 10 Commandments) as it pertains to our judicial and educational systems by arguing that these rules be posted publicly.

A close examination of this uber-top ten list (listed below in abbreviated form) reveals that only three actually pertain to judicial law (at least US judicial law).

1. You shall not worship any other god but God.

Outside of many of the Muslim countries, you won't find this one in the 'books'.
2. You shall not make a graven image.
Ironically ignored by many churches, this one didn't make the US constitution either.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.
Literally broken by millions each day and symbolically shattered by politicans from both sides of the aisle, fining people for breaking this rule would balance the US budget.
4. You shall not break the Sabbath.
Except for observant Jews and Seventh Day Adventists, this one went 'by the books' a while back. Remember 'blue' laws? Most of you probably don't have a clue what I'm talking about.
5. You shall not dishonor your parents.
Every teenager in the US would be serving time if this was against the law. As a parent, I really think this one is jolly good.
6. You shall not murder.
Ok, here we go. The narrow interpretation of this one concerns premeditated murder that doesn't pertain to war or the slaying of about a bazillion Philistines. This one makes the lawbooks.
7. You shall not commit adultery
This one is great advice for married couples. Once again, if this one was still on the books, many of our Presidents, and legislative representatives would be no longer in office. The legal dicta on this one is: don't lie under oath about having an affair..you'll really GET IT for that offense (see Commandment 9).
8. You shall not steal.

Definitely makes the books. I don't think God distinguished between petty larceny and war profiteering, but the former, if caught, tend to serve jail time, the latter just get more and bigger contracts.
9. You shall not commit perjury.
Another judicial linchpin. Administration after administration seems to forget the caveat that goes with this rule: it's rarely the crime that gets ya, it's the coverup.
10. You shall not covet.
No one would be minding the jails if this one was on the books. Many countries and famlies have moved past the 'wife as property' gist of this command, but there are plenty of things left to covet.

Bear in mind that I'm not dissing the decalogue. I am dissing the idea that all of these rules are the basis of our constitutional system. Logical extrapolation of these rules speak to addiction, stress, the marriage contract and other largely personal behaviors.

An even better extrapolation would be turning the 'do not list' into a 'do list' such as 'the golden rule'. Many of the people who yak and harp on putting God back into schools and the law would do well to actually listen, and even post the following 'rules' on the courthouse lawn:

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Moving from merely NOT STEALING to actually following these rules truly would be a giant step for mankind.

Friday, December 16, 2005

It's a family affair: The Family Stone

We had the pleasure of viewing 'The Family Stone' tonight. Sometimes when a movie is loaded with stars, you can see the seams where the writers were wedging each star's role proportionally. In this flick, the Stones keep rolling out and despite the Q-factor wattage of the slyly named family, the movie is not overwhelmed by any one star or burdened with gratuitous scenes written solely to give a 'name' a extra few lines.

The movie does have a fairly conventional setup - fish out of water, in this case the uptight girlfriend comes home for Christmas with favorite son to meet the untight family led by a vicious Diane Keaton, a luminous Rachel McAdams, the outre' artiste Luke Wilson and other non-mossy Stones including an overmatched dad played by the great Craig T. Nelson. The movie also has a fairly predictable conventional ending, but I promise you what comes in between the conventional setup and the hollywood ending is worth the ride.

There is one dinner scene where the uptight girlfriend, played by Sara Jessica Parker with severely bunned hair, is digging herself deeper and deeper into a conversational hole with discomfort and tension so palpable it is truly painful to watch. At that moment, the movie transcends the stellar cast, moving into territories charted only by the heart.

The movie twists, turns and turns again. An unbelievably beautiful moment of grace becomes farcical, then almost unbearably sad. I loved this movie, and despite the predictability factor, it did take me higher.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bloggers who need bloggers are the luckiest people...

Or maybe I should say bloggers who eat with bloggers are pretty lucky. Today was dine or drink coffee with a blogger day for me and apparently, Aunt B.

As explained in Michael's blog (bigorangemichael), today was the day I collected on my Vanderbilt over UT wager from Michael. Michael might think I will return the favor by betting on Vandy against UT next year, but I know better..in 23 years, I'll make my Vandy over UT bet again, because that is how often we beat the orange enemy.

I always enjoy chatting with Michael. Today was certainly no exception.

Tonight I met Sharon Cobb and Katherine Coble (and Katherine's husband Tim) and Kerry Woo at Starbucks. Kerry had to leave before we made the big dinner decision to carry on the conversation over sushi down at Samurai Sushi. The convo on all counts was delightful and illuminating. I had not met the Cobles or Kerry before tonight. Weaving stories and faces with blogs I enjoy and read regularly is a great Christmas gift.

So, thank you Michael, Kerry, Sharon, Katherine and Tim.

Black Santa visits the job

Black Santa is excited about visiting such an important government building.

Black Santa happy to see a government employee working diligently for the taxpayers of Tennessee.

Black Santa visits an older a veteran state employee. She is crying tears of joy after Black Santa explains the new Medicare drug plan.

This young man upset after hearing that Black Santa can do many many things, but he just can't give the gift of hair renewal.

Black Santa brought joy to many state workers. On his last visit of the day, this programmer was elated to learn that Black Santa would soon be bringing him a computer manufactured after the year 2000.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rebuilding the mansions of New Orleans - no soup for the rest of you poor bastards..

As noted in The Quiet Life, Bush talked big, broad and bold when the spotlights were on in New Orleans, but when the water and media floods receded, only FEMA's follies continue. In THIS story in the NY Times:

The Small Business Administration, which runs the federal government's main disaster recovery program for both businesses and homeowners, has processed only a third of the 276,000 home loan applications it has received.

And it has rejected 82 percent of those it has reviewed, a higher percentage than in most previous disasters, saying that many would-be borrowers did not have incomes high enough, or credit ratings good enough, to qualify.

Low income and spotty credit ratings are problematic, but considering the fact that the applicants were referred to Small Business Administration by FEMA, one would think that someone would be paying attention and applying some of that fabled compassionate conservatism by perhaps waiving some of the normal standards. Bush acted so concerned and ready for action when people were watching, but now that the national short attention span has moved along, the Bush folks don't appear to be quite so responsive.

The story does give some comfort: the owners of many New Orleans flood-damaged mansions have received the necessary loans to rebuild their homes.

Yea verily, Mark Albertini is running for Governor

Thanks to Rep. Stacey 'run-on' Campfield, we learned today that a man by the name of Mark Albertini is a Republican candidate for governor.

As one who is constantly striving for fair play and comity between the Dems and the GOPers, I decided to peruse Mr. Albertini's website in the hope that I could learn more about said candidate and perhaps proffer advice to the fledgling candidate.

These words nearly jumped off the page:

Concerned citizens must arise to the cause and protect their families from the tyranny of evil and oppressive rulers and their ungodly decisions. We must work together to make our world better for ourselves and eachother (sic).
These are the words of no mere candidate. These are the words of a super-hero avenging angel. Mark was a Marine. So, not only do I know he could whip my ass, I want to help him beef up his website. Here's a quote that seems to fit:

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.

I'm thinking a picture of Candidate Albertini with the jawbone of Steve Gill an ass preparing to slay the Philistinish tree-hugging-pro-abortion-anti-war-Brokeback Mountain-Watching -corrupt-highway-patrol unwashed sinners. By the way, if you do win, Mr. Albertini, as a loyal state employee, rest assured that I will be behind you 1000%.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Black Santa drops in on the CAC Block Grant meeting

The Salemtown CAC Block Grant committee is a distinguished group of Salemtown home and property owners whose purpose is to determine how our $200,000 grant award should be spent in Salemtown. Needless to say, Black Santa and the author of this blog are not on the committee, but we are considered official attendees.

Black Santa is pictured here proposing that a giant Black Santa statue be erected to welcome visitors into Salemtown. The proposal was met with no little opposition.

After realizing that his dream of a giant Black Santa statue was going to be more than deferred, Black Santa drowned his sorrows by downing an entire bottle of Don Braulio coffee liqueur. He finished the night by passing out while singing holiday carols with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

My favorite Christmas Holiday Joke

You've probably seen this one floating around in email-land, but just in case not..I wanted to share:
FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 3rd November 2005
RE: Christmas Party
I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take
place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function
room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of
drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...please
feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if the MD shows up
dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1.00p.m..
Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time, however,
no gift should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for
everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! The MD
will make a special announcement at the Party.
Merry Christmas to you and your Family.
FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director

TO: All Employees
DATE: 5th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party
In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish
employees. We recognise that Chanukah is an important holiday, which
often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year.
However, from now on we're calling it our 'Holiday Party'.. The same
policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians. There
will be no Christmas tree or Christmas carols sung. We will have
other types of music for your enjoyment.
Happy now?
Happy Holidays to you and your family,

FROM; Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 6th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party
Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics
Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table...you didn't sign your
name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on
a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous
anymore!!!!How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody? Forget about
the gift exchange, no gift exchange allowed now since the Union
Officials feel that $10.00 is too much money and Management believe
$10.00 is a little cheap. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 7th November 2005
RE: Holiday Part
What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th
begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and
drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we
can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not
accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs, perhaps the Grill House
can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party - or
else package everything up for you to take home in a little foil
doggy bag. Will that work? Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of
Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant
women will get the table closest to the toilets, Gays are allowed to
sit with each other, Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each
will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangements
for the gay men's table too. To the person asking permission to
cross dress - no cross dressing allowed. We will have booster seats
for short people. Low fat food will be available for those on a
diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest those
people with high blood pressure taste the food first.. There will be
fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply
"No Sugar" desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?!?!?!?!?!

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
&nbs! p; TO: All F****** Employees
DATE: 8 November 2005
RE: The ******** Holiday Party.
Vegetarian pricks I've had it with you people !!! We're going to
keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so
you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death",
as you so quaintly put it, you'll get your f****** salad bar,
including organic tomatoes, But you know tomatoes have feeling too,
They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing
the scream right NOW!! I hope you all have a rotten holiday, drink
drive and die.
The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FROM: John Bishop - Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: 9th November 2005
RE: Pauline Lewis and Holiday Party
I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pauline Lewis a speedy
recovery, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the
meantime, the Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and
instead, give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd December off with
full pay.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Dems say clean up the House - without delay..

It's a Christmas holiday miracle. Members of my party have decided to do something positive rather than snipe and moan (maybe it's the polls that say that the peeps trust the Dems roughly the same as they trust 'W' - yikes, but at least the peeps have the sense to hold Cheney in roughly the same regard as itinerant driveway pavers).

Reps. Obey, Frank, Price and Allen, Democrats one and all, have come up with a 14 point plan to scour the house including curtailing reimbursed travel, 'Van Goghing' the bloated earmarks that infect spending bills with more pork than the Rendevous will ever see and ensure that all bills up for a vote be published at least 24 hours before they are called up for a vote.

Many of these proposals are reactions, granted, but reactions to the excess and arrogance of the Republican leadership.

I doubt these proposals will gain much traction in a Republican driven House, but it's good to see the Democrats send a signal amidst all the noise.

ht: David Broder op-ed piece in today's Tennessean

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Black Santa IN the HOUSE

Well, of course we let Black Santa in the house..

Black Santa surveys the not-quite-ready-for-prime-Christmas decorations with a slight sigh..

Black Santa clearly shaken over the rampant commercialism of the Christmas season

After showing Black Santa my blog, he begin to channel Mr. T - "Apparently ANY FOOL can have a blog".

Will the Hutchesons heed the call of black Santa?

The H's and Sparky all snug in their beds..
when the voice of black Santa permeated their heads
do not be afraid my friends, do not be scared witless,
I'm not a scientologist or a Jehovah's witness,
I bring you cheer from my side of the pole,
I'm a lot like the fat white guy, but with a whole lot more soul..
I hear you moving around in there, but your house is not rocking..
it's cold out here, how long do i have to keep knocking?

Do you hear what I hear...Black Santa!

Amidst sleighbells, car horns, trampled shoppers needing mylanta..
who should appear but dear old black santa...
with a voice that could be confused with literally no other..
he appeared on our sidewalk - 'can I come in my brother?'...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

el principal estúpido es un knucklehead or, you mean it's not casual language Friday?

Bi-lingual student in Kansas City suspended for speaking Spanish between classes. No doubt, the young people of today are going to the perros.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I see washed up rock stars or Rock and Roll part 6th sense

Gary Glitter admitted he had an 11 year old girl in bed in an interview from prison in Viet Nam where he is under arrest for engaging in obscene acts with a child. Glitter claims that the girl was seeing ghosts and was seeking shelter from the poltergeist in his bed.

What Mr. Glitter was doing in Vietnam is not clear. I'm guessing that Vietnam is the only country in the world where people are not yet sick of Rock and Roll Part 2..just give em' time.

Tasers don't hurt people, policemen tasering their partners...OR New Weapon in the Cola Wars

A policeman in Michigan tasered his partner when she disagreed where to stop for a soft drink. What if it had been donuts they were arguing over???

Predators or Prey, or You know, the word 'suck', er..sucks

I've been to two Predator games this year. Predator opponents, in those two games, have scored a total of ten points. If you were to judge the Predator's season by those two games you would think that a minor league hockey team somehow had been drafted to play in the NHL. Fortunately, the Predators play much much better when I'm not in attendance.

Considering that the loss was compounded by knee strains to two of the teams better players (David Legwand and the incomparable goalie Tomas Vokoun), I'm thinking that the folks scanning the tickets may be supplied with my picture and instructed to call security upon my appearance...and I've still got 10 games to go on my ticket package.

Some would say that the Predators play last night 'sucked'. If you were an alien and the first contact with the human race was at a hockey game you would leave believing that the word 'suck' must be the central nexus through which our language unfurls.

I'm not offended by 'suck'. Anyone, anywhere can post it on a sign, a commercial, a blog and I won't even blink. On the other hand, I'm SICK of the word. Can't we come up with something new? I've been to hockey games for all seven seasons of Predator's existence, and other teams players have been individually and collectively 'sucking' for all those years. We get the word 'sucks' after each opponent is announced. We get the sing-song chant with the goalie's name ending triumphantly with the word 'SUCKS!'. Has our collective imagination been sucked so dry that we can't come up with a new derogative? To paraphrase the sucky Huey Lewis, 'We need a new WORD'.

Many are the insulting logisms and phrases, but sadly few are monosyllabic. You gotta have that one syllable punch when you follow the name of 'Gretzky' with an insulting slur.

So, I'm begging..put aside your feelings about the holiday vs. Christmas word-battles..set aside the polarity surrounding the war in Iraq - let's put the great minds of this country, of the blog-world - let's suck 'suck' from national discourse. Hey Tim W - I'm talking to YOU. Give us a new word!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

December 8, 1980

At first it was because our names were the same (I was a typically self-centered 12-year-old kid), but soon my favorite Beatle mantle was permanently draped on John. His sardonic acerbic wit and his clever wordplay along with edgier vocals (edgier than Paul) fit the image to which I aspired.

He could be an ass. But, his harmony vocals on songs like '8 Days a Week' and irony-laden latter-day songs like 'Working Class Hero' as well as sensitive non-treacly songs such as Julia more than make up for his ass-ininity.

The news that John had been shot came via Howard Cosell on Monday night football. The world really didn't stop or turn on a dime, but the idea that one of the BEATLES was mortal, especially John, still feels unnatural. Beatles 4ever, you know.

'I'm not against capital punishment, I'm just against killing the wrong people' - Kinky Friedman

I'm not saying that the people (I'm assuming it was a committee of small children and/or satirists) who wrote the instruction manual for my new Toshiba Gigabeat MP3 player are totally out of touch with the King's (or even Bush's) english, but the language within the manual is a dialect with which I am not familiar.

If the instructions on how to post in Blogger were as complex and badly written as the ones in my battered manual (thrown against the wall a number of times), NIT would have a lot fewer blogs to aggregate (and there would be bonanza for computer repair-people).

I'm a tired tired man. The numbskulls at Amazon (I ordered this before I read Brittney's and Kevin's woes with the less than amazing Amazon) shipped my new player to my old address, despite the fact that I filled out THREE freakin' forms on the website which were supposed to provide the less-than-amazon-brained peeps the change-of-address. Nonetheless, my old house was the scene of the delivery.

By the time I finally got my hands on the Gigabeat, I was peeved. Reading the instruction manual and attempting to install the device would have tried the patience of Werner Von Braun, and I can hardly hold a flickering candle to his vast expanse of brainiac-power.

After the blue cloud of cursing dissipated AND I managed to locate a driver for the damn player that was somehow not 'readable' from the install disk, I managed to record a few songs - at a much later hour than my aging body needs to be stirring (at least on a work night).

Verdict: Sounds good once I got a few songs transferred. The controls aren't as easy to use or as intuitive as the IPOD, but I got a lot more storage and format flexibility for a lot less price. Apparently, the Toshiba powers-that-be are saving a LOT of money on manual writers (what's the going rate for Mongolian children labor these days?) and they managed to pass the savings on to me...

Sadly, if I had waited just a few months later, I might have been the recepient of a government subsidy..if the wizards in congress pass a 'digital TV' subsidy, can a digital music subsidy be far behind?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sushi-time with Big, Bad Ivy

Today it was my total pleasure to share a table with Ivy (and her brother - Zach) at Samurai Sushi down on Elliston Place. Not only was I dining at the best sushi joint in NashVegas but I've received an early Christmas gift - a new friend.

As I've mentioned before, eating at Mr. Choo's joint is partaking in one of Nashville's treasures. I can also hardily recommend hanging with Ivy.

Not one word was said about Christmas vs. Holiday.....good times!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rocky VI (sneaky preview)

Rocky on a budget (sound!). Eye of the liger?

Monday, December 05, 2005

First it was Kelo, now it's sexsomnia, or I HAD a dream

From Canada comes the story of a man who was acquitted for sexually assaulting his girlfriend. His defense: sexsomnia (i was asleep at the time).

I'm guessing that trial lawyers on both sides of the border are getting excited, er, stirred up over this ruling. I'm also guessing that the judge(s) in this case will not be receiving any NOW awards.

I think it's a stupid defense, but I'm willing to use it in context with some of my more inane blog postings....i'm sorry, it was the blogsomnia. In the spirit of the holidays/Christmas/festivus/kwanzaa/hanukkah, I'm willing to share this excuse with my fellow bloggers.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

hey, now I've got my own dicktionary!

Fritz extends the olive branch to Representative Stacey 'Is there an Hispanic caucus yet' Campfield in a post enwrapped in seasonal goodwill. Charles Dikkens couldn't have penned it better.

England's Oldest Hitmakers

Saw em' again last night at the relatively new and stillspiffyclean FedEx Forum in Memphis. If you are a life-long Stones fan (such as this aging fan), you don't always get what you want from a Stones concert (where was 'Gimme Shelter'?), but you usually get what you need (a scorching version of Ray Charles classic 'Nighttime is the Right Time').

Yeah, they occasionally paint by numbers on one or more of the iconic trinity (Satisfaction, Brown Sugar, Jumpin' Jack Flash), but Mick can still sing, Keith can still sting and Charlie definitely still swings.

Plus they offer great life lessons to the largely 40-50ish baby boomer crowd about to crest into their 60s. Keep moving, keep swaggering and get help when you can't hit the high notes.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Good grief - Congress investigating flawed Bowl Championship (BCS) process

One of Jon Stewart's great lines: In times of crises, it is important that Congress looks like they are taking action.

I hate the BCS as much as the next sports loon but, you gotta think there are more pressing matters or for that matter how about just staying home for the holidays.

These hearings were called, of course, by a Republican (Congressman Joe Barton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee). I can only hope that fellow-Texan Congressman Tom 'Gerrymander' DeLay is not on the committee. If his football justice is akin his redistricting skill, Texas will play Texas A&M for the national championship next month.

Letting go (is it a holiday or is it Christmas?)

Last night I attended a benefit concert for Aphesis House. Aphesis gives recently released prisoners a place to stay to readjust to the 'free world'. It's a wonderful organization that has been quite successful.

I'm about to trespass into Mother Tongue Annoyances territory, but I love the implication of the word aphesis. It comes from the Greeks and literally means 'letting go'. There is a linguistic meaning (forming a new word by losing the first letter of a word, e.g. squire from esquire), but the nuance of forgiveness as letting go is what caught my fancy.

With so much seasonal folderol in the air - 'merry christmas' or 'happy holiday', 'holiday tree vs Christmas tree', the Falwell Christmas gaggle of lawyers ready to pounce at the drop of a creche' and the eternal dismay over the crassitudining of Kringle, we need to let go.

The season is going to be commercial. Some people don't like the Christ in Christmas. Other people are manger-centric. Some people want to kick the creche into neverland. Others choose to avoid the whole mess altogether.

Here is a gift you can give yourself: Let it go. Have the season, the Christmas, the non-Christian holiday, the ceremony, the mass, the feast, the fast, the time, YOU WANT. Haunt the malls, curse the malls, deck the halls or have a ball. Skip Christmas or watch the entire 24 hour marathon of 'The Christmas Story' or just share a fire and a hearth with your family or friends. Let other people do whatever it is they choose to do or choose to call this time of year.

Practice random acts of forgiveness and then let it go. Give yourself and others the grace to be different and then let it go.

I would say Happy Festivus, but that would mean you would have to air your grievances, and we have double-damn enough of THAT.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Blindfolds for the children of Springfield

I did a double-take when I saw today's Tennessean story on a sign deemed too sexy in Spring Hill. I was wondering if some jewelry store was featuring Janet Jackson's nipple rings or if Victoria's Secret had inexplicably opened a branch in Spring Hill.

What in the SPRING HILL could have possibly offended a mother of a six-year-old Spring hill denizen when she had to explain what a certain word meant?

Caution: Don't read any further if you are easily offended by four-letter words.

The word is 'SEXY'. I'm sorry that I have to use such an offensive expletive in the pages of my blog.

The word SEXY has been deemed to sexy to appear on signage in the sanctimonious burb of Spring Hills. The Studio 4 Hair & More was advertising a product called 'Sexy Hair Concepts'. Granted the sign is one of those annoying blinking animatronic signs that are now banned in Spring Hill (the salon's sign was grandfathered in because the sign existed before the ban), but geeze louize..I'm trying to imagine how that mother of the six year old is going to avoid offensive language and signage if the word 'sexy' is too racy.

Perhaps the offended mother of the six year old was anticipating the effects of the 'sexy hair concept' if the good citizens of Spring Hill succumbed to such a treatment. Would there be saturnalia on Saturn Hill Parkway?

I guess I should have realized that Victoria's Secret wouldn't be opening a store in Spring Hill..that is unless there is a new line of VS burqas I haven't seen advertised.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Find the rock star - more visual punnery

There are 74 rock stars/bands in this picture or at least a visual representation of the band or artist's name..e.g. the guy with the axe breaking up pumpkins represents The Smashing Pumpkins. I've found about 15..some of the puns are really clever.

There are a couple of preliminary screens that will automatically feed into the 'puzzle' screen and an ad you can skip before you get to the good stuff.

ht: Pop Candy

Busy Mom gets Bizzier

Hey mom, can we tape busy preschooler to the back of the bathroom door?

Busy Mom has been tapped to guest blog for Michael Silence (No Silence Here) next week. Do you need some help with the kids, B. Mom? Has B-Mo been reading this guy?

Seriously speaking, she was a great guest-host at NIT and I'm sure she (and the readers of Michael Silence) will have fun.

Steve Pavlina has the time

Thanks to MSNBC's CLICKED, I got to read about this guy who finished college in three semesters. He's not a genius, but he is a time management meshugganah, er, maven.

Reading about his time management theories took a little time, and almost made me tired, but it's worth perusing. I specifically like this quote:

The word "enthusiasm" comes from the Greek entheos, which means literally, "the god within." I really like that definition. I doubt it's possible to master the art of time management if you aren't gushingly enthusiastic about what you're going to do with your time. Go after what really inspires you. Don't chase money. Chase your passion.

About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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