Sunday, February 17, 2008

Daytona 500 LiveBlog

Come and join me for the Daytona 500 today at 1 PM CST!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blogger, I Hardly Knew Ye

This is it.

I'm moving, starting right now.

Here is my new home:

Shoot The Moose

My new feed . Please update (especially you, Brittney!)

I will be updating my Feedburner feed in a few minutes, if that's how you get my stuff.

It's been fun, Blogger. I'm ready for a change, though.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I just had a geek epiphany! I've discovered a new scientific formula:

42bp + 60ozH2O = 40mTR / 15p

Which translates to this:

If one has a 42-year-old bladder and prostate, and is on a 60-ounces-of-water per day regimen, when one attempts to do a 40-minute treadmill session, he will have to stop every 15 minutes to go pee.

Don't ask me how I know.

Not Dead, Just Working

My employer has decided that it would be a good idea if I did a little work. Well, actually, a LOT of work. I'm absolutely swamped. So, don't call all the hospitals looking for me, I'm just working.

One quick note: I MAY get to "blog" Nashville Star this year. Susie, my vocal soul-mate, has scored some reserved tickets for all the shows (besides tonight's premier). She sent out an email yesterday to all the X-Alt folks asking who wanted to come. Of course, with my weird hours, I didn't get the email till today. Lintilla said it would be OK with her if I went (I wish she could go but there's that whole babysitting thing).

Susie, if you're reading this, I WANT TO GO! Hopefully, all the seats aren't taken yet.

If Susie is nice enough to let me tag along, I'll post every Friday about anything that happens that you don't see on TV. And I'll have to DVR Ugly Betty, I guess.

Back to work!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mind Your Manners


I thought she was just kidding.

Lintilla has signed the kids up for "White Gloves and Party Manners". I don't know if I can handle the fallout. Here's a description of the class:

Since 2000, Davis and her partner, former fashion director Evelyn Moore, have been teaching the children’s manners class "White Gloves and Party Manners." Designed for groups of 5- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 12-year-olds, the course teaches kids — both boys and girls — etiquette essentials like how to perform at a wedding, how to be a good guest at someone’s house, the proper way to do introductions, the importance of handwritten thank-you cards, visual poise, how to carry yourself on the telephone, and good grooming.

Oh, Trillian will do just fine. She's the "aim to please" child, extremely teachable. Zaphod, well he's another story altogether. 10 years old, and he's already as snarky, cynical, and angst-ridden as any 16-year-old goth kid. He doesn't take well to doing things he enjoys, if a parent is making him do them. When James Dobson wrote "The Strong Willed Child", he had Zaphod in mind.

He's a good kid. He's smarter than I, and when he puts his mind to something, Heaven and Earth cannot stop him till he finishes his quest. But his role models are Happy Gilmore and Spongebob Squarepants. (That's another subject for another day: why all the protagonists on Nickelodean are perpetual smarta**es, and all the parents idiots?). He has a way of talking that many would consider "sassy" at the least. We've tried to curtail this with punishments, rewards, and all things in between, but the only thing that seems to work is taking away the TV. Then we have to deal with what seems to be a pitiful little heroin addict.

Anyway, I know this class will do him good. I come from a different circle of people than Lintilla, and when we first got married, I was completely lost in social situations. I had to watch her at dinner to figure out which fork to use. I still don't have the proper way to introduce people figured out yet.

So, I'm happy that the kids are doing this, even though it (IMHO) is a little costly. Did any of you send your kids to a class like this? Charm school, maybe?

When Lintilla was telling me about this, she said how she had spoken to the lady that runs the program, and tried to warn her about Zaphod's attitude.

"Oh, he'll come around", she said.

I could almost picture her rubbing her hands together, with a hearty Mwuahahaha!!!

I might need you to pray for Zaphod.


My Favorite Movie of All Time

I have just as much testosterone as the next guy. Well, no I dont, but I DO have enough that I love movies with car chases and beautiful women and big explosions. I don't demand that a movie show me people that think and look like me, or reflect my politics. I don't neccessarily want them to "teach". I certainly don't want them to "preach". My only qualification when watching a film is that it take me somewhere, preferably a place I've never seen, ultimately a place I've never imagined.

That's the reason why I do not have a problem with movies that other people consider "dogs". Joe Versus the Volcano is a good example. That one was silly, but it touched me as well. Any story about shedding a crippling fear is OK in my book.

As a general rule, I do not like "quiet" movies (that darn testosterone again). That's why it might come as a surprise (even to me) that my two favorite films of all time are slow-paced, quiet movies.

My second favorite film is one you've probably never heard of, but should run out and rent as soon as you're done reading this. It's a Korean film (subtitled in the US) called "The Way Home". It's a story of redemption, which is always good, but it's also the best story about unconditional love I've ever seen. The lead character is extremely bratty and unlikeable, but if we look real hard we can see ourselves and our own attitudes in his behavior. Even though the director eventually gets us to the tear-jerk moment, she does so by a different route than most movies of the genre. It sneaks up on you: you don't even notice yourself crying until the credits roll. That's good filmmaking.

My favorite film of all time is the most poetic movie I've ever seen. There is a certain rhythm to every cut, angle, and piece of dialog. AND it's the only movie I've ever seen that tackles one of the really big themes that I've considered a truism in life: that life is a dance between Art and Science, between left brain and right brain, between Word and Spirit. Many people missed it because they saw the trailer and wrote it off as a kid's movie. My favorite film of all time is Searching For Bobby Fischer .

I'm sure you're familiar with the plot: (from imdb)
A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer

Funny, that makes it sound like a sports movie, but it most certainly not. Yes, it chronicles Josh Waitzkin's rise to the top of the chess world, and there's an antagonist (sort of) in Jonathan Poe (another chess prodigy), but the REAL conflict is between Ben Kingsley's character (Bruce) and Laurence Fishburne's character (Vinnie). Bruce is a Grand Master, a student of the game, and a teacher. Vinnie also plays chess, but he's a (implied) homeless guy, a "Patzer", who plays speed chess for money in Washington Square.

Both are fascinated by, and try to influence young Josh Waitzkin. Bruce teaches him to "see" the board, analyze it, predict every move in an entire game. Vinnie, on the other hand, teaches Josh to "use his gut", not hold back in defensive measures, "Attack, attack attack!". Both are instrumental in his success. THIS is the part of the movie that is so magical to me. This is high philosophy, yet told in such a simple and endearing story.

We can look around the blog world and see a microcosim of this. We have analytical, overthinkers (I've got mail! What is the nature of mail? Is it a tool of the Patriarchy? But is it ok to open mail if it gives me pleasure?); we also have those that live life by the gut (just give me my damn mail, m*****f*****!).

I kid because I love, by the way.

In some ways, I'm not sure if any of you can relate to what I'm talking about. Sometimes I think I'm weird and nobody else sees life through the same prism I do. I am "brain ambidextrous", as it were. The Artistic Geek. The Scientific Songwriter. I take delight in seeing the dancing numbers in the computer programs I write, and I am fascinated by the mathematic perfection bubbling just below the surface in the songs I write and sing. I think that everyone should have a Plan, and that nobody should stick to it.

I feel that one of the secrets of success in any vocation (and in life) is to find both the art and science in it. Master the science, and let the art master you. Use your gut while implementing your Perfect Plan.

Anyway, I guess I've rambled too much. But if you've never seen "Searching For Bobby Fischer", do yourself a favor and rent it. See what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Commute Conversation 1/8/2007

Me: So, tell me everything you guys have for homework tonight.

Zaphod: Why do you have to be riding us about homework all the time?

Me: That's my job as a Daddy.

Zaphod: (to Trillian) I thought his job was "not listening".

Trillian: No, silly! That's his HUSBAND job!

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NASCAR News / Notes 1

I have a feeling many of you will read the title of this post and decide to move on; it's understandable, but IMHO you'll be missing something. I have many passions in life, and the most surprising to people who know me is NASCAR.

It's not THAT surprising when you take a closer look. Many do not know this, but NASCAR is not a "redneck" sport, it hasn't been for a long time. One look at the NASCAR Glossary Page will tell you that NASCAR is, in fact, a sport for engineers and tech geeks. Besides Dale Earnhardt, Jr, can you name anouther high-profile driver who has a defined southern accent? All the big stars sound like Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. The most redneck part of the sport these days is in the stands:

(sorry about that)

Anyway, here's what's happening:

First and foremost, I'd like to offer my condolences to the family of Bobby Hamilton. Not only was he a hometown boy, he was the epitome of class and humility. The way he built his teams, from the ground up, mainly for his son, should be an example to us all. RIP, Bobby.

Benny Parsons, one of my favorite announcers, is currently in the battle of his life against lung cancer. He was recently checked into intensive care. He is worthy of the prayers of us all.

Now, the lighter stuff:

NASCAR's governing body is apparently going to change the field of the "Chase" to 12. For those of you who don't know, the "Chase for the Cup" is the Nextel Cup's version of the playoffs. With 10 races to go in the season, the top 10 (soon to be 12) are locked into "the Chase" and their points are bunched much closer together to make the chase more exciting. First is still first, and 10th is still 10th, but everyone in The Chase has a chance with 10 races to go. Anyway, some of the drivers don't like this change. Pretty Boy Kasey Kahne:

"There was as much pressure for me going into the final five races as I've ever had," said Kahne, who was on the bubble going to Richmond despite having a series-high five wins. "It was exciting. I think 10 guys is pretty good. From sixth to probably 13th was pretty close. If you put more in, there won't be quite so much on the line."

I remember hearing the same things said when the NCAA tourney field was expanded to 64, the baseball playoffs were expanded, as well as the NFL. Having more teams "on the bubble" makes things more exciting for everybody, IMHO.

Now, dear readers, if you've made it this far, you get rewarded. I'll let you in on a full bore soap opera going on right now, worthy of a Lifetime Movie of the Week. It involves Dale Earnhardt, Jr - from now on refered to a "Junior" - and his stepmother Teresa. A little background: Junior is the son of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, from his first marriage. Teresa married the Sr Earnhardt in 1982. To say that Jr's relationship with Teresa has always been rocky would be an understatement. I have no doubt at one point in his life, he called her "stepmonster".

Here's the deal: Teresa, upon the death of Earnhardt Sr, got the "empire". She is president and CEO of DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc). Jr, in effect works for Teresa. I've always said: NEVER work with family! Junior's contract with his late father's company is up next year. Negotiations are ongoing. It ain't going so good. Here are some of the things Teresa and Jr have said publicly about the matter:

Teresa: "Right now the ball's in [Earnhardt's] court to decide on whether he wants to be a NASCAR driver or whether he wants to be a public personality."

Earnhardt takes the high road: "I don't know, she might have just been having a bad day or something when she said that. I really don't know where that was coming from. I didn't want to comment to the press. I really didn't appreciate it whether she was taken out of context or not."

But then he adds this:
"I don't want to get too personal. Teresa is my stepmother. I have a mother at home I have a very good relationship with. Mine and Teresa's relationship has always been very black and white, very strict and in your face. It's gotten no worse the last couple of years or last couple of months. The way I felt about her then is the way I feel about her now."

Yowee! Teresa has left the negotiating up to others, in order to get them moving along. Something tells me Jr won't talk if she's in the room. Anyway, to get an idea of what a big deal this is, you have to know how BIG Junior is. He's Micheal Jordan, Tiger Woods, Darek Jeter COMBINED, as far as popularity within the sport is concerned. In about half the races, over half the fans are there to Dale Jr. Talledega is a sea of red (his color). He is HUGE.

On the other hand, so is DEI. That means all the licensing for the "3" and "8" stuff you see everywhere. And Junior wants a piece, and that's where the biggest sticking point is in the negotiations. Besides, of course, his relationship with his step-mom.

Anyway, I'll fill you in as this develops (certainly they'll work it out - can you imagine Dale Earnhardt NOT driving for the company with his own name on it?)

One final thing: NASCAR is the only sport that STARTS the year with its Super Bowl. The Daytona 500 is only 40 days away!


Monday, January 08, 2007

In Which I Stir The Pot (a little)

Just in case you try to avoid these things, this post is about the brouhaha over the weekend about a very rude comment at NIT. In case you were away this weekend, on Friday, Brittney posted a video of Pink Kitty dancing gracefully and beautifully. The very first comment was by some jackass who calls himself "wintermute":

Skip it, dudes. Another blogging whale.

This set off a firestorm, which I'm sure mr mute was hoping would happen. Everyone was appropriately outraged (Kat seemed to express what was closest to my feelings on the matter). I agreed with all.

Some chose to view the issue through the prism of gender politics, some with self-reflection, some with personal knowledge of the offender. There was also a great discussion at B's about whether Brittney should have deleted the comment. Me? I will tend to fall more along the "self-reflection" side, because that's what I do. I think my thoughts might be rather meandering on the subject, but please stick with me.

Let me preface by saying that Pink Kitty is hot. I hope saying so doesn't offend her, but I think it's important to this discussion. I can't fully say what I'd like to say about her, because I'm a happily married man. But since we're going to be discussing "attractive" and "unattractive", I have to let you know that, in my mind, Pink Kitty falls under the "attractive" column. That means that when I speak of "unattractive", I am NOT speaking of Pink Kitty, even though her video is what what sparked the whole discussion.

Being a Nashvillian, I was shocked by the brazen rudeness of the comment. Here in Music City, we have a certain way about us. In private, we can be just as abrupt, backbiting, snarky and mean as anyone else, but there is a certain orthodoxy here that demands civility in public. It's actually unique; I haven't seen the same attitude in cities like Philadelphia or Boston. In most other cities, you say what's on your mind. Not here, though.

Those kind of things just aren't said. And (here's where I get in trouble with Aunt B), especially to/about a woman. There, I said it. I know it's sexist, I know it's patronizing, but it's just the way I am. Insult the appearance of a man, and I'll write you off and buy the offended man a beer. Insult the appearance of a woman, and I'll make sure you never do it again. I ain't the most hardened physical specimen on earth, but somebody's gonna get hurt.

And isn't that the way with society overall? Anybody ever seen Beauty and the Geek? Do you think there's any chance in Hades they produce that show with nerdy, unattractive women? That just isn't done. There was a controversy when Ugly Betty first aired, mostly because the very subject of the show was (supposedly) a woman's unattractiveness. From what I've seen, it's OK to acknowledge publicly that a man isn't attractive, but never a woman. And, although I think it's the height of rudeness to negatively comment on anyone's appearance, I agree with the nuances of that mindset.

Wintermute, if you're reading this (something tells me you are, I'm guessing you love the attention), I have some advice for you. I've lived a few years now, so I think I've earned that right. I've collected a pretty large number of friends over the years; no matter what "the world" says to them, I make sure that they know they are safe and loved within the bounds of our friendship. No judgement, no qualifications. Each is a unique individual, worthy of love and friendship. For this, I have been blessed beyond measure with companionship and camaraderie.

I've also varied between being "attractive" and "unattractive". I'll be honest with you, attractive is a lot more fun. But let me tell you, "attractive" is fleeting. No matter how we work out, hire surgeons, eat right - time will have its way with us. There will come a day when "attractive" is beyond your grasp. This is the time when you cash in your chips, or go home. This is the time you will need the love of all those people you have encountered. You either held them close to your bosom, or you pushed them away. When "attractive" no longer works for you, this is when all those people will return the favor.

Choose wisely.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Tired Thoughts

No, my thoughts aren't tired (although some might think so), I am. Yesterday was a whirlwind. I swear, I didn't stop moving yesterday. If I were the day planner type, this is what my day would have looked like (annotations to follow):

Get up.
Drink coffee, do finances.
Start the switch to Wordpress.*
Start the laundry**, make sure kids got breakfast.
Go with Zaphod to get our hair cut.***
Bring back lunch & eat.
Meet Busy Mom & Busy Girl!++
Even though I hate it, get groceries at WalMart.
Put up groceries, leave for Susie's house. (Band-Mate and good friend)
Get to Susie's house, socialize a bit, then load up the foosball table she's giving us (thanks!).
Get the foosball table back home, everybody bathed, and head for Ashland City.
Get to A-town, try to find an Amsouth or Regions bank (there are none), go to an alternative, because I might be buying a lot of coffee later.
Go to Stratton's for dinner, eat about as healthy as possble there. Run into band leader there. Ask him to "stall" for us; we're going to be a little late.
Get to TBG, set up and soundcheck.
Run into Hutchmo and Mrs. Hutch! Captain, there be BLOGGERS here!+++
Do first set. The sound is great tonight!++++
Do long second set. The horn section rocks, considering how new they are!
Become a living version of "The Load Out".
Take the long way home because we're worried about fog on River Road.
To bed, to sleep the sleep of a man who just did all the above!

Funny, this was a LIGHT weekend!

*I'm not quite ready to close things down here, because I'm not totally comfortable with WordPress yet. Probably next weekend.
**My life goes much easier when we do laundry in small doses throughout the week. Unfortunately, my life is very rarely easy.
***I'm in pre-mullet mode right now; just trying to grow it longer all over. This is by far the longest my hair has been after a (non-mullet) haircut.
++Busy Mom is an awesome lady. She and Busy Girl were extremely gracious and generous. We caught each other when each of us were passing througn to other things. (She is BUSY Mom, after all). I can't wait to have more time to sit and talk a while with her, when an opportunity comes along.
+++John, I still feel bad that they had a cover; I had previously posted that there was none. That was all TBG. The place has been on hard times lately, and they're just trying to stay afloat. Also, I should have warned you, we hawk our CDs like an infomercial. CD sales are how we cover operating expenses. :). Thanks for the kind words.
++++Dang, we need a permanent sound guy. We just sound SO much better when we aern't trying to adjust things on the stage. Anybody want to volunteer? it pays, well, nothing.

From Trillian

...confidential to Busy Mom and Busy Girl:

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