I’ve watched this video several times and I noticed a few things. First of all, the umpire signals that the runner was safe so I’ve no idea what these players were celebrating about. Sure, he could’ve been louder and more demonstrative (it was a big game after all) but the team’s reaction makes no sense. Wouldn’t you make sure she was out before going wild like that? Secondly, it seems like the left fielder was the only one who realized what was happening. She ran all the way in to cover third base, then ran and got the ball behind home plate. Hell, her own catcher blocked her from making the tag. Amazing really. What a way to lose.


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Magical.

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Weird, but a lot of my readers won’t know what this is.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how much not only music has changed over the past 40-50 years, but how much we buy and listen to it has changed as well. After we talked I began thinking about music and how I became so involved in it, and my mind went back to the early 60’s, when I was just a young whippersnapper . . .

Mom and Dad always had records around, but they were by guys like Dean Martin and Al Martino. Then my sisters started bringing records home by Elvis and artists like Gene Pitney, Bobby Vinton and The Four Seasons. Of course, The Beatles arrived and changed everything, but I began to get really immersed when one of my sister’s boyfriends, Dave, started bringing 45s to the house and playing them for me. Not only would he play the 45s, he would describe the group to me and give me background he’d learned from music magazines and other sources.

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If this isn’t it exactly it’s pretty damn close.

In those early years I listened to everything on Mom and Dad’s massive stereo. It was one of those giant wooden ones with the lid that popped up, revealing the fascinating array of knobs and buttons with which to adjust the sound and volume.

Anyway, I was endlessly fascinated by Dave talking about the people behind the music, so as time went on I got into it more and more. I’d lie in bed listening to WLS radio out of Chicago every single night, just soaking up the sounds and imagining what the bands and singers looked like. I recall DJs like Larry Lujack and Wolfman Jack, and lying there, the music just seemed magical. It also, in my mind, came from exotic, faraway places.

That’s why I disliked music videos so much. They told us what to see, not what our imaginations could create. After MTV the song brought to mind the video, and that was sad to me. But back to my childhood . . .

As the late 60’s came along, so did my teenage years. Sometime around then I began buying my own records, and in the beginning it was always 45s. I remember going to Central Center with my father every other Friday to get  haircuts. I’d go first, and then I’d walk down to Woolworths where they sold records. They had a display where they’d have the Top 20 singles and I’d always go there first, followed by the “New Releases” section.

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Yep. Like this.

The 45s cost 79¢, and I usually had $5.00 that I had saved (I used to get an old guy’s mail that lived in Bourneville and he’d pay me a whopping $5.00 a week!) so I had to choose wisely. That’s six 45’s every 2-weeks for you non-Math folks out there. Sometimes I’d only buy 3 or 4 records so I could buy a Coke Float and Grilled Cheese sandwich over at the Woolworths soda fountain and bar. They has those cool stools and everything and I loved it.

Then I’d walk back up to the Barber Shop, meet Dad and head home. I could not wait to get there, take that record from the wrapper, drop it on the little turntable in my bedroom, close my eyes and let the music take me away. Man, you couldn’t beat the late 60’s groups like The Rascals, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Four Tops, and of course The Beatles and others.

Later, around the time I got my driver’s license I believe, I started buying albums, or LPs. See, in the early 60’s albums were basically one hit song and a bunch of filler tunes. The songs were all independent of each other. The Beatles changed all that by making concept, or theme albums. On these albums the songs were all connected, like on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Because of this you wanted the entire album, or at least I did.

I bought most of my albums back then at Hart’s department store and places like that. If I really wanted to buy stuff out of the mainstream I went to Columbus and visited places like the gloriously named Magnolia Thunderpussy to find hard-to-get music. Up through the early to mid-80’s you couldn’t find alternative bands like R.E.M. and The Replacements in regular department stores.

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Great LP cover. On a related note, I sat at a desk like this at the old Twin Elementary.

And kids today will have no concept of this, but there was nothing better than taking the cellophane off of an album and reading all the information on the back. It was even better if it was an album (usually a double album but not always) that opened up like a book. Often the lyrics were contained somewhere, either on the back of the album itself or maybe on the actual sleeve in which the record was contained. Posters could be in there, and some albums were really unique, like Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” LP which opened up like an old school desk. Cool. I’d spend hours going over everything on an album jacket, over and over and over.

eightSoon, LPs were pushed aside in favor of 8-track tapes. You couldn’t put much information on an 8-track, which sucked. 8-tracks had four sections and when the tape went from one to the other it made this clunky sound as it switched over. Sometimes, if the tape was dragging, you had to press a matchbook or something between the tape and player to tighten it up. I bet everyone who owned a tape player has done that a few times.

Next came the cassette. The cassette was even smaller than the 8-track, which led to even less information on it. Of course the CD followed, and by then you could go straight to a song without listening to other songs on the album. I remember hearing kids say, “Hey, play #4!” Hell, they didn’t even know the name of the song, let alone the background of it or, God forbid, the lyrics.

Alas, nowadays everything is downloaded from the internet and a lot of people don’t purchase the entire album. That’s sad because a lot of the time you have to listen to a song a few times before it grows on you. With an album you put it on and listened to everything, then you flipped it over and listened to Side 2. There was no fast-forwarding unless you wanted to get up and move the needle, man.

On a related note, LPs have made a pretty significant comeback. The sound is just different, and somehow better.

Bottom line, technology and the subsequent downloading of music has led to young people missing out on the depth and breadth of the music and the musicians that created it, you know? Nobody gets into the “Deep Cuts” anymore. And now that I think about it, isn’t that sort of describing the state of music today? That it’s lacking depth and breadth? It’s all tied together. Yep, it’s all becoming clear to me now.

Sigh.

Aw, maybe I just sound like an old guy lamenting the way things used to be. Then again, maybe not. I really believe that most of the changes have been for the worse. Advances like autotune, digital recording, even multi-tracking have cheapened the whole process.

Bottom line though? Even though I mostly prefer the older methods of recording and listening, I still love a lot of today’s recordings.

Why? Because it’s music, man. I couldn’t live without it.

Uh, I believe I’d have stayed in the car, but that’s just me.

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Jacking up an ill-advised 3 early in the shot clock? Check. Standing there like a dumbass watching your shot? Check. Missing said shot? Check. Not getting back on defense? Check. Watching the Spurs dunk at the other end? Check. Keep being you, Russell Westbrook. Keep being you.

Doh!

Doh!


I could live there.

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Beautiful song, beautiful lyrics.

They know.

Beauty.

Norway

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Shady.

I swear some of the weirdest things happen to me on a weekly basis. On the one hand, I seem to be put in precarious situations way too much, on the other hand I always have plenty of blog material, and to a world class blogger such as myself this is invaluable.

The latest instance happened yesterday afternoon. I was sitting in the parking lot of a local store, sort of away from everyone else because I was meeting my girlfriend to go run some errands. I was early so I got out a book and began reading. After a bit I noticed an older model car, pretty sure it was a ’77 Ford LTD, slowly pull by me and pull over a couple spots ahead of me.

No big deal, I didn’t think much of it and went back to reading my book.

A minute later, though, I heard a low growl coming from my best friend in the backseat. I looked back at Sparky, then followed his gaze to the guy who’d pulled over.

He was getting out of his car and walking towards me.

He was wearing a sports jacket and jeans, had a ponytail, and he had a backpack slung over his shoulder. Then, as he neared my window he began to reach in the pack. For a second I had the crazy thought that he was going to pull out a gun and try and rob me, but then I rolled my window down and asked what the hell he was doing. He paused his digging in the backpack, stared at me for a second, backed up a few feet, then walked back to his car at a brisk pace, pausing only to look over his shoulder at me with a look of concern.

He then drove away, departing as mysteriously as he’d arrived.

So what did this dude want? Obviously a case of mistaken identity, right? Or was it?

Weird, man. Just another day in the life of Sparky and I.

PS – During the whole encounter The Spark was raising holy hell, barking and snarling and trying to rip the guy’s throat out. Perhaps that had something to do with the hasty retreat. 

So here’s Johnny Manziel’s latest tweet, where he sounds as if he’s proud of himself for reasons unknown to normal-thinking people. Read the tweet, and my comments follow:

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Uh, yeah Johnny, we know. That’s the problem. The sports world has been waiting for you to grow up, mature, and take advantage of the amazing opportunities that have been made available to you. Instead, you’re taking pride in the fact that you haven’t. A couple years ago you won the Heisman, was drafted in the 1st Round of the NFL Draft, and signed a $8.247 million contract, a four-year deal that included a $4.32 million signing bonus.

Since then you’ve partied your life away, been indicted on misdemeanor domestic assault charges, and your father has stated you’ll be lucky to live to see your next birthday.

Son, you were handed a great life on a silver platter and you’ve done everything you possibly can to screw it up.

Get some help, brother. You need it.

Johnny in Columbus recently.

Johnny in Columbus recently.

This map shows the locations of the U.S. geographic center of area, mean center of population, and median center of population.

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Russia banned the sale of vodka during World War I. The government immediately lost a third of its income.

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My Stalker and I

Posted: April 30, 2016 in Men and Women, WTF?
Tags: ,

Yikes.

Well, sort of.

The other day I get a random friend request from a girl whose name I didn’t recognize, but this isn’t unusual. After all, I’ve had thousands of students and a lot of the girls I had in class have different last names now.

Anywho, I accepted the request and thought nothing more about it until a couple of days later when I received a message from said girl. Let’s call her Stella. Here’s the exact conversation that took place on the first day:

Stella: “Hello. How are you?”

Me: “Doing well.”

At this point I don’t want to offend her by telling her I don’t recognize her so I’m trying to feel her out. So to speak.

Stella: “How is the weather in Ohio?”

Me: “It’s been in the 60’s today. Unseasonably warm.”

Stella: “It’s warm here in ___________ too.”

She named a city that’s in another state, which didn’t help me at all. At this point I just asked her straight out:

Me: “Did I have you as a student at Paint Valley or Greenfield?”

Stella: “No, I saw you on Fox News and you looked interesting so I thought I’d contact you.”

Wait. What? Hold on. Fox what? News? Ruh-roh . . .

Me: “Uh, not me. You’re  obviously mistaking me for someone else.”

I then log off with a shrug of my shoulders and forget about her. But, the next day I get a message . . .

Stella: “Can you at least talk to me?”

Me: “Well, I don’t really know you. I thought we knew each other when I accepted the friend request.”

Stella: “Oh.”

It ends there for about a day. And then, the following evening . . .

Stella: “Can’t we just talk?”

I figured not responding was the best move at this point so I didn’t. Then, a couple days later I wake up to find this, repeated word for word:

“WHY WON’T YOU TALK TO ME!!!!!!!!”

And then . . .

“?????????????????????????????????????????”

Followed by . . .

“WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU? WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU??????”

And this went on for about 20 more messages. Chick was unglued, unhinged, and you know, thought she’d seen me on Fox News.

Good God. Of course at this point I unfriended her. I mean, I’ve had ladies become frustrated and angry with me before but this was entering Fatal Attraction territory. I half expected to come home and find Sparky boiling on my stove, and for that someone would have to die.

So, being the bright guy that I am I shall henceforth refuse to accept friends without knowing with 100% certainty who they are. I probably should’ve known and done that anyway, but what the hey. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

But now, because of this little Facebook exchange, every time Sparky barks at night I’m sure it’s Stella, who for all I know could be a 45-year old male serial killer with murderous intent.

So, if there’s anything to be learned from all this it’s probably that I’m an idiot.

Horrifying thought – does she read this site? Did I post anything from Shoe: Untied during the couple of days she was my “friend”? I didn’t, did I? The mind reels.

Just checked. I did not. I think I’m good. Wait. Somebody’s at the door . . .

[Originally published on December 6th, 2012.]

“A recent study has found that stalking was far more prevalent than anyone had imagined: 8% of American women and 2% of American men will be stalked in their lifetimes. That’s 1.4 million American stalking victims every year. The majority of stalkers have been in relationships with their victims, but a significant percentage either never met their victims, or was just acquaintances – neighbors, friends or co-workers.” – The National Institute of Justice

I’m pretty sure I’ve never been stalked (maybe once), nor have I ever been a stalker. Well, that is if you don’t count Mary Jo Ridgeway back in 7th grade. Man, she was pretty. Long blonde hair, cute little upturned nose, funny . . . it seemed like she was stalking me because everywhere I went she was 10-steps in front of me. I could never figure out why I made her uncomfortable. Hmmm . . . I wonder where she lives now? I might be able to find her address online. Wait . . . never mind.

Seriously though, back in the day I don’t think the word “stalker” referred to anything regarding women, at least not anything creepy or you know, illegal. So, when I originally heard most of these songs I’m about to list nothing ominous came to mind at all. In these paranoid enlightened times, however, some of the old lyrics take on a whole new, darker light. See what I did there? Darker light? That’s what sets me apart from your average blogger. But on to said songs.

Let’s start with, when you really listen, one of the creepiest songs ever recorded:

Every Breath You Take” – The Police (click on all song titles to view the videos)

Yep, one of 1983’s biggest hits was about obsessive love to the max. Read on . . .

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I’ll be watching you.

Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay
I’ll be watching you.

Seriously, has anybody ever checked to see if whoever this song was written about is still alive? Jeepers.

“Run for Your Life” – The Beatles

This gem from John Lennon seems harmless enough, at least until you actually listen to the lyrics. It was on Rubber Soul and John pulled no punches regarding what would happen if his girlfriend left him:

Let this be a sermon, I mean everything I’ve said,
Baby, I’m determined and I’d rather see you dead.
You better run for your life if you can, little girl,
Hide your head in the sand little girl,
Catch you with another man, that’s the end, little girl.

Yikes. Hear that? Lennon will gut you, girl. How in God’s name did those lyrics get past the record company honcho’s way back in 1965? This, my friends, was an early indicator that those friendly moptops weren’t as innocent as they seemed.

The More You Ignore Me the Closer I Get– Morrisey

Listen, I love Morrisey and I loved his former group The Smiths, but this dude was having some serious issues when he wrote this nugget:

Beware !
I bear more grudges
Than lonely high court judges
When you sleep
I will creep
Into your thoughts
Like a bad debt
That you can’t pay
Take the easy way
And give in
Yeah, and let me in
Oh, let me in
It’s war.

Nice of him to throw in “It’s war” there at the end, don’t ya think? Sort of caps off the sociopathic feel of the tune. Precious.

Lily (My One and Only)” – Smashing Pumpkins

This one is pretty cut and dried, and I mean “cut” literally. I mean, singing about hanging in a tree and watching a woman sort of speaks for itself.

Lily, my one and only I can hardly wait ’til I see her
Silly, I know I’m silly ‘Cause I’m hanging in this tree in the hopes that she will catch a glimpse of me
And through her window shade I watch her shadow move I wonder if she…
Lily, my one and only Love is in my heart and in your eyes
Will she or won’t she want him, no one knows for sure
But an officer is knocking at my door.
And through her window shade I watch her shadow move
I wonder if she could only see me, and when I’m with her,
I feel fine If I could kiss her I wouldn’t mind the time it took to find My Lily,
My one and only, I can hardly wait ’til I see her
Oh, Lily, I know you love me,
Cause as they’re draggin’ me away I swear I saw her raise her hand and wave goodbye.

Creepy, especially that last line. Whadda visual. Which reminds me of . . .

The Creep” – Lonely Island w/ Nicki Minaj

How can you not include a song with this verse?

And they knew I was a creep since the day I was born
Get popping out of momma like some kettle corn
And the doctor saw my head and he starting freaking
Cause I came clean and I came out creeping.

Really? “Popping out of momma like some kettle corn?” And trust me, you really have to watch the video (again, click on the song title) on this one. It truly speaks for itself. Make sure and watch it in all its freaky, unsettling glory.

Have mercy.

Obsession” – Animotion

Pure 1980s synthesizer stalk-pop. Check out these lyrics:

You are an obsession, I cannot sleep
I am a possession unopened at your  feet
There is no balance, no equality
Be still I will not accept defeat.

I will have you, yes I will have you
I will find a way and I  will have you
Like a butterfly, a wild butterfly
I will collect you and  capture you.

Did I miss something? Was this considered romantic in the 80s? Wait a second . . .you know, now that I re-read that it is sort of sexy in a different sort of way.

I’ve said too much.

O . . . K, before I expose my innermost feelings regarding love and stuff, let’s finish up with this classic song:

Love Ninja” – Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century

Yep, it’s that Andy Dick. And on a related note, I just realized that I mentioned The Beatles and Andy Dick in the same blog. I hate myself right now. What the hell, just watch the video . . .

There are a few other songs that missed my list, including Carly Simon’s “You Belong to Me” (written by Carly and Michael McDonald and also recorded by the Doobie Brothers), Death Cab for Cutie’s “I Will Possess Your Heart”, and Elvis Costello’s “I Want You/I Hope You’re Happy Now”, great stalker songs all. I’m pretty certain I’ve missed a few though, and I’m just as certain my faithful readers will point them out to me.

Thanks for that in advance, kids. See ya on down the road.

Originally published on August 26th, 2012.

It’s a bird!

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M&Ms were created so that military soldiers could enjoy heat resistant and easy to transport chocolate during war.

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Enchanting.

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Every Thursday is garbage day. And every Thursday 3-year-old Brooklyn Adracke is glowing with anticipation as she waits for her favorite person in the world, Delvar the garbage man. Last Thursday was Brooklyn’s birthday and she really wanted to share one of her cupcakes with Delvar. She stood and waited with the cheeziest smile, until Delvar finally arrived. Then, that following week, Delvar showed up with a surprise of his own.

Awww. Check out the whole story told in photos below.

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I was pulling for Pumas in this matchup. Those Tachira guys are assclowns.

 ——————-

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A few days ago a couple of women were waited on by a gay waitress and left the following “tip” on their bill. How they knew she was gay wasn’t explained in the article, but the so-called “tip” along with the message that was added has evoked strong feelings from all sides. Check out the receipt first, and my comments are below.

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Listen, everyone has a right to their opinion on anything and everything. As far as I’m concerned it’s all a part of life’s rich pageant. That said, I think most people know how I feel about this. It pisses me off. No matter how you feel religiously or morally about an issue, it’s no reason to punish somebody who is trying to do their job. Bottom line, if you get good service you should leave a good tip. And my goodness, the self-righteousness of these people is breathtaking. You know, for some reason the note at the bottom angers me more than the bible verse left in the tip line. For the record, and there are as many translations of this verse as there are translations of the bible, it reads as follows:

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Clearly that can be interpreted a few ways, but that’s another story. As I said, for me the “praying for you” at the end is the real kicker. To be so smug to think that somebody needs your prayers because their sexual preference is different than yours is laughable to me.

Note: I know this is a controversial subject, but spare me the hateful messages. Wait. On second thought, bring it on. I’ll pick the 5 most intolerant and ignorant and write about them. Blog material! Woot!

So Zac Efron is in the new Baywatch movie, and the other day they were filming the famous “running on the beach” scene. As you can see, things didn’t go well for Zac. Embarrassing. Hasselhoff never took a header like that. Get it together, man. On a related note, The Rock may never speak to the kid again.

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Cool.

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Arachnophobia, man.

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These guys are hilarious. If you want to see the ultimate Key & Peele video, watch The Substitute Teacher. Classic, man.

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