Thursday, October 12, 2006

More Random Thoughts and Stuff...

I was going to blog about my views about the current state of Hip-Hop and how I feel that it's the 21st century version of a minstrel show, but other folks have beaten me to it, and the less said about a subject I know little and care even less about, the better. But then again, The subtitle of the Moonlight Scribbler is about what happens when I blab about crap I know nothing about.

I haven't posted anything in a while and right now this blog is about as alive as my love life. Part of that is due to the fact that I have a lot on my plate at this time. Between my jobs, and the moderating of the PA Sportsboard which you can find me posting as City League Advocate holding court about why I think City League football is the best damn high school football on the planet, and my recently being elected Adjutant at my American Legion Post, (think of a secretary/problem solver), and all the other junk that worms its way into my life, It's a wonder I can still remember how to log into this thing.

The PA Political races are in full swing. Little Ricky Santorum is spending money like a sailor in PI on attack ads that target his opponent Bob Casey Jr, and Mr. Casey is firing back. Depending on who's poll you believe the Casey lead is between 5 and 10 percentage points. The only thing Casey has going for him is that he ain't Ricky, cause he's almost as conservative as him, and while Rick Santorum is about as popular as a Black Panther at a KKK rally in most areas of the Pittsburgh region, he could get enough votes in the middle and northern parts of the state that could pull out a win. I'm still waiting for the Casey ads that blast Little Ricky for doing exactly what he accused former congressman Doug Walgren of doing 12 years ago when he first ran for Congress, i.e. maintaining a primary residence outside of his state. I'm voting for Casey because he ain't Ricky. I don't expect him to do much more than Santorum did, but I just get tired of seeing that smug, arrogant puss of Little Ricky all over the TV.

In other election news, It's all but over for political newcomer Lynn Swann in his attempts to unseat Ed "Fast Eddie" Rendell in the PA Governors race. The former Steeler wide receiver and Hall of Famer is trailing badly in the polls, which have Fast Eddie up by 80-85% to Swann's 15-20%. Eddie has great support in Philly and in parts of democratically dominant Pittsburgh. The Conservative "T" of PA has quite a pickle. They aren't thrilled with Rendell, but they may vote for him simply because while Swann may resonate with their beliefs. he has a few things against him...can you guess what one of them is?? Hint: It ain't because he was a Steeler and most of the Conservative "T" are either Eagles or Redskins fans. I'll let that hang out there. I'm pretty sure that the two or three people that check out this blog know. Personally, I've never voted a straight ticket in the general elections, I am not loyal to party. I am registered Democrat because Pennsylvania does not do open primary elections and the primaries are where most of the action and Democrats outnumber Republicans in Pittsburgh at least 5 to 1. I think both parties are out for themselves and not for we, the people. But I will vote for Swann because I don't like Rendell. I don't think he's done all that much for Pennsylvania. Anything he has done has not affected me to the point that I'd support him. Swann probably would not do much more but it would be nice for the people of Pennsylvania to actually vote for a governor who wasn't a stodgy old "been there, done that", political hack white guy. Ooops, did I give it away???? Swann's other problems are that he's a political lightweight, and he was very ambiguous about where he stood on the issues for the longest time. He has no experience in the bloodsport that is politics, and so he decides to cut his political teeth, not by running for a lesser office with more room for error, but for the governorship of a major state. That's generally not the right way to enter politics, and I also suspect that he's running on his name and fame, and that's a very risky business. I don't think he has a chance, but when Rendell is re-elected and he proceeds to screw the good people of Pennsylvania even more this time around, I can say with a clear conscience that I had nothing to do with it.

I did get my iPod mini like I said I would in the last blog, and as much as I am NOT an Apple fanboy, I do get the whole appeal about Apple's portable music player. It's beautifully designed , easy to use, sounds great even without the equalizer on, and iTunes is easy enough foreven an former Phi Theta Kappa chapter president to figure out. Yes, I know that Apple phased out the Mini a couple years ago, and that they doing the video players and the ultrathin Nanos which are cool, but remember, folks, I AM CHEAP!!!! If I can get an iPod mini that plays my music very well for $99.00, I will jump on it. I do not care about it being refurbished. If it fits my needs at a great price, I'm on it.

My music collection is not very big. I have about 770 tracks of music in mp3 format, most of which was either ripped from CD or purchased from Emusic. com. My musical tastes go all over the place from rockabilly (lotsa Brian Setzer and Los Straightjackets, even some Dick Dale) to some classic jazz, from patriotic music to theme music from movies to '70s rock and roll. I have a big appetite for the new swing/ big band music like Brian Setzer Orchestra, Big Bad VoodooDaddy, Royal Crown Revue and a few others. I have a little bit of hip-hop, but it's only of the more comedic variety. I don't do Blunt Smokin, 40 drinkin, N***a capping, B***h F*****g, I'm a Thug Hip-Hop. Maybe if I were 16 and my musical tastes hadn't evolved yet, but anyhoo, I was able to cram all of that eclectical madness into a 4 gig ipod Mini. I also listen to a lot of podcasts, which are basically like radio shows that can be downloaded via the internet to an iPod or any other mp3 player. Most of the ones I listen to are of a technology bent. I am especially enamored of :
Buzz Out Loud by CNET
CNET Security Bites
The HotSpot by Gamespot
The TWiT Network,
The Doug Hoerth Show
and there are others, but I probably spend about two-three hours a day listening to podcasts. Even some of the radio talk shows I listen to come out in podcast format. The amount of information one can get from listening to these things is amazing, and the great thing about all this is that they can be listened to on my schedule. I can download the previous days Uncle Dougie podcast and listen to it any time I want. I'm so into podcasts these days, that I bought a second iPod mini just for podcasts. Why, dedicate a second unit just for podcasts. I'm anal that way.

Ok, let's go in another direction. How's about "chick drinks." I have done more than my share of alcohol imbibing in my life. I only drink one day a week and that's at my American Legion Post where the beer is cheap and the atmosphere is nice and quiet, and also it's a place that is blessedly free of frou-frou, cutesy "chick" drinks. Now "chick drinks" are those concoctions that are mostly popular with those women that are into the whole " I'm just so damn hip; I scare myself , club diva, hotties on the prowl" thing. And of course any man worth his testosterone would not be caught dead drinking one of these abominations unless he frequents certain kinds of bars in such places as San Francisco, Key West, Provincetown, or Greenwich Village. So for the young gentleman who has just turned 21 and is ready to seriously enter the world of fine drinking, here is a guide of how to tell whether a specific drink is a "chick drink":

1. If a drink has more than three ingredients in it; it's a chick drink.
2. If a drink has fruit in it, either in juice or whole form; It's a chick drink. (And No, olives are not fruit, at least in the drinking context)
3. If a drink requires the use of a blender; it's a chick drink.
4. If a drink comes in a color that would be found on a very loud Hawaiian shirt; It's a chick drink.
5. If a drink takes longer to describe to the bartender than it takes to make it; It's a chick drink.
6. If a drink takes more than 45 seconds to make, It's a chick drink.
7. If a drink comes with little plastic thingies like umbrellas, palm fronds, hula girls, and other assorted tchotchkes other than a swizzle stick or a toothpick for the olive; It's a chick drink.
8. If a drink is sweet, other than a rum and coke; It's a chick drink.
9. If a martini is made with a flavored vodka, and is referred in terms like: appletini, chocotini, or any other equally revolting name: it's a chick drink.
10. And finally, if a drink has some cute girly name like: Sex on the Beach, Fuzzy Navel, Buttery Nipple, or anything along those lines that gives no indication as to what is in it: they are chick drinks. Any man found drinking any of these things will have their membership in the Society of Males immediately revoked.

Speaking of fun with alcohol, here's a story from the "Dude, what were you thinking?" department. It seems that a Pittsburgh firefighter who shall remain nameless to save him from further humiliation called off sick from his job to attend last Sunday's Steeler game against the Kansas City Chiefs. As many Steeler fans tend to do, this individual proceeded to get completely hammered and allegedly exposed himself to a employee at a Heinz Field concession stand. When security arrived, this person went buckwild and attacked all three security guards punching one in the face and kneeing another in the groin. The police were called and Mr Genius here decided to make his contribution towards the positive advancement of race relations in Pittsburgh by yelling a racial slur at a black policeman and then kicked him in the knee. It got so bad that the police had to hit this guy with a Taser in order to subdue him. he even lashed out at the nurses at the hospital when they asked him to turn his cell phone off. Nice!!!

The great thing about all this is that the firefighter's union has hung this clown out to dry and they won't protect him. I'm not the biggest union supporter in the world, having never been the beneficiary of their largess. I understand they have a place in the world of work, but I sometime wonder what they are thinking when they call for badly thought out work stoppages and establish work rules that are so outrageous that they end up shooting their members in the foot come contract time. I'm actually glad to see that unions, which are known to go to great lengths to protect the more incompetent of their members, actually have enough guts to back away from a member who behaves badly while violating the rules of their workplace by calling in sick illegally.

There's probably a bunch more crap I can rant about, but this piece has gone on long enough.

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