Archive for August, 2017

Ornate.

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I’ve seen some wild photos coming out of Texas, man. I’ve seen people canoeing, surfing and Jet Skiing down city streets, babies being towed through water in Tupperware bins, everything. But this photo is incredible. That’s Interstate 10 now in the first photo, with a photo prior to the hurricane below it.

Here’s a similar view with the same sign. Hard to fathom.

Eerie. The nuclear plant can be seen in the background.

Damn giraffes, man. Just getting more brazen by the day, amirite? Bro really stuck his neck out with this heist. Grabbed that bike and was off like a boss. What the hell is the world coming to? Somebody needs to build a wall to keep these animals out of here.

Big cow guy here. Everyone knows that.  Something about the way a cow looks at you amuses me. Once I was riding my bike on a country road and stopped for a rest and drink of water. I heard a noise over my shoulder, turned, and saw something akin to this:

Adorable, man. We had a nice chat and I was on my way. I think she mooed as I peddled off. Anyway, I’m edging closer to being a vegetarian every damn day. Again, something about a cow. Enjoy, and click to peruse.

So the prestigious Washington Post just fired off one of the most insightful, in-depth and well-researched tweets of the year with this gem:

NATION’S FOURTH LARGEST CITY STRUGGLES TO GET MOVING AGAIN AFTER HARVEY

 

Gee Washington Post, ya think?

 

I’ll never forget the game. I was 19-years old. Bourneville, Ohio. June 4th, 1976. My parent’s basement. Suns at Celtics, 1976 NBA Finals, Game 5. Series tied 2-2. Triple overtime. Longest NBA game in history. Some of the most astounding, amazing, incredible moments ever witnessed on a basketball court. Referee Ritchie Powers attacked by a fan. The whole game is still vivid in my mind today, and it included a Garfield Heard shot that was later called “The Heard Shot Round the World.” I know, makes no sense but it doesn’t have to. Cool as hell. Basketball fans, do yourself a favor and watch the highlights. For you hardcore hoopsters, the entire game is on the second video. It’ll be the best 2-hours and 37-minutes you’ve spent in a long time, trust me.

But first, the highlights:

Here’s the entire game:

Jordan’s competitive nature was legendary.

Wondrous.

So the NRA had their big Conceal Carry Fashion Show a few days ago and the World of Fashion is in a tizzy. Just hotties with guns busting out all over the joint. Before I show you the spectacular photos, remember that I don’t own a gun and I couldn’t kill an animal if you paid me, but I’m not anti-hunting or anything. It’s just a personal preference. Do I think we could do without the Uzis on the streets? Sure I do. On the other hand, I enjoy a slab of venison for dinner as much as the next guy. Anyway, on to the photos that rocked the fashion world . . .

Sure robbers, I have my valuables r-i-g-h-t here.

 

With a sexy show of the ankle, Heloise Perkins slowly slipped out her Glock.

Here’s Myrna Schmedlap modeling the gun-concealing bra, new for 2017. On a related note, she could hide a howitzer in that thing.

Wait. Isn’t going shirtless sort of defeating the purpose of the whole “conceal” thing?

Not sure what’s happening here. Is his gun backwards? That may not turn out well.

“Are you SURE you won’t take these Piggly Wiggly coupons?”

Here’s fan favorite Mack Moonley, doing his patented Disco Draw move.

Plenty of A-List celebrities were in attendance. Here’s Hank Flaherty, owner of the local Guns R Us affiliate.

Occupying front row seats were the Bobby Plotnik family, well-known owners of the local Brew City Shooters Gun Emporium.

 

Since this summer is the 25th Anniversary of The 1992 Dream Team I thought I might share some memories from that summer in ’92 . . .

A lot of my younger readers may not know this, but the United States used to send amateurs to play hoops in the Olympics. However, we’d been beaten pretty handily in 1988 which sort of led to the decision to send our best. And a lot of people may not realize this, but most of the rest of the world was thrilled when that announcement came down. They understood that the only way they’d ever catch up with the United States talent-wise was to compete against our best. Incidentally, that’s what’s happened. International players have proven markedly since 1992.

I’ll never forget when the roster was announced. Basketball fans were stunned by the talent level – Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullen, Clyde Drexler, and Scottie Pippin. The team added one college player, passing over Shaquille O’Neal to take Christian Laettner. The team was to be coached by Chuck Daly, the guy who’d just led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA titles.

We were stacked. So stacked that guys like Reggie Miller, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkens, and Shaquille O’Neal didn’t even make the team.

The team was so iconic that some members could simply be identified by their nickname – The Mailman, The Admiral, Sir Charles, The Glide, The Hick from French Lick, Air, and yes, Magic.

Once in Barcelona, the Dream Team was relentlessly mobbed everywhere they went. Even our opponents admitted they were in awe. Perhaps the greatest international player of that time, Brazil’s phenomenal scorer Oscar Schmidt, said this was his goal for the tournament:

“I want all the American team’s autographs if possible.”

Believe it or not, some opposing players posed for photos with the players from the USA during games.

But here’s the thing a lot of people don’t mention when discussing the Dream Team – when guys like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippin, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone wanted to shut you down defensively, there was absolutely nothing you were going to do about it.

For instance, Croatia had a great player by the name of Toni Kukoc and he had been drafted by the Chicago Bulls. In fact, Scottie Pippin’s contract was being held up because Chicago’s GM Jerry Krause was saving money to sign Kukoc. Scottie, as you might imagine, didn’t take this kindly and was determined to take it out on Kukoc on the court. Plus, his buddy Michael was going to help him. Simply put, Pippin and Jordan put the “Croatian Sensation” through four quarters of living hell. Kukoc was at the receiving end of the most tenacious and stifling defense possible at the hands of Jordan and Pippen. Later they recalled that they were probably playing against Krause as much as against Kukoc. Kukoc finished the game shooting 2-11 for just 4-points as the USA won 103-70.

Here are some fascinating facts about the greatest sports team ever assembled:

  • During the 8-game Olympic run, Head Coach Chuck Daly called a grand total of zero timeouts.
  • John Stockton was the only member of the team that could walk around Barcelona without being bothered, and he did so all the time with his wife and kids.
  • The Dream Team’s opponents shot 36% from the floor. The Dream Team shot 58%.
  • Michael Jordan had 37-steals in 8-games.
  • Karl Malone and, incredibly, Chris Mullen, led the team in rebounding.
  • Charles Barkley shot 71% from the floor and 88% from 3-point range.
  • Barkley led the team in scoring with 18.0 ppg, followed by Jordan at 14.9.
  • The closest anyone came to the Dream Team in the Olympics was 32-points. Their average margin of victory was 43.8 points.

My favorite quote from the entire tournament came from Charles Barkley before they played Angola:

Reporter: “What can you tell us about Angola?”

Charles: “I don’t know anything about Angola, but Angola’s in trouble.”

And they were. The US won by 68.

Bottom line, there has never been a team as good as the 1992 Dream Team, and there never will be. End of story.

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And of course the soundtrack is Slayer.

I’m telling you now to turn the sound off. Some Japanese dude is yelling throughout the video and it’s annoying as hell. Very cool to watch though.

Oddly, I think this bro has convinced me.

As many of you know, over the short 5+ year lifespan of Shoe: Untied I’ve managed to upset a few people. Some, like bowler mothers and midgets short people, I felt badly about. Others, like Nazis and racists, not so much. LeBron? That was just sort of cool. Anyway, now I’ve gone and upset an eclipse lover. What can I say? I’m sorry but I just couldn’t get excited about the moon passing in front of the sun. Just couldn’t. I mean, there were weather folks on TV actually crying as this was happening. That just blows my mind, man. Hey, I’ve looked at an active volcano before and was sort of in awe, but I didn’t cry. And I also never understood the applauding by people either. Were they applauding the moon? The sun? God? I’m befuddled.

Anyway, here’s the message I received. My comments follow:

Sir:

Why all the hatred directed at Monday’s historic solar eclipse? Do you not understand the historical significance of the event? This was a rare, once in a lifetime happening for many human beings who witnessed it. To not show this eclipse the respect it deserves showed an abundance of ignorance on your part.

Sincerely,

Margo Maynes

Charlotte, NC

Hey, at least she was sincere I guess? That’s what she said there at the end. Anyway, Margo, I directed no hatred toward the eclipse because, you now, I can’t hate a phenomenon of nature. It’s generally a rule of thumb with me to never hate anything that’s not capable of hating me back. For instance, I can’t hate a spoon. Make sense?

Next, while I do agree it was a rare event, I’m not sure I understand the “historical significance” of it other than the fact that it doesn’t happen very often. To me it was one celestial body passing in front of another, nothing more or less. Sorry.

Finally, can you really respect an eclipse? I think not. That would be sort of like respecting a tree or a rock or something. Besides, it’s not like I was pointing at it and laughing or anything. I suppose you should respect a mountain when climbing it, but in that case you’d be respecting the dangers you faced climbing it rather than the mountain itself, right? Bottom line? No, I did not respect the eclipse. Sorry Margo. On a related note, I don’t respect meteors either.*

*I have no idea what that means.

To conclude, as a nod to Ms. Margo Maynes I shall now give you something I’ll call Eclipse Factoids. You’re welcome Margo . . .

  • In ancient China, people would bang drums and pots and shout to scare off the dragon that was eating the sun. Shockingly, it worked every single time.
  • In most ancient cultures, an eclipse signified the death of a god. That’s hardly ever good.
  • Aristotle observed that the Earth’s shadow has a circular shape as it moves across the moon. He posited that this must mean the Earth was round. You go Aristotle. You go.
  • In fifth-century B.C. Greece, the philosopher Anaxagoras sought to understand and describe eclipses – not as something eating the sun or the will of the gods but through an understanding of physics and the natural world. Today, he’s known as the first to correctly explain eclipses were just the sun casting the shadow of the moon on Earth. But the Athenians took him to trial, charged him with sacrilege, and he was sent into exile for the rest of his life. Damn that’s harsh, especially since he was, you know, right.
  • On May 29, 1919, Sir Arthur Eddington tested Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity during a total solar eclipse. Einstein had theorized that massive objects caused distortions in space and time. Eddington confirmed that starlight bent around the sun by measuring the position of certain stars relative to the eclipse. That’s pretty amazing, although I have no idea what it means.
  • On October 22, 2134 B.C., in ancient China, it was the job of two royal astronomers named Hsi and Ho to predict the eclipse so that people could prepare bows and arrows to fend off the dragon eating the sun. However, they shirked their duties in order to get drunk and were beheaded by the emperor as a result. On a related note, beheading is one helluva hangover cure.

Hopefully this makes Ms. Maynes feel a little better, or perhaps not. Hey, I tried.

PS- That “abundance of ignorance” line hurt a little.

PPS – Not really

Just for kicks, humpback whales will sometimes let dolphins hitch a ride on their head.

[click to see entire photo]

I don’t see why not.

Stunning.

BBC – A 14-year-old boy who went viral on Twitter for dancing the Macarena in a busy Saudi Arabian street has been arrested by authorities. The teenager is being questioned after being accused of “improper public behavior” in Jeddah, a statement said. In the 45-second clip the teen can be seen disrupting traffic while dancing to the popular 1990s hit song.

Listen, big freedom guy here. I’m all for the rights of individuals and whatnot. I believe that’s been well-documented. That said, if anyone should ever be arrested for dancing it’s this kid. Hey, I might be outraged if he was busted for doing to the Twist or Electric Slide or something. But the Macarena? The dance craze unleashed upon us 20-years ago by the One-Hit Wonder band Los Del Rio? Improper public behavior indeed.

PS- But then I saw the video and it is spectacular. I can’t hate this kid. Dance on, pudgy Saudi. Dance on.

On a related note . . .

Wait. Wrong photo. Hold on . . .

There we go. Anyway . . .

Listen, I’m no political analyst but I’m 99% sure that sign isn’t necessary. We get it, dude. And what are the odds they recruited him off the street and dropped him a hundy to stand there?

PS- That bro on the right is really happy to be on TV.

30% of Americans don’t drink alcohol. 60% drink less than one drink a week. The top 10% average 75 drinks a week.

Or maybe you did. What do I know? Anyway, cover songs are nearly as old as music, and while some are highly credited, some are decidedly not. It’s almost as if some artists don’t want people to know the song had been done previously.

I started with about 30-songs but narrowed it down, cutting songs like “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston that was originally a Dolly Parton song. I figured a lot of people already knew that one anyway. The 18 I chose are covers that I thought maybe people would find surprising.

But like I said, maybe not. Still, I’m willing to bet there are at least a couple of surprises on here, even for the biggest music aficionados.

Sidenote – There are a thousand white artists who took black artists songs and made them hits. Hell, Pat Boone made a career out of lifting Little Richard songs and creating bestsellers for white audiences. And man, did they suck. Listen to his version of “Tutti Frutti” by clicking here and you’ll get my drift. That’s brutal, man.

Without further ado, here are my 18 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Covers (or maybe you did):

House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

Nope. Not an original. In fact, the author of the song is unknown. It’s a traditional folk song believed to be brought from English immigrants in the 1800’s and appropriated to a more current form in New Orleans. Here’s a version from 1933 by Tom Clarence Ashley & Gwen Foster:

Bet that got your attention, huh? Let’s continue . . .

Twist and Shout – The Beatles

Eh, maybe some of you knew this was a cover. Still, I had to include it.  The Isley Brothers did a killer version as well. Here’s the original by the Top Notes in 1961:

Factoid: The song’s original title was “Shake It Up, Baby”.

Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison

This was a big Jeff Lynne produced song for George back in 1987, but a cool cat by the name of James Ray did it first, way back in 1963:

Cum On Feel the Noize – Quiet Riot

Quiet Riot blatantly swiped this one in ’83, but my boys from Slade had rocked it 10-years prior, back in 1973. On a related note, Slade was a great band. Listen to “My Oh My” and “Run Runaway” to get the vibe. Good stuff.

Tainted Love – Soft Cell

This tune was originally performed by Gloria Jones way back in 1964. Marilyn Manson also recorded it in the ’90s, but Soft Cell had to biggest hit with it in the ’80s. But here’s the very first version:

Hound Dog – Elvis Presley

Elvis pilfered a lot of songs, just like Pat Boone. The difference was that Elvis performed them with a helluva lot more soul. “Hound Dog” was first done by the legendary Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton back in 1952. Just an awesome performance:

Damn that’s good.

Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds

Before The Byrds had a monster hit with this featuring beautiful harmonies and jangly guitars, Pete Seeger sang it with just an acoustic guitar and a gravelly voice. Give a listen:

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Yep this was done by none other than Otis Redding prior to Aretha’s version. Of course, coming from a woman (especially in the 60s) the lyrics took on a whole new connotation. In addition, Aretha added the iconic R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the song, and the rest is history. However, here’s the original:

Love Hurts – Nazareth

Now here’s a good one. Did you know that the Everly Brothers recorded this song first? Sure did, w-a-y back in 1960. Here’s proof, ya skeptic:

I Want Candy – Bow Wow Wow

Before the all-girl group made this a smash back in the 1980s, a band of dudes called The Strangeloves recorded it in the Swingin’ ’60s. Here it be:

Those go-go dancers were fabulous, amirite?

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Now here’s a weird one. This song was originally performed and sung by a man, and his name was Robert Hazard. Weird but true. He released it in 1979, 4-years prior to Miss Lauper. Here ’tis:

Blinded by the Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

Again, some of you may know this but it must be included. This one was originally written and recorded a young singer by the name of Bruce Springsteen, and it was on his “Live from Asbury Park” album in 1972, with Manfred Mann’s version coming out in 1976. This is actually a rare case where I prefer the cover. Sorry Bruce. Anyway, here’s the real deal:

Crazy – Patsy Cline

While this song is identified almost exclusively with Patsy Cline, she wasn’t the first to sing it. It was written and sung by none other than Willie Nelson. Oddly enough, Willie Nelson’s own version was released after Patsy’s. Willie was a popular singer-song writer who had written many hits for other artists, but had never released his own record. Here’s his beautiful original:

Time Is On My Side – Rolling Stones

Before The Stones had a hit with it, a singer named Irma Thomas had recorded it in 1963. And man, I have to say I like her version better. If you listen you can see The Stones pretty much copied it straightaway. By the way, if you want to get technical, the tune got its start as an instrumental for trombonist Kai Winding and his Orchestra earlier that year. Here you go:

Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix

Here’s another tune that is almost solely associated with one artist but in reality is a cover. You see, it was performed earlier by a band named The Leaves. I know, I’d never heard of them either. Great song though. Classic garage band rock.

The First Cut is the Deepest – Rod Stewart

I’ve never been a fan of Rod’s covers, and this one is no exception. Here’s the original done by somebody named P.P. Arnold. Oh, and the song was written by Cat Stevens. Cool.

I Love Rock & Roll – Joan Jett

Yep, bet you never knew that this song was first sung by The Arrows back in 1975, did you? And they did it well, I might add. Honestly, it’s badass. Check it out:

Dazed and Confused – Led Zeppelin

Ah, let us conclude with this gem. Although Zep is widely identified with this song, it was in fact sung first by a gent named Jake Holmes in 1967. Hey, I kid you not. The song was also recorded by the Yardbirds. Led Zeppelin, who also have been accused of stealing the riff for “Stairway To Heaven” off the song “Taurus” by Spirit, somehow managed to pull off a separate copyright for their cover. What? Jimmy Page discovered the song when Holmes opened for the Yardbirds in 1967. Incredibly, Holmes later discovered his own track on Led Zeppelin’s album. He wrote Page asking for credit, but never got a response. Here’s the original:

So there ya go, 18 Songs You Didn’t Know Were Covers But Maybe You Did. Seriously though, I surprised you with a few, right?

 

Did I mention this is a badass pug?