Monday, November 30, 2009

Washington, D.C.

All right, I'll lay out our trip to D. C. as best I can after a week or so. (clicking on the pictures makes 'em bigger) Here's the skinny.

We flew direct from Cleveland to Reagan National last Friday. Easy breezy flight on one of those little Embrerer jets. GG had a bunch of extra points so the flight cost a total of $10.00 for the two of us.

We gathered our gear and headed for the Metro station at the Airport and were in our hotel in 30 minutes after landing. Again, Blondie had some coupons and shit, plus it was the weekend before Thanksgiving, so the room was $83.00 per night. Right on.

We were two blocks south of the Capitol in Capitol Hill. Just half a block from the "C" Street house of recent lore which is in the heart of RNC controlled south side of the Hill.

We first went to the National Botanical Garden. Lovely and free. Then off to the Air and Space. Saw tons of cool stuff including John Glenn's Freindship 7 capsule, bunches of Goddard related materils, a space monkey, the Enola Gay and a complete replica of the Hubble Space Telescope.

We had a 2:30 appt. for a tour of the Library of Congress at the Jefferson Building.
Breathtaking building that had a great Herblock exhibition and a nearly complete restoration of Thomas Jefferson's actual library which was, of course, the collection that begat the entire Library. Tres cool.

We went to dinner on Friday night at the world famous Ben's Chili Bowl. Sam Cooke on the jukebox and a greasy spoon on Friday night on U St.


We also tried to see the Numbers Band at a little joint down the street called The Velvet Lounge. That didn't pan out so well.

Saturday morning went straight to Ford's Theatre. First tour of the day starts at 9:00. We went in with a horde of High schoolers but jumped ahead of them and went straight to the balcony of the theatre. You can stand directly behind the chair that Lincoln was in when he was shot. It's really something and I oddly thought of Crazy Joe Davola when we were there. No pictures allowed.

We then went to the White House Visitors Center which sucked but had nice bathrooms. The line for our 11:30 appt. to tour the WH was chaos. People misdirected and confused and once past the initial metal detectors and such, a very loosely designed event. After going through there I frankly wasn't surprised that those boneheads that crashed the State Dinner 3 nights later got in as easily as they did. Again, no pics allowed at the WH.

Had a House of Reps tour scheduled via Dennis' office but that too became a unique mess. Because the House was out of Session, there were no tours of the House Chamber. However, with the health care vote going into Saturday, you could get into a live Senate session. The tour was great and just as we walked into the Senate Chamber, we heard the familiar tones of Al Franken orating in favor of passage of the HCR bill. Very neat indeed. Finished the evening at with dinner at Johnny's Half Shell and nightcaps at Sonoma

I also need to mention the excellent Trolley Tour we took both Saturday and Sunday. Ticket is $30 each and you can get on and off for two days all over the District and Georgetown. One of our drivers was an equity actor from OK named Sooner Steve. Hilarious and informative. We also used the Metro extensively. Fare cards and mini map got us all over.

Sunday was Memorials and such. Lincoln, WWII, Korea and the Vietnam Wall. Our trolley went across the Potomac to Arlington where we went up to the Tomb of the Unknowns and Kennedy's grave. Teddy, Jack and Bobby are the only plain white wooden crosses in the whole place. And unbelievably, it wasn't until we were directly in front of the Eternal about noon...that GG observed that it was November 22nd. That kinda blew our minds.

We headed off to Georgetown for a late Sunday lunch and stumbled across Martins. Great joint. Got back on the trolley and headed back to the room. Monday was a travel day.

All in all it was a great time although I was yet again reminded of the power that the USA has always had is primarily military. Regardless, from an architectural and cultural perspective, this is a world class city that left us wanting to stay longer.

New Spoon

Mr. B. sent me one of those newfangled email things as he found today's All Songs Considered over at the NPR site replete with a pre-released cut of Britt and the boy's new tune-smithing.

Clangy guitars, ripping good bass lines and Prince vocals. Yep, that's fucking Spoon all right.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Random Ten (Black version)

I Got Shit -- Pearl Jam
Boppin' The Blues -- Carl Perkins
Star Bodies -- The New Pornographers
The Gymnast, High Above The Ground -- The Decemberists
M79 -- Vampire Weekend
Night In My Veins -- The Pretenders
Zacatecas -- The Iguanas
Girls Talk -- Dave Edmunds
Bury Me With It -- Modest Mouse
Air -- Talking Heads

Bonus punkin' pie slice:

Fuck And Run -- Liz Phair

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Anyway the wind blows

This vid is going to go viral right quick. Very darn clever. Hat tip to TBogg...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nighttown this evening

I still need to get some pics and commentary up here about D.C., but I've been running around all day doin' pre T'day stuff and tonight is Nellie McKay @ Nighttown.

I'll have the whole Nations Capitol story for you'ns tomorrow. In the interim, here's Nellie...

They walk among us

King of teh funny, TBogg, has a clip of some early morning Palinites out for a glimpse of Hillbilly Barbie at a bookstore near Columbus last Friday.

Oh. My. God.

BTW, I'll have a roundup later of our super fantastic trip to Washington D.C. later in the week. It was a blast.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Random Ten

Winging off to Chocolate City for the weekend with the Blonde. We'll do what we can to push this health care thingy through while we're there and be sure to say "hi" to Mr. and Mrs. O for everyone. Here's the ten...

SAD.TXT -- Pere Ubu
Break Up The Concrete -- The Pretenders
Burnout -- Green Day
Reddy Teddy -- Buddy Holly
Till The End Of The Day -- The Kinks
Strapped For Cash -- Fountains Of Wayne
Chinese Radiation -- Pere Ubu
Darkness -- Black Uhuru
Hope For Us All -- Nick Lowe
Poor Places -- Wilco

Non Ubu Bonus cut:

Biscuit -- Portishead

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm a quitter

Today is the Great American Smoke Out. Best thing I ever did for myself was to quit smoking. It's never to late to quit.

Gun Shows

This brave young man with the cool last name is trying to expose the major loophole to our flimsy gun laws as they relate to gun dealers at gun shows. Here's his film.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tonight on Dave

Letterman has Mr. Ray Davies on his television programme this evening. You'll have to slog through Stupid Human Tricks and that vampire kid from the Twilight revenue generator first, but it'll be worth the wait.

Do tune in.

Presumably, he's stumping for this release.

Anybody feel like some Eels?...

Hey, me too.

Here's the video for Souljacker part 1. This was the only embedded version I could find so you'll just have to put up with the German video interview part at the beginning.

Robert Scheer

Bob Scheer asks the question that is on many a mind these days.

Mr. Obama?...we're waiting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The Rude One gives Quitter McPalin the complete treatment.

No Take Backs

Oh, Puhlezeeee.

I thought that Republicans were all about rules, fair play and self responsibility. What a tool.


Swell. I guess that we'll start seeing a bunch of this stuff now that we're nearing the end of the decade. I'm tired of time fleeting so quickly.

Anyway. Pretty good list all in all. I have several of the recordings on this list including what I think may be the best record of the bunch.

The Arcade Fire's Funeral

Lou Dobbs

Huh. I guessed I missed this story what with all the hub-bub about Lou leaving CNN last week.

Not a drop to drink

I'm continually curious as to why this topic isn't a big deal for the entirety of the desert SW beyond Las Vegas. The whole freakin' place could shrivel up in a matter of a couple of years one day relatively and while there is a general sense of concern, there appears to be little urgency in advance of that inevitability.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I never turn the TV on during the day. I did make a note last week though that Ellen DeGeneres was slated for an appearance with her wife, Portia de Rossi on Oprah.

I watched the program.

What Ellen has done for the acceptance and subtle homogenization of gay people into the greater society is truly special. I made a mental note that I wanted to catalog all of the different shades of how Ellen has been so successful at this over the years and then I read this piece in today's NYTs.

Frank Bruni says it much better than I ever could.

I sure hope that these two women stick together for the duration of their relationship. All that celebrity blather is obviously hard on a marriage and it'd be a shame if this one crumbles for everyone's sake who believes in equality, acceptance and fairness for all alternative lifestyles.

Now, if someone would just pull Oprah out of the closet...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tick, tick, tick...

It's doesn't take but 6 minutes to read this NYT Book review article to get me foaming about the Sept. 11th disasters from 2001 all over agin.

We've been so screwed by the neo-cons and our military in his nation since nearly the end of WWII. Bush and the Cheney cabal just took the lid off the box and played with the toy is all. First preemptive war in the Nation's history, 'member?

Toy's busted and fucked now. Obama isn't gonna fix it either. Joint Chiefs won't let him. Ever.

Support the Troops.


Doc Ellis, again

Hey, didn't I post something about Doc Ellis' no-hitter a few weeks ago? Oh wait, here it is...

Anyway, here's a fresh little animated film that recounts the event complete with narration from the late Doc himself. It is teh funny.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Random Ten

Quincy Punk Episode -- Spoon
My Back Pages -- Steve Earle
Harpies Bizarre -- Elvis Costello
Brain Cloudy Blues -- BR5-49
Thug Like Me -- Wyclef
It's Beginning To Get To Me -- Snow Patrol
Don't Wanna Talk -- Brendan Benson
Trying Not To Think About Time -- The Futureheads
Aurora -- Foo Fighters
1,000 Miles -- Dwight Yoakum

Bonus cutlet:

Runnin' Out Of Fools -- Neko Case

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Teabagging 101

Learn to speak Tea Bag. It's Fhun, like Ffonixs.

Pogue's Posts

I was introduced to David Pogue when I got the Mac Book Pro last year. He's the king of the published how-to guides for everything Apple, and lots of other stuff too.

For instance, here's his latest post on how much Verizon sucks. And guess's a lot.

He's a funny guy and a good writer. Plus, he's from Shaker Heights.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Redux

Now that I've got the polite tribute below completed to honor Veterans Day , here's one where you get the sense of how I really feel war in general. This one goes out to you as well Mr. Obama...


Here's one for the veterans.

And particularly the brave souls that this day was originally intended to honor who fought and died in WWI. The Great War. The Trenches War. The War to End All Wars.

Sonic Youth

I hate it when the You Tube disables embedding for videos.

Anyway, click here and be afforded a clip of Thurston Moore and Sonic Youth covering Iggy's I Wanna Be Your Dog with no less than Hiram Bullock on backing guitar on the short lived, David Sanborn hosted TV show, Night Music.

And just in case you're curious as to what the original kinda sounds like, here's Mr. Osterberg himself tuning it up on the Old Grey Whistle Test c.1979.

BTW, If this ditty has a familiar lilt to it, you might recall that this is one of the covers that Sid performs as a solo act right before things get weird in a little film I like to call, Sid and Nancy.


Ladies and Germs...

The Men Who Stare at Votes
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

...the funniest man in America

Europe sucks...

...according to the Neo-cons. Yea, war!

Shaq and Shaunie

I sure hope this doesn't have a negative affect on his free throw shooting percentage...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thar's gold in them thar hills!

Being stout of mind and body, I endure the occasional half hour tooling around the Cleve with WTAM blaring either Limbaugh or Beck on the car radio.

Trust me, it's not for the feint of heart.

However, one thing that I've noticed that covers a broad spectrum of the advertising dollars on Fox radio, whomever is shouting into the mike at any given time, is gold.

Beck hawks gold so often and the segueway is so seamless it's actually difficult sometimes to discern if he's still screaming about Nacy Pelosi or telling us rubes to buy gold.

And considering that the other 60 percent of the ads are comprised of male enhancement products and debt consolidation schemes, I'd say it's fairly clear who the demographic is that Roger Ailes has in his sites.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Shouting into the wind

As a rebuttal to myself about my previous post regarding Right wing bashing, (re-butting myself?...can I get more pathetic?) I hereby post this reply.

The reason I rarely put up anything good about the Dems is that I'm none too fond of those dillweeds either. But sometimes, just occasionally, someone comes along to lift my spirit.

Let's hear it for Dennis.
While he may have caused the HCR bill to go down in flames in the House, (he probabaly did the math before he voted to make sure that didn't happen), he had the courage to vote his conscience and in my opinion, he's entirely correct about everything he says is wrong with H.R. 3962 .

See, that wasn't so bad, was it, Bob?

"...very bad for America"

That's the tag line on this piece from The Shrill One.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I post more stuff about stinky ol' repugs than I do about Hope, Change and all that rot. Whadya want from me?...come December I've been out of work for two years.

Things have been better.

Your Modern Day G.O.P.

The Republican Party hates women. Pass it on.

It was Twenty years ago today...

I was living in what was then West Germany in 1989.

The breach of the Berlin Wall started on that Thursday night, the 9th of November. We watched the whole thing on TV that Friday and then myself and one of the adjunct faculty members drove the five hours from Frankfurt to Berlin and got there early Saturday morning the 11th of November 1989.

Here are some shots of that weekend in Berlin (top photo of outbound East German traffic, an East German soldier atop the Brandenberg Gate, the guy who chipped off my piece of the Wall) and one of a younger version of myself sitting at my desk pretending to work for a living.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Random Ten

Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don't know so he chases them away-yeah
Ah someday yet he'll begin his life again, yeah
Oh, whispering hands gently lead him away
How Could I Know -- My Morning Jacket
It's a Mistake -- Colin Hay
I'll Be Gone -- Tom Waits
Windowsill -- Arcade Fire
Aurora -- Foo Fighters
It's Summertime -- The Flaming Lips
Remember When -- The Black Keys
Even Flow -- Pearl Jam
Roxanne -- The Police
I-95 -- Fountains Of Wayne

Bonus November sky cut:

Untitled Instrumental -- Television

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Today's Grand Old Party

It's the new theme song of the wingers...

Jill Sobule

We've been big fans since we saw JS warm up Glenn Tilbrook several moons ago. She's in the Tavern at the BB tonight. Come out and see her if you're in town. We are.

Oh, and btw, she's funny as shit.

Go listen to Nothin' To Prove on her site and you get the general idea...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Looks like we got us a bonafide serial killer right here in the Cleve.


Statistically, not all that common for non whites, but it's certainly more of an American predilection save that Chikatilo dude in Russia.

Rockin' around in NYC

This is damn sharp.

Matt Taibbi

"This amazing gaffe reminded everyone of what we might have to look forward to in 2012, when the Republican Party may well nominate a woman who would lose at Trivial Pursuit to a Chilean sea bass, who makes George W. Bush look like Sir Isaac Newton."

Matt's really nailin' Palin.