Thursday, April 30, 2009

American Idol '09

“I can't escape this hell
So many times I've tried”
Three days grace

“Darling you gotta let me know
Should I stay or should I go?”
The Clash

Welcome to results night.

Ok that was a pretty good show last night. None of the performances were horrible. Sure I liked some people (Adam, Kris, Allison and Matt) better than others (Danny). We are left with 5 people who can sing. We might not like their song choices or styles all the time but gone are the Scott’s and Lil Rounds’ of the world.

Which makes predicting who is leaving tougher than usual. It will come down to who has the worst fan base. So let’s analyze the top 5 from last night.

1. Adam – win or lose, love or hate him – Adam is not going home this early. Besides being the best entertainer on the show he has to have a good size fan-base – even with all the Adam haters out there.
2. Allison – besides being a good singer, especially of the rocker-chick variety, she is the only chick left and will get a lot of teen girl votes because of that (just ask my teen girls). Plus she’s cute and can really belt out a song.
3. Kris – I actually think Kris could win the show but I have no idea how many people out there like him. Is he popular with a certain group of people: teen girls? Males 20-24 who prefer Bud over Coors? Single females age 50-55 who drink Chardonnay out of a box and have 10 or more cats? Anyway there should be enough to get him to the top 3.
4. Danny – how has he not been in the bottom 3 yet? Who is the voting bloc that is supporting him each week? I have a feeling its married women 25-45 who are still casting the sympathy vote because they remember the continual references to his deceased wife early in the season. And I’m very afraid that they will keep voting for him until he and his mediocre singer and horrid dancing are in the finals.
5. Matt – He is my pick to go tonight. He’s been in the bottom 3, he’s been saved, he’s had a lot of so-so performances and I can’t figure out who his fan base is. Girls who like 3rd rate Justin Timberlake’s?

So yes I think it will be Matt heading home – of course I hope it’s going to be Danny but I ain’t holding my breath.

Anyway we are about to find out cause here is Sea Biscuit. Ryan must have 20 of those black suits in his closet.

Paula has upped the ante in the season long cleavage contest she has been having with Kara, by having the girls almost all the way free of their containers tonight. She seems to have inflated them with a bicycle pump before the show. I would not get to close to her if I was Simon – they look they are going to blow.

Ryan informs us that Jamie Foxx, Natalie Cole and Taylor Hicks are performing tonight.

Our first taste of filler is the Ford Video featuring some PC hybrid car. The idol-wannabes are running around in a dessert and a Ford Hybrid drives through and turns the dessert green.

Right after that we go right into our second course; the group lip-sync and dance along. In keeping with the Rat-Pack theme they are singing “It Don’t Mean a Thing”. As far as these things go it wasn’t too bad.

We now get a taste of the Idolettes cooking in the kitchen of the mansion they are staying in. why anyone would care we are not told. It turns into a food fight and to top of the hijinks Danny is wearing his Dictator of a Banana Republic outfit again.

Matt is told to stand up and set to one side and Danny is sent to the other side. Why? We are not told. Maybe they are organizing a game of red-rover or Red Light Green Light. Next Allison is told to stand and sent over to stand with Danny (poor girl). Kris is next up and he’s sent over to hang with Matt. So that leaves Adam in the middle. Ryan asks which group Adam thinks he belongs in – nothing like being put on the spot. Adam says the Danny and Allison group – WRONG. He’s in the Matt and Kris group which is the bottom three. Ok then. Kara causes a near fatal heart attack of the FOX censor police by some very off color allusion about her and Adam.

We are back with Ms Natalie Cole. She sounds great. Not sure if she is actually singing live or not but the song is good and fits in with the Rat-Pack theme. Her dress is more of a Star Trek convention meets Cleopatra theme but you can’t have everything people.

Next up is Taylor Hicks who appears to be 60 years old with that premature grey look but who is actually 32. Surprisingly I don’t hate his performance and I actually listen to the song. Shockingly he does have a new cd out and a tour. Well golly, scratch me behind the ears and call me Sparky.

Back to the results – Ryan sends Kris back to safety?! Ok now I’m confused. I assume Adam is going to be safe but that would eliminate the surprise when Matt is sent home. So is Adam going home or is it some kind of double fake out? Nah can’t be. If that were to happen the audience would riot and rip pretty-boy Seacrest to pieces.

I take back anything nice I said about Jamie Foxx last night, he sucks. Not because this song is insufferable – which it is – but because he causes Paula to get up and dance like the drunken cougar she is. And yes Mr. Foxx has a new disc out too.

Ok time to get this over with. Adam is sent back to safety and Matt is going home, sadly one or both of the female judges aren’t sent home with him. So I was right about Matt going home but very wrong about Adam being top dog.

Nice run Matt take care, God Bless and have fun back home in Kalamazoo. Matt sings out and we say good night and see ya next week.

Hold it a second. Sea Weed says it’s gonna be Rock Night next week and Slash is going to be on. As the mentor? Ok I take back my bad-mouthing of the mentoring. I love Slash. Anyone who can wear a top-hat and pull it off is alright by me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Little Piggy Went to Market

All you swine haters take a deep breath and chill. Remember the golden rule, no not that one, the other one. "There is NO problem that the government can't make worse".

HT: Lew Rockwell and Danielle Bean

For more info on the Swine-Flu, including a history of the flu and ways to prevent the flu other than deadly vaccines, see DR Mercola's long article on it.

American Idol '09

“I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now as tears subside
I find it all so amusing”

Frank Sinatra

“Despite all my rage
I’m still just a Rat in a cage”

Smashing pumpkins

Tonight is Rat-Pack night. For all you youngsters out there, the Rat-Pack was cool before cool was invented. If you look-up the word “Cool” in the dictionary you will see these pictures. You young people want to be cool? Forget idiots like Lady Gaga and Flo Rida, go rent some of the Rat-Pack movies and download some of their tunes.

Our lovely Idolettes will be singing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

This could be a good evening for most of the Idolers. Other than Danny, who I have a hard time picturing as a cool and suave singer, the other 4 should be able to pull it off, even Allison. Danny just seems like too much of a dork – but maybe he will prove me wrong. But I do know quite a bit about dorks, I have to look at one every morning in the mirror.

Will anyone have the guts to come out in a black tux with a cocktail in one hand and a smoke in the other? Or would the FOX PC police put the kibosh on that even if they wanted to?

I’m kinda hoping Matt and Adam will leave even though I like them. See my daughter was using my laptop and she broke the ‘M’ key. It keeps popping off and is annoying me more than Danny the Mediocre Gokey’s dancing. So all contestants with an ‘M’ in their name have to leave.

And we are off……

Ryan is once again in black suit trying to look rat-packish. He looks pretty good but he really needs to layoff the fake spray on tan in a can. He looks oranger than The Great Pumpkin.

A surprise mystery mentor this week – the suspense is killing me. And it is Jamie Foxx –well ok. What’s the connection? Sammy Davis Jr. is black and so is Jamie Foxx? So why not have Tiger Woods or Nelson Mandela? Whatever. Guess you can’t dig up any of the originals. Oh I get it he’s a “multi-faceted’ entertainer – kinda like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan? I really like the shows better that don’t have the mentors. Usually they add nothing and most of the time they annoy.

DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT PAULA IS WEARING? Please people. Help me out here. She’s wrapped up like a Christmas present.

First up is Mr. Kris Allen who is singing "The Way You Look Tonight”. And the girls swoon like at an Elvis show. Paula would probably launch her underwear up on stage if she could find it under that ‘radish carved into a rose dress’. Not the most exciting performance but Kris really can sing. Randy calls it his best ever. Kara and her “Paula Boobs Hanging Impersonation” calls it technically great or something along those lines that someone wrote for her beforehand. Rose-Radish says….. well do we really care? Simon calls it ‘wet’, huh? I don’t understand either. Must be a British insult. He also says Kris can’t win the show.

Allison is up next and looking cute as a button. She turned 17 yesterday and must have dyed her hair for her birthday. She’s added black streaks to the red. It looks much better than the all red look she was sporting. Her wardrobe is much better than in the past too. She’s singing "Someone to Watch Over Me". A lovely ballad by the young old lady. Randy calls her “Mad Young” and that she looks “Dope” and that it was “da bomb”. Randy that is your cliché quota for the night. Paula has lost her pre-printed 3x5 cards and rambles at bit more than usual – hard to believe. Kara continues to vie with Paula for most annoying judge. Does anyone out there like her? At least Paula is humorous. Simon says she could be in trouble (Allison not Paula). 2 in a row he has dissed. That time of the month Simon? Or Simon’s little ploy to get people to vote for her?

Matt and his dork-hat are up next. At least tonight it is kinda relative. Still looks stupid but fits the theme – a bit. Matt is singing "My Funny Valentine". Jamie Fox seems nice and tries to give good advice. But the whole mentor thing smells of cheesy filler. Matt and his somewhat ordinary voice (compared to Allison, Adam and Kris) do a serviceable but forgettable job. My least favorite of the night. Randy calls it a bit pitchy – I agree sir. Kara doesn’t dig it either and didn’t connect emotionally. Paula on the other hand says she connected with it or some such thing. Simon of all people calls it brilliant. He must have taken some Midol during the last break.

And here’s Danny – oh boy almond joy. I don’t know what he’s singing but I’m sure I’ll hate it. He’s singing “Come Rain, Come Shine”. Danny is dressed like Che Guevara or some other Central American commie revolutionary for his session with Jamie Foxx – what a tool. Thankfully for himself and the rest of us he shaves and puts on a suit for the actual performance. He looks pretty good. Then he sings and I cringe, whatever. My wife liked it but she obviously has poor choice in men. Randy goes over the top crazy and I fear he might throw his underwear up on stage. And I can’t think of anyone that wants to see that. Even Mrs. Jackson. I’m picturing triple-X leopard-print bikini-briefs. Paula is mercifully short-winded but still unintelligible. Kara really is passing Paula on the annoyance meter. Simon loves it too. They are all nuts – still in the tank for Danny as a chosen one I guess, cause they were pimping him hard tonight.

Adam the Good Humor man is up last and singing “Feeling Good”. Jamie is one of the least annoying mentors ever. I’d still get rid of the whole mentor thing but he’s alright. Kinda growing on me. Good Humor Man walks down Sea Breeze’s stairs to the stage with fog billowing. Is he supposed to be some white-clad alien god? He starts off slow and builds to an incredibly strong finish. How one can hit and hold a high note like that for so long is beyond me. Ok love him or hate him, dude can sing. Sure he’s over the top but it’s not boring at least. Randy calls it a little too theatrical and Broadway - duh. Kara says her mouth drops open when he sings and then she gushes and squirms. So does Paula – but she does that with any male over the age of 12. Someone please throw some cold water on the two. Paula also throws in a Michael Phelps reference for good measure. We aren’t sure why – maybe Adam likes to hit the Hookah too. Simon tells Randy that complaining about Adam being theatrical is like complaining that a cow moos. Simon dug it and says it looks like Adam wants to win.

And as always my uninformed opinion of the performances is:

1. Adam – he’s the best period
2. Allison – cause it was her b-day yesterday and we need a chick to stay for awhile.
3. Kris – cause he’s good and Simon picked on him
4. Matt - cause he’s not Danny
5. Danny – cause he’s Danny

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today's Workouts

11.34 miles in some nice heat this morning. Felt like summer out there - very nice.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Visit with Joshua

Our annual weekend visit with Josh at the Seminary. A weekend of love, faith, family, laughs, tears, coffee, traffic jams, friends, food, fast driving and screaming toddlers

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pet Peeve Phriday

Another one of my pet peeves is people who start lists like this and claim they are going to post a new one each Friday and then don't.

Today's entry: people who do Air Quotes with their fingers. Folks it adds nothing to conversation except to make me want to bite your fingers off. Listen it drives me nuts and I'm part Italian - you know the people who invented talking with their hands. If it annoys me imagine what it does to boring people, like say the English.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Today's Workouts

18.17 miles on a rather extended lunch hour :P

American Idol '09

Results Night!!!

I really think that Adam, Kris and Allison have separated themselves from the others.
The way I see it we have:

The Top Dogs:

• Adam
• Kris
• Allison

The mediocre middle:

• Matt
• Danny

And the Pretenders (not the cool Chrissie Hynde band)

• Anoop
• Lil

Now Lil has to be one of the two getting deep-sixed tonight. As for the other one? I’m thinking either Matt or Anoop. And since I like to go out on a limb (not really) I’ll go with Matt getting the boot even though I think he is better than Anoop. If Matt really does go home, does that just prove that the gimmicky judges save was just that – a gimmick? Does it make the judges look dumb and dumber? America wouldn’t really send Matt home would they? Heck I don’t know.

It was a somewhat interesting night last night. But I have a few questions about Disco Night. Three of the songs were Donna Summer songs. Did Idol get a bulk deal on the rights to her songs? Lots of Bryan Adams last week and now and overdose of Donna Summer – come on Idol give a brother a break. And what’s the point of having a Disco theme night if the contestants can take a song and sing it however they want?

For our special guest performer tonight, it appears that David Archuleta’s dad has let him out of his basement where he keeps him locked up and singing Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti all the day long. I’m assuming Baby Elmo has a new CD out that he needs to hawk also. One can only hope that Baby Elmo is making enough money selling CD’s and from his endorsements of Gar-Animals and Gap Kids to hire security to keep Paula off him.

Seacrest starts us off with a “Happy Earth Day”. I turn on every light in the house in his honor.

Filer #1 – rehearsals for group sing-a-long with Paula instructing them. Well dancing is one thing she can do. Adam is sweating so much his makeup is running.

Filler #2 – the Group sing thing. Ok let’s see: I like the clothes they are wearing, the lip-singing is particularly bad, even Paula couldn’t help Danny dance and Paula shows too much cleavage and leg for a 46 year old. It seems FOX couldn’t afford a whole dress for her.

Filler #3 – Ford video – lame. No idea what the song was.

Ok time to start weeding them out. Lil is sent to the Martini Glasses of Shame (MGS). Ok well she isn’t told to sit on them after all, Seacrest tells her the ride is over and she’s heading home. The judges try and make nice with Lil and give her some kudos and advice. Lil sings for us one more time and goes out classy.

Is it just my TV or is FOX having audio issues tonight. Other channels seem fine but FOX’s volume is real low.

Filler #4 – A medley of Disco singers doing hits. First up some horrid over the hill disco singer is on stage. Frieda Payne I think Ryan said. Pain is right. She has more plastic then a Toys R Us and looks like a sausage stuffed in that dress. The next one (Thelma Houston maybe) is even worse – do people actually look in the mirror before they go out in public. Picture your 70 year-old grandmother in a yellow baby-doll dress with her boobs falling out. #3 is KC of KC and the Sunshine Band. His got four hookers dancing with him. Well I assume they are hookers – it’s the only way a dude who has aged as poorly as he as could get 4 women to hang out with him. This was major disaster. FOX should be embarrassed.

In short order Kris and Adam are told they are safe.

Danny is up next – he’s going with the sensitive eyes look and has ditched his designer glasses. And sadly – for us - Danny is safe.

Anoop is next and he is sent to the Martini Glasses of Shame.

Matt and Allison are both told to stand up. Matt could use some Proactive. Whoa Matt is safe and Allison is sent to the MGS. Allison bottom three? America sometimes (well most of the time) I hate y’all.

We are back with David A. singing “Touch my Hand”. Watch out Elmo, Paula will take you up on that. Our young runner-up from last year looks pretty much the same. Same baby face. Sam pop-light singing. Same disingenuous aw-shucks routine. He’s got a groovy 80’s style skinny tie going. A short interview with David afterwards and surprises of surprises he’s got a tour to promote. He will be touring with Demi Lovato. That should be enough to make anyone homicidal. Maybe they could take the tour to the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. It would be against the Geneva Convention but I bet it would get everyone locked up there to confess – guilty or not.

Anoop and Allison are still stuck on the Martini Glasses of Shame. And we head to another commercial break.

And finally it’s..........Anoop. Excellent! Allison is safe.

A final video montage of Lil’s and Anoop’s journey.

And that’s it for tonight. Adios, God Bless and goodnight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

American Idol '09

Alright it’s Disco Night!!!

I’ve pulled by white leisure suit and platform shoes out of mouth balls, dusted of my Bee Gee albums and plopped them on the turntable (kids albums and turntable are like antique iPods) and Sam and I have been practicing the Hustle – which is a bit tough when you are 5 months preggers (she is - I’m not). But we are getting pretty good – almost ready for Dancing with the Stars.

I really despise Disco. I was around 12-15 when the disco craze was going on. It’s what drove me to new-wave and punk rock and some classic rock – so disco actually did me a favor. I even bought a “Disco Sucks” shirt (am I allowed to use that word honey when I’m talking about a historical fact?) that lasted about 2 weeks before my mom found it and threw it away.

Even though I hate disco, I must admit that I am looking forward to tonight to see what the Idoletts do with this theme. Will it have to be the 70’s classic disco songs that they are forced to choose from or can they do new disco artists songs? Like Scissor Sisters (actually listenable) or that horrid Lady Gaga.

Who doesn’t want to see Adam do “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” or “YMCA”. Although tonight might be a good time for Adam to pull out one of Queen’s Disco-ish songs. I really want to hear him do a Queen song sometime this season.

It is a shame that Scott isn’t around, I’d love to see him do a humorous take on “Kung Foo Fighting” or “Shake Your Booty”.

We also need to can two people after tonight’s performances since the judges used their much hyped “Judge’s Save”.

I really hope that 2 of the peeps (Lil and Anoop) are total train-wrecks so it’s obvious who should be voted off and then we can have strong Top 5. Actually I figure it will be Lil and almost anyone else - except for Adam - who will get booted.

My Rankings going into tonight

1. Adam
2. Allison
3. Kris
4. Danny
5. Matt
6. Anoop
7. Lil

I figure the bottom 3 will be the same as last week: Matt, Anoop and Lil. Flip a coin to see who stays.

I’m also starting a betting pool on how many minutes Idol goes over tonight. Really people, can’t FOX afford a stop watch? Can we please go back to 3 judges next year? Simon and any other two people will do.

Ryan is still looking very dapper in his suit and tie but he appears to have a fake tan thing going.

Holy Pink Sweaters Batman!!! Look at what Anoop is wearing.

And we are off and running right away (maybe we won’t go over) with Lil Rounds doing “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan. Lil’s hair is looking hot but that skin tight black outfit is not flattering to Lil’s…um…large…well, um…large can. It was very messy (the song nor her rear end). All over the place. Lots of energy but a mess. Randy is not impressed. Kara is looking good tonight and wins the cougar contest over Paula. Paula says something about Lil’s inner-goddess in her Paula-speak language that only she can understand. Simon says she looks sad and then proceeds to trash her and make her look even sadder. Simon thinks she’s done and I must say that I agree. Time to go home to the kids Lil. It was a nice run. And people, please no Simon voting backlash. Don’t go texting Lil’s number just because Simon was dissing her.

Kris Allen is up next and doing “She Works Hard for her Money” by Donna Summer. Um ok whatever. Interesting. Much better than the original to this disco-hater. I like the arrangement with the drums and Kris strumming his guitar. Sweet vocals too. Let’s see what Simon and the Gang of Three have to say. Kara digs it. Paula-speak says something about men shopping in the women’s department. Like me Simon is lost and confused by Paula. Simon loved the performance and so did Randy. Top notch Mr. Allen.

Is the chick on Fringe like the worst actress ever or what? She makes the actors from the newest Star Wars movies look like Oscar winners.

Danny is doing a song I actually like, Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September”. I love this song but not Danny doing it. Dude is wearing a Member’s Only type jacket – earth to Danny that’s an 80’s look. Danny might be the only white-guy who dances worse than I. Blech on the song and the dancing. RanKarula liked it – phooey on them. Of course Paula took 200 words to say that she liked it. Plus she threw in a sexy vocals comment. Stay true to yourself cougar. Simon liked the vocals but thought it lacked Star Power – well said sir.

Allison is doing “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer. Allison is dressed so horribly that it just might be cool. I can’t decide whether to applaud her outfit choice or puke. She’s either wearing black scuba-suit pants or she spray-painted her legs black. She’s also sporting some Rick James-like stacked heels. Awesome vocals though. Randy calls it a bit self-indulgence – true but it was fun. Kara didn’t like the arrangement either. What in the hell did Paula say? You don’t know either? I think she said "The word compromise does not even exist in your musical vocabulary". Simon loved it (the song not Paula’s comments). Simon is on the mark tonight.

Do we have to see that disturbing “Square Butt” Burger King commercial with that pedophile King dude every stinking week? That’s it, no more Whoppers for me.

Adam is in a black suit with an interesting pointy hairstyle. He’s doing “If I Can’t Have You” by the Bee Gees. Starts off very slowly with beautiful vocals. Now will he get crazy with it or stay calm. He gets a bit over the top with the vocals but still they are awesome. Paula appears to be crying. Because of the song or cause her Coca-Cola cup of booze is empty? Randy Loved it and so did Kara, who channels Paula and rambles in Paula-speak. Speaking of rambling – Here’s Paula! Paula is very close to throwing her undies up on stage. Adam, dude, change your phone number, hotel room and maybe consider moving out of the country. Simon is very confused by Paula once again. Simon calls Adam’s vocals immaculate.

Matt is doing “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees. Ugh this song choice is not going to make Matt stay alive. I’m not feeling the love. I like Matt’s vocals ok but not the whole overall presentation – the arrangement, the dancing etc...An Matt please lose the hat already. Randy actually agrees with me – whoa. Kara liked the song. Paula pulls out a bowling analogy. Do we think Paula actually bowls? Simon calls it desperate and says he has to get out of ‘Idol-Land’ and needs to grow-up.

Anoop is still going for the Miami Vice look with the pastels and 2-days growth of stubble. Not sure how that fits into the Disco theme of tonight. He’s singing “Dim All the Lights" by Donna Summer. The chorus says to dance the night away. How about sleep the night away. A real snoozer tonight by Anoop. Vocals are ok but man it was boring. At least he was short and we will end on time. Kara liked it. The cougar says something about real men wearing pink and that Anoop has great teeth. Simon calls it mediocre and a horrible version of the song. Simon is on fire!

Ok my off the cuff rankings after tonight.

1. Adam
2. Kris
3. Allison
4. Danny
5. Matt
6. Anoop
7. Lil

Pretty darn close to my pre-show rankings. What say you?

Hey did you hear what Ryan said at the end of the show? Did he really say Baby Elmo was going to be performing tomorrow night? Stick an ice pick in my ears right now please. Y’all might be on your own tomorrow not. I don’t know if I can handle David Archuleta again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Real Kitchen Wisdom

For my wife and all the other lovely ladies that stop by here

Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of an ice cream cone to prevent ice cream drips.

Just suck the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone, for Pete's sake! You are probably lying on the couch with your feet up eating it anyway

To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

Buy Hungry Jack mashed potato mix. Keeps in the pantry for up to a year.

When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

Go to the bakery! Hell, they'll even decorate it for you!

If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant 'fix-me-up.'

If you over-salt a dish while you are cooking, that's too bad. Please recite with me the real woman's motto: 'I made it, you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes!'

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

Celery? Never heard of it!

Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

The Mrs. Smith frozen pie directions do not include brushing egg whites over the crust, so I don't.

Cure for headaches: take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Take a lime, mix it with tequila, chill and drink! All your pains go away!

If you have a problem opening jars, try using latex dish washing gloves. They give a non-slip grip that makes opening jars easy.

Go ask that very cute neighbor if he can open it for you.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine. Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Leftover wine??????????? HELLO!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

American Idol '09

"Soy un perdedor, I'm a loser baby so why don't you kill me"

Welcome to the Results show recap. Hopefully tonight’s show won’t run over like last night’s or last week’s or …..
Airlines do a better job of getting their planes on time than the Idol producers do at ending this thing on the hour. Of course there is absolutely no reason for a results show to end late. This show could be done in 3 minutes if they wanted to. The only way it could run over is if FOX adds so much filler and so many commercials that the show is stuffed more than pre-purge super model.

In keeping with the movie-song theme, I predict that the Idolettes will all be dressed in matching outfits made out of one of Randy’s shirts and be singing “Do-Re-Mi” from the Sound of Music. With Paula playing the part of Maria. I mean Paula could pass for a nun-wannabe, right? Or maybe Danny and Adam could do a duet of ‘Sixteen Going on Seventeen”. I’m sure Adam wouldn’t have a problem dressing in drag.

After some deep soul-searching I’ve got this as my bottom 3:

• Lil
• Anoop
• Matt

I would love to see Danny in the bottom three but I think America is too in love with Danny-Boy and his sob story and his designer glasses and his annoying hand gestures and his white-bread dancing. Besides the judges would save him anyway.

I figure and hope Lil gets the boot. She has had plenty of chances to bust out a great performance and live up to all her hype. Do her a favor and send her home to her kids already. Top 7 is a nice accomplishment. But what do I know. I don’t vote anymore since Megan got booted off.

Who will it be tonight? In the past two weeks we’ve had our sensibilities assaulted by guest-singers Lady Gaga and Flo Rida. The one thing we know is that whoever it is will be promoting a new CD or tour. The rumor is that it’s going to be Miley Montana or Hannah Cyrus or whatever her name is. She will offend my sensibilities too but in a whole different way. In the same way that the movies “Caddy Shack 2” and “Teen Wolf” did. Miss Cyrus would also fit the requirement that the guest stars have something to hawk. She’s got a new movie out (that my tweens even don’t want to see) plus a whole line of lunch boxes, bed sheets, dolls, backpacks, training bras, furniture, pj’s, games, stereos, video games, guitars, posters, stationery, curtains, party favors, costumes, a mp3 player, hair brushes, and my personal favorite; the Hannah Montana Day in the Life Activity Book. You can’t make this stuff up people. It’s quite the marketing empire Poppa and Little Cyrus have going.

And we are off. Randy and Kara are both in purple tonight (they look like Easter eggs) – do they have something going on? If so Paula might be jealous cause she is showing major cleavage – just a tad disturbing on an old lady.

Ryan tells that yes it’s Miley tonight and Jennifer Hudson.
The Ford Video is set to “Freeze Frame”. It is Horrible…….but alas………it’s nowhere near as bad as the group sing. They are singing “I’m a Manic”. This may be the worst group-sing ever and they would be quite an accomplishment.

The Idol-wannabes went to see the Movie “Seventeen” starring Zac Efron – Yuck! Oh look and he’s in the audience and all the tween girls (and Paula) squeal.

Finally some results:

Allison is Safe.

Adam is Safe.

Anoop is in the bottom three – he should be use to walking over to the Upside Down Plungers of Shame (UDPS).

After a long break we are back with Jennifer Hudson and shockingly they are pimping her album. She is singing “If This isn’t Love”. Ok she looks and sings great but there is something wrong with the sound system. She, the music and the background vocals sound way out of sync. Not something I’d buy but good luck to her anyway.

Kris and Lil are told to stand.

Kris is safe after Ryan tries one of his stupid drawn-out fake-outs.

Lil is dressed in green – she looks like a black elf. And is sent over to the UDPS

Matt and Danny are the next two told to stand.

Danny is back to wearing his Calvin Klein glasses. Guess he showed enough misty eyes last night to get the votes needed to stay and it seems to have worked since he’s safe.

Matt is sent to the bottom 3 again.

Oh yea I got the bottom 3 right again!!!!! The kid is on a roll.

Before the break Ryan sends Anoop back to the Couches of Everlasting Safety.

Miley is on a foggy stage wearing some grownup evening dress. Just a bit of a creepy look for a 16 year-old. Girl chill and enjoy 16, quite trying to act all old and stuff. As far as the song goes; dreadful vocals, music and lyrics. She can stay in tune but her voice annoys. Other than that I liked. (oh and I’ve been working 12-15 hour days for the past week and a half so if I sound cranky I AM!!!).

Holy Mother of Pearl – Lil is safe. R U KIDDING ME.

So Matt is singing for his Idol life. Paula and Kara stand up and start going all crazy cheering Matt on. That there would make me want to sing poorly just to get away from those 2 losers.
Ok so he’s obviously better than Lil, just not as popular I guess. Will the judges save him or not? The audience is chanting “SAVE SAVE SAVE”!

And the judges agree and save him. So that means two will get canned next week, the judges save is gone and next week is disco night – heaven help us all.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

American Idol '09

Going into tonight’s show I’ve got them ranked like this:

1. Adam
2. Kris
3. Allison
4. Danny
5. Matt
6. Anoop
7. Lil

Once we unload the dead weight of Lil and Anoop over the next 2 weeks we should end up with a halfway decent Top 5

Random Idol news:

“Jason Castro signs record deal with Atlantic Records. Jason, who was the third runner up on the 2008 season of "American Idol", is collaborating with current "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi and Grammy-Winning producer John Fields, plus a number of other top names in the music biz.”

“Simon Cowell hints he may leave “American Idol”

Tonight is “Songs of the Cinema” night with mentor Quentin Tarantino. Not sure what this exactly means. Any song that was in a movie is fair game? I mean we don’t have to listen to just songs from ‘Kill Bill: Vol 1-3” do we? And what does Quentin Tarantino know about music? Was he a musician before a director? Of course it wouldn’t take much to know more than the judges and his movies do have good soundtracks…so…

Did you know one of my kid’s middle names is Tarantino? Do you care?

Will Idol run over again tonight like last week and annoy everyone that TiVo’s the show? At least the there shouldn’t be too much filler after last week’s debacle when the show went over by about 10 minutes. Doesn’t anyone at FOX own a watch?

And we are off. Ryan is doing his best impersonation of a Federal Reserve banker with black pin-stripe suit and white shirt. Paula has a huge diamond studded dog-collar on. Looks like a rich person’s poodle. Randy is going with a Charlie Brown sweater and Simon dresses the same every week.

Little Steven is in the house.

Due to the show running over last week (Simon says it’s the girls fault – no argument here, Paula could talk the ears of a jackass) only two judges will speak after each performance. See there is a God. Of course they could just get rid of the filler.

Allison is doing Aerosmith’s “I Don't Want to Miss a Thing” from Armageddon. Crappy movie. Does anyone think Ben Affleck can act? Allison starts of singing real softly and breathy (is that a word?) and then kicks it in. I find myself liking her better and better each week. Simon says she is the girl’s only hope left. Ouch take the knife out of Lil’s back. Simon and Fido both loved it. She says “You possess the same special sauce as Adam does”. Someday that will be translated by smarter brains than I into English.

I hate the green commercials.

Anoop is doing “Everything I Do” by Bryan Adams from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Anoop seems to have given up his attempt at the tough guy image for the second week in a row and his going for the crooner look. Randy calls him Dawg and Paula answers. The two-headed monster Rakara likes it – me not so much. Better than he’s been but I’m still not feeling the love for Anoop.

Adam is doing Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf from the movie “Easy Rider”. We are back to over the top Adam! Guess he figures he’s got a pass to do whatever he wants. He looks like a cross between a young Elvis and Joey Ramone. Ok yes it’s over the top and he gets crazy with his vocals but dude does have some pipes. Adam really knows how to work a stage. Fido is jumping all over the place like she’s in heat. Simon throws a bucket of cold water on her. And why is her tongue blue? Raspberry Jolly Ranchers? And why are raspberry candies always blue and not red? Paula says “You dare to dance in the path of greatness...Fortune favors the brave". She’s on a roll tonight folks. Ok all you Adam Haters, here is your chance to let loose.

Matt is doing “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman” by Bryan Adams from ‘Don Juan de Marco’. TWO Bryan Adams’ songs in one night? Come one people. I could go all decade without hearing a Bryan Adams song. There have been 1000’s of movies made over the years with great songs in them and we get 2 Bryan Adams songs! He’s sitting at the piano tonight and thankfully has lost that fruity hat. It wasn’t working for you Matt. He does a pleasant soulful version. Nothing special but not awful. Randy is not ‘feeling’ it. Kara manages to get ‘chops’ in.

Danny is doing “Endless Love” by Lionel Ritchie from the movie ‘Endless Love’. I HATE THIS SONG MORE THAN BRYAN ADAMS’ SONGS. Apparently Danny has lost his designer eye-glass endorsement deal. This is painfully sappy. If any males out there vote for him tonight they should have their man card revoked forever. I think he should have done the version from ‘Happy Gilmore’, you know, the one with the Zamboni driver singing. That would have made me actually like Danny. The poodle is ecstatic as usual. Simon doesn’t seem to like it as much but since Danny is one of the Chosen Ones he still endorses him.

Kris is doing “Falling Slowly” Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from ‘Once’. He hemmed and hawed about whether or not to use the guitar and decided to go guitar-less. I slept through this song and I like Kris. It’s not that the song was bad, it just didn’t excite me. Randy didn’t like it but Kara loved it. Kara calls it an obscure song choice…um…it won an Oscar dear.

A bizarre Burger King commercial with the theme being “square butts’. That creepy burger king guy is singing it. Does he look like a pervert or what? Keep your kids away from Burger King people.

Lil is in the pimp spot tonight. Idol is desperate to have her do well and keep 2 chicks around for awhile. Lil is sporting her 42nd different hairdo this season. Seriously, I’ve been keeping count. She’s doing “The Rose” by Bette Midler from ‘The Rose’. It bored me to tears (well almost to tears, I don’t really cry, just ask my wife). Sam loved it. Paula goes on and on. I think she liked it but I’m not really sure. Sir Simon rolls his eyes at Paula and then Simon lays into Lil real good. And Lil gets all feisty back – cat fight. Simon’s right, it wasn’t good.

Ok we are done. No real stinkers tonight. And Anoop may have sung his way back into the Top 5. We shall see. Does Anoop have a big fan base?

Remarkably the show goes over the top of the hour once again. One less singer and only two judges talking and still they can’t get it right. Could we please fire the producer or director or keeper of the clock?

My quick hit guess at the performance rankings.

1. Allison
2. Adam
3. Kris
4. Anoop
5. Matt
6. Danny
7. Lil

Happy Birthday Josh

More important than Tax Day is that it's my 2nd child, oldest son, 18th birthday.

Happy birthday Josh. You are now old enough to: vote, join the army, smoke, get a tattoo, get your body pierced and date (family rule). Of course being in the seminary might make a few of these hard to do.

We love son!!!

Happy Tax Day

Get to a Tea Party if you can.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today's Workouts

10 mile run this morning in the cool rain. Nice quick pace.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There

"Trying to make ends meet,
trying to find some money then you die"
The Verve

Since the Feds just announced another trillion dollar bailout program, again. (I think this one is to bailout Oprah's Book of the Month Club...the increase in the price of paper is killing her.) Someone thought it would be "fun" to illustrate visually just how much money a trillion dollars is.

Take a look at all your tax dollars getting ready to go up in smoke. This should make you feel a lot better when you get your pay stub today and see all the taxes the Feds withheld.


Start with a simple $100 bill


A packet of $100 bills worth $10,000 is less than 1/2 inch thick.


This little pile of cash can easily fit into any backpack and weighs just about 22 lbs.


$100 million fits neatly on any standard pallet, weighing in at a little over one ton.


$1 billion is ten pallets worth of cold, hard cash.


Finally, here’s one trillion dollars (that little guy in the picture is shorter than I)


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Today's Workouts

16.5 mile run early this morning. Sluggish run, must be from the 3 helpings of taco salad last night.

American Idol '09

“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.”
Proverbs 26:11

And yet here I am, back for more pain, suffering and punishment on American Idol results night. Enduring 60 minutes of some of the most banal and trite TV out there. Which is saying quite a bit considering the state of network shows. Putting up with all this just to see the final moments of the show when someone gets the boot. Putting myself in misery just to watch someone else’s misery. These are strange times we live in my friends. Strange times indeed.

Here are my bottom 3 after further consideration:

• Scott
• Anoop
• Lil

I’ve got Scott leaving on a jet plane tonight back to Arizona. And then over the next 2 weeks we will get rid of Anoop and Lil. I really think Danny should be in the bottom 3 based on lasts nights’ awful performance but I’m sure the voters aren’t cool enough to see through Danny, yet. If any of the other 5 were to happen to get voted out by America in the next two weeks then the judges will use their save card. They also might save Lil to keep the female and black quotient up.

That would give us a top 5 of:

1. Adam
2. Kris
3. Matt
4. Allison
5. And dare I say it? Danny

Randy has his grandma-ma’s drapes as a shirt on, Kara is looking purplie, Paula thinks its 1940 and she’s wearing long evening gloves or maybe she’s Cinderella getting ready to go to the ball. Simon has a bizarre looking part down the middle of his hair. Ryan Seaweed looks ok though in his pretty-boy way.

Man they must be really hard up for filler tonight. They have pulled Frankie Avalon away from the shuffle board at the nursing home to perform live tonight. Actually he looks alright for a geezer.

Tonight’s group sing-a-long is brought to you by the letter “S”. Silly, Sappy and sorry. Ok as far as these group sings go it’s tolerable. Allison sounded great. Scott kinda danced. By the way they sang Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head."

A long behind the scenes look at the making of the Ford Music Video and then the actual video. It’s set to Ms Spears’ song “Circus”. Filler city baby.


Adam, Kris and Anoop are told to stand up. Adam is safe – how shocking. Kris is safe and Anoop is sent to the Star Trek Martini Stools of Shame (STMSS).

Preview for “17 Again”. Hollywood is so hard up for ideas that they have to do “Big” in reverse?

Flo Rida? Please – must we be subjected to this? Lady Gaga last week and now this clown! I’ll have my hand on the remote just in case and I’m sure FOX’s censors (if they have any) will have their hands on their bleep buttons. He’s ‘singing’ his version of Dead or Alive’s ‘Right Round”. Sampling I think they call it. I can’t understand much of the lyrics, which is probably a good thing since the ones I can understand are pg-13. Couple that with half a dozen sluts dancing around behind him and I think our whole household will have to go to confession tomorrow. Borderline soft-core porn. Short chat with him so he can pimp his tour and new album.

Ah but there is more. Ryan promises us someone named Kelly “Dill” Pickling will be singing. But first........

Danny “I Have an Unlimited Glasses Budget” is safe and so is Matt.

Scott is sent to the STMSS’s. Ryan walks him over to them, awkward.

Our two ladies are left and are told to stand up. Allison is safe and Lil is not.

Did I call the bottom 3 or what? I rule you drool!

Simon says there is one person they would consider using the Save on. Lil? Maybe Anoop? Nah. Don’t think we will find out tonight. Old Scotty is going to be beamed up and out I would guess.

Kelly Pickle Jar is lip syncing some country ditty. Double boring but she has legs for days. The song is almost as long as her gams. She finishes up screeching a verse or two and making a face like she is constipated. And guess what she has a new album out too. Apparently she was on Idol before I started watching it. Maybe she’s a popular country singer but darn if I’ve heard of her before tonight. Is it Pickling or Pickler? I can’t understand what Sea biscuit called her. Ok it was better than Flo Rida – what kind a name for a guy is Flo anyways? Flo is a waitress at a greasy dinner or a hairstylist in a cheap salon, not a rapper.

Back to the results. Seafoam sends Lil back to the couches of safety. And then we break again.

Drum roll please...Scott is gone and will sing for his Idol life. Ok we all know he’s not going to get saved but at least he gets to sing one more time and have a few moments of fame. Good for him he seems like a nice guy. Scott sings, Kara dances, Paula cries and the two guys chat.

Simon claims that 2 judges want him to stay and two want him to leave so they debate some more. Is this serious? Or are they just killing time?

Ryan asks Scott if he ‘watched’ his performance from last night and what he thought about it. Nice job asking the blind dude if he watched video.

Finally Simon tells him he’s not coming back. They give Paula the final word to gush about how inspirational Scott is and some other platitudes. God how did I anger you? How long must your people suffer The Cougar? Where is your sword of justice in our hour of need? When will you smote our enemies?

That’s it for this week folks.

Adios, God Bless and Good Night. Love you all – even The Donk.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

American Idol '09

8 is enough. Actually 8 is one too many this week. Tonight some will be singing to show what they can as we continue to narrow down the field and some will be singing for their Idol Lives.

So what’s the landscape looking like for tonight’s “sing a song from the year you were born” theme night? I hope everyone likes 80’s music. Other than Allison (1992) all the others were born in the 80’s.

It would take a disaster of epic proportions for these contestants to get the boot this week. I mean the following people would have to show up wearing one of The Don’s rainbow Speedo’s singing “It’s Raining Men” to get the boot.

Yea I’m making predictions before they actually sing. You got a problem with that? This isn’t Russia, is this Russia?

Adam Lambert – He’s gotta be the current favorite to win. Even though people either love him or hate him. He could sing Paula’s Little Black Book (probably not so little) and be safe tonight.

Danny Gokey – For some unfathomable reason the judges and you voters like this guy. Personally I’ve had more than enough of his designer glasses and vanilla performances. Sure he can sing but his performance all sound the same and he’s almost as bad a dancer as Megan was.

Kris Allen - Kris as had good solid performances the past few weeks and should have bought himself a Free Pass for a week or two.

Probably safe for now but the following could be in trouble once Scott and Anoop get sent packing:

Allison Irheta – You would think Allison would be safe for awhile considering she’s the best female left but she was in the bottom 3 last week. The judges have their Save still and will probably use it to keep a chick around since it’s such a male-heavy completion

Lil Rounds – Lil seems to have fallen out of the judges good graces. Weeks ago she seemed to be one of the 3 chosen ones but alas no longer for Lil. A bunch of mediocre performances have her on the bubble.

Matt Giraud – Matt is in my Top 3 but apparently America and the Judges aren’t as enamored as I am.

On life-support and about to mercifully have the plug pulled. Merciful for the rest of us.

Scott Macintyre – Likable enough, but he’s ridden the blind gravy train for long enough. It is only a matter of time before he gets the boot. If not this week then next.

Anoop Desai - I admit it, at the beginning of the Final 13 I had drunk the Anoop Kool Aid. Since then I’ve had my stomach pumped and I’m through with Anoop. Bad performances and a snotty attitude will do that.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. At least until after the show and I’ve had a chance to see the performances.

Let’s get ready to rumble.

We meet our judges and get giant childhood pictures of them flashed on the jumbotron. I got say that
Randy’s pic is the best. Scary I know. Is this kiddy picture a foreshadowing of things to come?

Danny Gokey - Danny is singing “Stand by Me”. This song is from way before 1980. So just because Mickey Gilley did a cover of it in 1980 Danny gets to sing it? Guess so. Oh thrilling - new designer glasses for The Danny. This is like something from church talent show. Paula is dancing up a storm…summoning the Mothership? Randy and Kara didn’t like the arrangement but loved the vocals. Side note – Kara looks great tonight but she’s still an annoying broad. Paula loved it – duh. Simon called it “overall great”. I told you they were in the tank for him.

Kris Allen - Kris has cute baby/kid pictures. Kris Allen is doing “All She Wants to do is Dance” by Don Henley. Kris and his guitar are down in the Mosh Pit surrounded by teen lasses. I wonder how wifey-poo likes that one. Different arrangement – lots of horns. Campy. Kara likes him but not the arrangement – her theme for the night? Paula calls him Likable. Watch out Kris! Change your hotel room quick. Simon panned it, bad. See I was right about Danny – Simon calls Danny overall great and doesn’t like Kris, when they were basically the same. Randy also calls it self-indulgent.

Lil Rounds - We get a song-winded explanation of Lil’s name – like we cared. Sheesh they changed Lil’s look again. Some kinda Black Panther Biker Chick look, give me a break. She is doing Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to do With It”. Oh I get the look, not bicker chic, it’s supposed to be Tina Turner. This is ok but it’s like a Light version of the incredibly strong Tina version. It sounds fine but I keep comparing it to the original and it doesn’t stack up. Like she’s playing at being Tina Turner. Paula plays the “you look wonderful card”. You know you are in trouble when Paula starts out like that. Simon sums up Paula’s and mine’s babbling by calling it a 2nd or 3rd rate Tina Turner. Well said Sir Simon. Randy and Kara blah blah blah – more of the same.

Anoop Desai – Please don’t try and do Michael Jackson or act tough again my little puppy dog friend. Lots and lots of Anoop kid pictures. Now though guy look tonight. Anoop is switching teams and going the other way. He looks like a sissy. He’s singing “True Colors” by that tramp Cyndi Lauper. Nice vocals but I’m bored. But should be enough to save himself for another week I’m guessing. Depends on how Scott does. And what’s with the lime sweater? Shouldn’t he be wearing ‘Heel blue? Simon liked it ok and Rankarula seemed much more enthralled.

In an Idol First – they flash Randy’s baby picture up for Scott. Scott is singing “The Search is Over” by Survivor. Lousy song choice but at least he didn’t pick “Eye of the Tiger”. This is the type of song that gave the 80’s it’s bad music rep. Scott still has the Boy Band hairdo going. He’s standing center stage with a guitar. Didn’t know he could play – actually not sure he can play guitar. He doesn’t seem to be doing much with it. Scott tries to rock it a bit. I give him credit for trying but it was blah. Kara and Paula both give him credit for leaving the piano. Man they sound condescending to the blind dude. Mocking his blindness would be more appealing than patronizing him. Kara and Paula must be sharing the booze tonight. Simon hated it. Randy didn’t like it either. This performance may have done Scott in.

Allison Irheta – it appears from her baby pictures that the red hair isn’t natural after all – who knew. She’s doing Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”. I love me some Bonnie Raitt. Great vocals as usual. Not the most exciting performance but I sure did like it. I just hope that enough of the rest of the country liked it. Paula gushes over it. Simon liked it a lot. But says she needs to show more personality. Randy calls her ‘Dude’. Kara channels more Paula and gushes.

Matt Giruad is doing Stevie Wonder’s “Part Time Lover”. Nice song choice for Matt. Funky and Bluesy and overall enjoyable. Nothing special but pretty good. Rankarula loves it and Simon calls it 100 times better than last week. They are moving fast. It’s 8:58 and they still have commercials and Adam to get to.

Adam Lambert - We get a sneak peak of Adam as a kid – dressed as vampire. You can’t make this stuff up people. He liked to play dress-up when little – shocker. Adam is singing “Mad World” by Tears for Fears. Adam is sitting in a near dark stage under a groovy green light singing his tookus off. He sings falsetto – just to prove that he can? He starts to get a bit over the top at the end but it was just a taste – he reigns himself back in. Far and away my favorite performance of the night. I loved it. Haunting. Beautiful. Lovely. Sublime. Take that all you Adam Haters. The lights come up. Adam is wearing Good Humor Man white with a sand colored leather jacket. Whatever. Doesn’t matter. Simon gives him a Standing ovation and we are out of time so we are spared having to hear from the other three judges.

My bottom three:

1) Scott
2) Lil
3) Danny or Matt or Anoop. Doesn't really matter.

With Scott taking a hike next week.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today's Workouts

10.38 mile run early this morning and 3.78 mile run this afternoon while a few of the boys had flag football practice.

I am Sick of Scare Tactic Commercials

“I was dreaming when I wrote this so forgive me if I go astray…” Prince

I realize that companies are desperate for business. Most companies seem to be struggling for sales and are closing stores, laying off folks and some are going out of business completely.

But running ads that try and scare you into buying their product is not the way to go. Well it’s not the way to go if you want my money.

The two most recent offenders that I’ve been hearing a lot of ads for on the radio are the reprehensible Life Link ads(* I made this name up – lots of companies and public service ads are about these kiddy tracking devices) and self righteous CarFax ads.

The Life Link* ads play on one of parents deepest fears, the kidnapping of a small child, the setting is a play ground and some mother’s young daughter has disappeared from sight and the mother panics and the deep-voiced narrator intones that this could be prevented if the child had worn a Life Link tracking device.

The CarFax ads aren’t as bad but they are close. They feature various people having close calls in car accidents that supposedly could have been prevented if the buyer had gotten a CarFax report first (as if every issue with a car is reported to them). These ads usually feature children or woman put in harm’s way. I don’t know about you but if I was buying a used car the dealer (or private seller) would be providing the CarFax report not me. But more importantly I’d be bringing the car to my personal trusted mechanic to be checked over before I bought it. Sure a CarFax report would be nice but it’s much more important to have a live body looking over the care in person. So while I like the idea behind the CarFax service their ads just turn me off...guilt doesn’t sell me.

The not so subtle read between the lines message in these ads is:

“Buy Life Link* or your child might get kidnapped by some child molester you unfit parent” and “get a CarFax report or your wife and/or children will get hurt or die in a car accident you unfit father/husband”.

I will never ever use either of these companies because their ads have offended me so much.

I’ll admit that I’m not that keen on the whole child tracking GPS devices in general. They creep me out and smack a whole lot of big brother. They sound like devices that Hitler and Stalin would have loved the Gestapo and KGB to have. And since we are heading down that path with the current administration, do I really want my kids wearing a device that can be used to track them by GPS satellites, government owed satellites by the way. Who is to say that the companies that sell these devices won’t provide the tracking codes to the Feds at some point in the future? Or that someone won’t hack their computers and get hold of all the information.

I have a GPS watch for running and it’s always in the back of my mind that someone could be tracking me when I’m out running. Actually who is to say that the company that makes my GPS running watch hasn’t already given this info to my wife so she can keep tabs on me while I’m running?

How effective are they? The handheld device that parents use to locate the child only has a range of 600 feet (2 football field lengths). It’s not going to be of much help if some psycho throws a kid in a car and drives off. Plus what is to stop the creep from just removing the tracking tag from a child? It’s only a keychain like fob that hangs on their clothing.

While the technology sounds promising and inviting to me. I’m not sure the downside for abuse and the stunning lack of range and easy removal of the tag are worth the $200 the thing costs. I also worry that it would make me less diligent about where my kids were.

You could buy the $700 chip and $40 a month service tracking service that companies offer and they can track you kid anywhere anytime. But you still have the spying creepy factor and the fact that the child or bad person can still throw away the keychain like tag. My kids would probably take it off and attach it to a garbage truck or flush it down they toile just to mess with us.

They remind me of the push a few years ago to have small ID chips implanted in every baby born in hospitals. Thankfully that movement never got a good head of steam, not that it couldn’t be revived like a zombie that won’t die. But for now we are safe from that. Just one more plus for home births.

Comments, discussion, outrage, rolling of the eyes welcome. I’d really like to hear from people who have bought or are considering buying a Kid GPS thingamachiga. Maybe they work a lot better than I think they do. let me know folks. I’m willing to have my opinion changed...maybe...

In a somewhat related note. checkout this news story from Europe.

The black box that tracks every mile you drive and will make speed cameras obsolete

"Drivers face having their every move tracked by a 'spy in the car' black box. The system will constantly check a vehicle's speed - making cameras redundant - and allow for pay-as-you-go tolls. [i.e., more government "efficiency" in collecting tolls for the use of the sub-standard government infrastructure]
The £36million EU project is partly funded by the UK Government and backed by car makers and the telecoms industry. [Corporations making a buck at the Government trough? I'm shocked!]
Vehicles fitted with the system will emit a constant 'heartbeat' pulse revealing their location, speed and direction of travel. EU officials believe the technology will significantly reduce road accidents, congestion and carbon emissions. [Oh sure, it's the citizens' health they're concerned with, not the "health" of the State.]
But civil liberties campaigners say it will have profound implications for privacy by creating a Europe-wide system of Big Brother surveillance." [No? Really?]

Monday, April 6, 2009

And Then There Were 5

Teenagers that is. As of today I have 5 teenagers at the same time. No, seriously we do. 13, 14, 16, 17, & 19. 5 hormonal know-it-all I'm-smarter-than-you borderline adults. Remarkably we are still sane (enough) to function as parents. I wouldn't have it any other way, they are all wonderful.

Today our sweet (with a bit of vinegar thrown in for good measure) Barbara is 13. She's one of our more feisty kid. She's already mastered the 'look' that women are so good at giving to others, especially men. She will make a great wife and mother or a Mother Superior.

We love you Babs!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

What is the State?

"...Watch the police and the tax man miss me - I'm mobile..." The Who

A brilliant excerpt from the introduction to Lew Rockwell's most recent book The Left, The Right, and the State - available here

What is the state? It is the group within society that claims for itself the exclusive right to rule everyone under a special set of laws that permit it to do to others what everyone else is rightly prohibited from doing, namely aggressing against person and property.
Why would any society permit such a gang to enjoy an unchallenged legal privilege? Here is where ideology comes into play. The reality of the state is that it is a looting and killing machine. So why do so many people cheer for its expansion? Indeed, why do we tolerate its existence at all?

The very idea of the state is so implausible on its face that the state must wear an ideological garb as means of compelling popular support. Ancient states had one or two: they would protect you from enemies and/or they were ordained by the gods.

To greater and lesser extents, all modern states still employ these rationales, but the democratic state in the developed world is more complex. It uses a huge range of ideological rationales—parsed out between left and right—that reflect social and cultural priorities of niche groups, even when many of these rationales are contradictory.

The left wants the state to distribute wealth, to bring about equality, to rein in businesses, to give workers a boost, to provide for the poor, to protect the environment. … The right, on the other hand, wants the state to punish evildoers, to boost the family, to subsidize upright ways of living, to create security against foreign enemies, to make the culture cohere, and to go to war to give ourselves a sense of national identity. …

So how are these competing interests resolved? They logroll and call it democracy. The left and right agree to let each other have their way, provided nothing is done to injure the interests of one or the other. The trick is to keep the balance. Who is in power is really about which way the log is rolling. And there you have the modern state in a nutshell.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pet Peeve Phriday

People Driving with Dogs on Their Laps

And little lap dogs in general.

Yesterday leaving my neighborhood a woman driving a SUV almost ran the light at my street. As a carefully pulled out after she had finally stopped, I glanced at her, and surprising she wasn’t on a cell phone or putting on makeup, her distraction was one of those yappy little dogs sitting on her lap.

Listen people if you want to own one of those obnoxious little dogs that a cat could beat-up, go right ahead. I have no problem with that. Just don’t drive with it on your lap. A few weeks ago some woman was blasted in the media for nursing while driving but you never hear anyone complain about the yahoo’s driving with pets on their laps. And no I’m not comparing a baby to a Miniature Schnauzer in importance.

***Bonus peeve***two for the price of one today***

When the above took place, Sam and I were taking the 8 youngest kids to Daily Mass. I was working from home so we decided to take the kids to 9am mass at a nearby church. After getting ourselves and the kids reasonably presentable and then packed into the van and almost getting killed by drives-with-dog-on-lap-chick we pull in to the parking lot only 2 minutes late. We try and quietly slink into the back pews and Sam gives me an Oh No look. It’s not a mass it’s a communion service. And it’s not a deacon run communion service it’s a run by a never-got-over-not-being-allowed-to-be-a-priest-old-woman communion service.

I look over at Sam and mouth “you owe me big”. She knows how I dislike communion services and lay person run communion services in particular. Yeah I know stuff happens and the priest can’t make it sometimes. And yeah I know stuff happens and the deacon can’t make it sometimes. But this was painful.

I feel for you folks in parishes without full time priests or just one over worked one. We are blessed with two orthodox priests at our parish and a deacon who can pinch hit in an emergency and run a communion service.


Isn't That Special

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Today's Workouts

15.37 mile run before work this morning. Misty and foggy out but warm enough with temps in the mid 40's.

American Idol '09

Top 9 results show

Will we have a third week in a row with a Creepy Geezer/Hot Young Girl duet?

Have the winds shifted and is Adam now the Judges/Producers favorite instead of Danny? Did the Idol powers that be finally realize that people might actually buy an album by Adam and that Danny would sell about 42 albums total, all to relatives?

During the Ford Music Video will Scott finally get to drive?

Will tonight’s show be more fun than a colonoscopy without a sedative?

All these questions and more will be answered tonight on your American Idol

Once again people we will be here with you all night long to see you through the pain of having to endure more filler than a prison meatloaf or an exotic dancer convention and more hot air than the G-20 meetings. You think AI results shows are painful imagine sitting in on some of those meetings in London.

Our down and dirty off the cuff prediction at the end of last night’s show was that Lil, Scott and Megan would be in the final 3 tonight. Upon further review we are putting Anoop in the bottom three and taking Lil out. Not because we think she was good last night but we doubt that a member of the judge’s holy trinity will be in the bottom 3. What’s that you say? It’s America that votes and decides who stays and who goes. You sweet dear naive people. We love your childlike trust in the system. Sure your vote counts (probably) but they are heavily influenced the judge’s comments and by the order of performance and other not very subtle things they do on the show. Witness Ryan plopping one of Lil’s kids in Randy’s lap – like that was spontaneous and unplanned. Unfortunately we are afraid that Matt could find himself in the bottom 3 again – a victim of the judge’s unfair and delusional comments about his performance last night.

Who’s getting booted off? Beats us. We are horrible at this. We will go will Anoop. Why? Why Not?!

You will have to forgive us if our typing is off a bit tonight. Our side still aches from the laughter expended last at Kara’s expense. Her ‘Studio 57’ comment is still killing us. We guess that this Studio 57 she hangs at is 3 better than the original Studio 54. Stop drinking from Paula’s Magic Coke Cup during the commercial breaks. We never thought it possible that there could be a worse judge than Paula, Kara baby you are in the same zip code as her.

Loose lips sink ships – in case anyone out there cares, on a radio show today Paula spilled the beans about next week’s theme. It’s "songs from the year that you were born." So I hope y’all are ready to relive the 80’s.

Tonight Lady Gaga will be performing; yeah we don’t who/what that is either. We ourselves are Gaga for a Lady but we don’t think that has anything to do with this. Go ask your teens they will have to explain it to us. Ok we did a quick Google search on Lady Gaga. Warning be careful if you do an image search. As best we can tell Lady Gaga’s (it’s one person by the way) claim to fame is having slutty pictures taken of herself and posted on the web. We will watch her performance with remote in hand. Also performing will be David Cook – taped a few weeks ago.

Enough of my ramblings it’s show time.

Once again Ryan is in a conservative suit. Going for some of the bank bailout money we guess. Before we start we have to listen to the judge’s talk about last night’s performances. The only thing of note is that Paula appears to be wearing a lavender negligee that is danger of overflowing.

Our campfire sing-a-long tonight is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing”. Ok we hated this song back in the day at Teen Club on Friday nights, give us some AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Van Halen any day, but that being said this is our favorite group lip-sync sing yet. Ok so that’s not saying a lot but we are trying to be nice here people it is Lent after all.

During the week the Idol Chef made a chocolate layer cake for Scott. Scott informs us it was supposed to be a 3-layer cake but it’s actually a 4-layer cake. How he knows this we aren’t told. Do they make Braille cakes?

Matt, Megan and Kris are brought to center stage and left hanging. Adam, Lil and Allison are placed together in another part of the stage. Then Scott, Anoop and Danny are placed in another group. We are off to a commercial…oh the suspense. If one entire group is safe we are going with the Adam, Lil and Allison group.

We are back with a pre-recorded David Cook performance. Assumed taped. Vague shots of the judges who appear to be wearing different clothes. Lefty guitar player like Hendrix…didn’t remember that about DC. Mundane song. Not awful not great. Your basic pop-rock song. David and Ryan have on matching suits. David is presented with a platinum record.

Ok time for a bit of results. Kris is safe.

Matt is sent to the Metal Martini Stools of Shame (MMSS), wait a minute he’s not. Ryan’s idea of an Aprils Fool’s joke.

Megan is in the bottom three and Sent to the Metal Martini Stools of Shame.

Lil is Safe.

Allison is sent to the MMSS’s. Too many morons with phones in this country.

Adam is safe.

Scott is safe. How in the world is not bottom 3?

Anoop is our last bottom three.

Megan, Allison and Anoop. Ok so I got 2 of the bottom three correct.

Lady Gaga is singing “Poker Face”. Holy Mother of Pearl! We have no idea what that look is supposed to be. She looks like a hooker from Star Trek. And throw in some black dudes dancing like robots and you got a big mess. We wouldn’t even like this if we had some magic mushrooms. This crapola is at the top of the charts? I weep for the youth of America. We’d rather listen to Baby Elmo from last year than this garbage, and we usually like weird music.

Simon says only one of the bottom 3 is worth saving – um Allison Simon?

Ok Allison is sent back to the Couches of Safety. And all is right with the world.

Anoop is sent back to safe land. And Megan is told that she won’t be saved before she sings. Well it was fun while it lasted. Sorry Megan we did our best. We have calluses on our fingers from dialing for you last night. I know all you Megan haters are happy. But guess what? Now we have to listen to at least one more week of boring Scott – thanks a lot people.

Ok kids that’s it. Have a great night.

Adios, God Bless and Goodnight.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Tax Credit Bumps Weekly Paychecks

From the AP
Most workers will start seeing about a $10 bump in their weekly paychecks this week, thanks to a new federal tax credit. The "Making Work Pay" tax credit is the Main Street version of the Wall Street bailout, doled out in bite-sized portions to workers in their paychecks.

Don't spend it all in one place folks.

American Idol '09

Since we are in the middle of March Madness, could we please but a shot clock on Paula’s ramblings that are passed off as comments? We are willing to give her 24 seconds.

Could we also ban the judges fighting, talking and petting each other like a bunch of hormonal teenagers in the back of a ’76 Camaro when they are supposed to be listening to the singing and then critiquing it? Are we the only one who finds it rude and self-centered?

The theme is rumored to be "top 100 iTunes downloads." Whatever exactly that means. We would hazard a guess that it means top 100 of all time. For grins we checked the Top 10 Downloads on iTunes as off noon 3/31/09. 7 and 10 are the only ones we’ve heard and the only reason we’ve heard #10 is cause AI has been pimping Ms. Clarkson’s new album.

1. Boom Boom Pow - Black Eyed Peas
2. Poker Face - Lady GaGa
3. Right Round - Flo Rida
4. The Climb - Miley Cyrus
5. Kiss Me Thru the Phone - Soulja Boy Tell 'Em
6. Love Sex Magic - Ciara
7. Gives You Hell - The All-American Rejects
8. I love College - Asher Roth
9. Blame it - Jamie Foxx
10. My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson

If it the Top 100 it’s likely to be pop and hip-hop filled music. So it looks like song choice is going to be more important than usual. So grab a wine-cooler, put on your comfy pj’s and set back and enjoy the singing with us.

The Ryan starts us off by wading thru the Idolettes who are standing as stiff as Stonehenge. Our judges are introduced. Simon shockingly is wearing a black t-shirt; the 2 ladies are sporting dueling cleavage – again. Paula’s hair is looking nice – straight and bangey. Like and Egyptian queen out of the Ten Commandments movie.

Ok so it’s broader than we thought. They can choose any ‘popular’ download. Well that about covers everything. The Idol 9 are seen at Ryan’s Top 40 radio show – subtle plug for the show there Mr. Seacrest.

Anoop is doing Usher’s “Caught Me”. The Anoopster seems to be going for the bad-boy image/look. It’s not working for us. Maybe you ladies out there feel differently about him. Looks like a little kitty cat hissing and showing his claws trying to look tough. Randy likes the vocals but not the song choice. Once again Kara is channeling Paula and contradicts herself. Paula goes way way over the 24 second shot clock and makes no sense at all. We look for a ref to blow a whistle but alas none is to be found. Our only judge that matters, Simon, couldn’t stand it. Anoop’s retort sounds Paula like.

Side note – does this new Osbourne show that is coming on next look painfully bad or what? If this show last longer than 3 weeks than this country deserves to go down the drain.

Megan is doing Bob Marley’s “Turning Your Lights Down Low”. Ok we admit it; we are scared, frightened, petrified, and chilled to the bone. We haven’t been this scared since we were an intern in the Clinton administration. We are not seeing the Marley in Megan. Please prove us wrong Megan. We have been pushing for you harder than an auto-exec pushes for handouts. She is only going to be able to get by on being the only pretty blonde girl left for a short while longer. Once again, other than that unfortunate tatted up arm, Megan looks wonderful – the song not as wonderful. Megan Megan Megan. I love your quirky vocals but the overall performance was just so-so. Maybe she should have done her hair up in dreads and come out puffing on a big fat one. Not that we are not going to vote for the young lass. Kara starts the wrong song choice bit and gets heckled by the crowd. Classic, one of the best Idol moments. Paula – loooonnnnggg again. Simon and Randy really let her have it. We feel bad for Megan and offer her our handkerchief and shoulder.

Danny is doing Rascal Flats’ “What Hurts the Most”. I do not know this song. Modern Country eh? They sing about air-conditioned tractors? Legal whiskey instead of moonshine? What hurts the most are our ears! Kidding folks it’s not that bad. For a slow country song by a singer we don’t like. We do like the fiddle player. There should have been more of her. Sounds like a performance Paula would like. Oh and surprises of surprises she unleashes the Cougar again. Guess she figures it’s been long enough and Danny is ready to date again. Simon loves it too. Randy says something about the mike stand, uh? Kara does her Paula’s twin sister bit again and talks about moving the crowd and goose bumps. So they love it, guess that’s why I work at a software company and not a record company. Either that or they are just in the tank for him until the bitter end.

Allison of the horrible dye job is doing “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt. Allison is playing a bit of guitar tonight. I didn’t know she played guitar. She really could have used some help from wardrobe. Her dress looks like a red and black Christmas tree, kind the Third Reich does Christmas. But her vocals are incredible – 16 years old? Nice. Randy liked her but questions her outfit too!?! And he calls her Dude. Paula tries to act hip and young by calling Allison’s guitar her axe. She’s so silly. Simon hates on her outfit too and says she was playing dress-up.

Scott is doing a Billy Joel song. I despise all Billy Joel songs. Scott’s doing “Just the Way you Are”. And once again the mean people in charge of Scot’s makeup and wardrobe play “let’s mess with the blind dude”. What is with the HAIR and the genuine imitation vinyl leather jacket people? Seriously. Last week it was pink pants and this week it is an 80’s hairstyle that would make John Stamos proud. Scott did Scott tonight. It was nice and about the best we can expect from him. His vocals are only going to be so good. Paula is patronizing about his blindness by acting like she’ not patronizing his blindness. Simon calls it his best showing so far – true but… Randy calls it second best of the night. (we roll our eyes) We are no longer reporting what Kara and Paula have to say, it just doesn’t matter.

Matt is doing the Fray’s “You Found Me”. We like this song alright, Matt too. Let’s go man. Matt and his Members Only jacket are behind a keyboard – what is this 80’s night and no one told us? He’s down in the mosh pit, isn’t that Ryan’s gig. Any how we like the song and Matt’s rendition of it. The judges don’t like it as much. Even Paula “I heart everyone” doesn’t like it. Simon, Randy and Kara don’t like it at all either. A big phooey on you judges. After beating him up a bit Kara shamelessly plugs him by saying he doesn’t deserve to go home. We hate the judges tonight. We are taking our ball and going home.

Lil is doing “I Surrender” by Celine Dion. Whoa she changes her look more than we change our underwear. Plastered down helmet head and hideous blue dress. Once again she shows off her big old voice but we are not Lil fans at all. Sounds like a Vegas lounge act. RanKarula no likey. Simon doesn’t like it either. Seacrest goes in the crowd and talks to Lil’s cute little girls and then puts one of the kids in Randy’s. A shameless ploy by Idol to get America to vote for Lil after a lackluster performance? You be the judge.

Adam is doing “Play that Funky Music (white-boy)” by Wild Cherry. Once again Adam has the slicked back werewolf hairdo going with a bit of vintage 70’s Travolta thrown in. The worst thing about this song is that it causes Paula to stand up and dance in her little red prom dress, thanks for nothing Adam. Good job, not my favorite Adam performance but still the best of the night. Has he won already and everyone else is fighting for second? Um, too soon for that. Paula compares Adam to Steven Tyler and Mick Jagger – a bit overboard there big girl. We need to throw some water on her. Simon and Randy loved it too. Kara says it was like "Studio 57." Too Funny! Yo Kara Dawg nice job trying to act hip. Subtract 3 from that number dear.

Kris is given the sweet pimp spot tonight and is going last. He’s doing “Ain’t no Sunshine” by Bill Withers while sitting at the piano. Lots of pianists on tonight’s show. A very nice solid performance by Kris. Not my favorite of the night but plenty good enough to get him through to next week and propel towards the top 3 and possible even the win. Randy loves it. Kara and Paula are idiots. Simon loves it too. Says it was a great arrangement.

Our quick rankings of the performances. Not how we are actually voting – our phones are reserved for Megan and Megan alone. At least until the batteries die.

1. Adam
2. Kris
3. Allison
4. Matt
5. Danny
6. Anoop
7. Megan
8. Lil
9. Scott