Friday Fives – I stand with black America edition

Raised fist - Wikipedia

The President mistakenly declares Martian Law, instead of Martial Law. What powers does he think he has under Martian Law?

F Mars.  How about that, you cowards?  Being maybe older (48) I guess you don’t remember a little terrorist known as Marvin.  STILL not dead nor captured.  His plan?  To blow up the Earth.  Oh, where are you on this one, Elon?

As for ‘presidential authority’, this ‘president’ doesn’t have dick.  He wasn’t elected by popular vote, and really has no authority over anything or anyone.   

Who runs Mars, then?  You would have to talk to Elon Musk, the greatest human being in our time.  Also, conceivably, a Bond villain.  It’s up to Musk to take the BFR and land it on Marvin’s head.

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Anything about rock and roll.  In fact, anything about just and rock and roll band.  Especially, the bigger ones.  Like, I could not just about ‘the Beatles’, but I could do 10 sub topics under the Beatles… on the fly.

Also, I am more these days consumed about the business of rock and roll.  What role do promoters really play?  Why, exactly, do tickets cost so much?  Why are all the concert tickets gone in under 3 minutes on every tour?  Is ticketmaster really so evil (hint… yes), how did the Beatles pretty much destroy the American music business model and hierarchies.  How about ‘how much does the artist really see of that’?  what bands besides the Beatles changed everything about the business of rock (hint… Peter Grant on behalf of Led Zeppelin).

Or… who invented rock promotion?  Answer > Bill Graham.  I could do hours on him.

Let’s roll!

What species of animal would you be most terrified of if they had the same cognitive ability as humans?

A bear.  The ever astute Dwight Shrute once taught us > There are 3 things you never turn your back on: bears, men you have wronged, and a dominant male turkey during mating season.

What  is your favorite smell and what does it remind you of?

Vanilla.   Your sister.

So far the first half of 2020 has been a wild ride. What should happen in the second half in order to compensate for all the bad things that have happened? 

Some rock concerts.  We had several that got busted up.  We had tickets to Pearl Jam, Motley Crue, Tedesci Trucks, and something else I forgot about.  We did see Dwight Yoakum right kinda when the pandemic hit full gear.  We prolly shouldn’t have gone.  But, we did social distance there.  Every show after that night was abruptly canceled.  Also, before/during pandemic we went to see the amazing Innings Fest in AZ.  That was March 2nd, so hardly counts.  We were talking about it, but we were not in ‘oh shit we are all going to die mode’ for another couple weeks.

 

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What’s the most tech illiterate thing you have seen someone do?

My dad, working a camera.  Not a digital camera or a cell phone, mind you… but a camera camera.  Point and shoot.  At the wedding of my wifey and I, we were doing family pictures ***** important side note at the bottom about this *****.

So we were all lined up in a thousand configurations looking our best.  Someone notices my father has his finger over the lens.  This was an old school 35mm camera (15 years ago, mind you… so there was no little tv screen on the back).  We slowly let each other in on it before letting him know.  We laughed out asses off!  I asked everyone NOT to let him know, and here is why.  The laughter was so contagious and infectious that I knew it would make amazing photos and memories.  I’d add one here, but I have no idea where they are.  They are on a photo disc somewhere, or a flash drive.  Man, remember how exciting flash drives were?  I must have them of them across the house, and no idea what is on them.  Can’t even remember last time I used a flash drive.

What places would you never travel to because they are too dangerous?

Prolly the Philippines.  It’s not terrorism, mind you, its their govt.  this guy just fucking executes people.  He has a BIG thing about drugs.  Anyone who deals drugs, or takes drugs, or knows someone who ever did drugs… they will execute you.  For reals, y’all.  Just this year he and his thugs have killed 6,000 people.  Corona Virus ain’t got nothing on this guy.

More than 7,000 killed in the Philippines in six months, as president encourages murder

Read that last part again.  President encourages murder.  That isn’t just fucked up, its what our president said TODAY.  The comment awesomely got banned from Twitter for inciting violence.  He said ‘when the looting starts, the shooting starts’.

What’s the best pet name you have heard up – 

Jote (pronounced hoe-tee).  Actually, I don’t even know how its spelled, just how it sounds.  See, it’s a donkey.  Donkey Jote.   Get it?   Aw geese… here.

What’s the craziest conspiracy theory you have heard?

Of them all, I’d have to go with flat earthers.  I had an employee was who a flat earther.  I am not sure if this is what they all believe, but she explained to me her understanding… and it was delicious.  She said there is a globe over us (a la the Simpson’s movie) and above that is water.  What happens if you go to the edge of the Earth, I asked?  The govt will shoot you.  Which govt, I asked?  “all of them”.

What is your favorite time of day to drink coffee?

All day.  Any time up until about 6 pm.  And I drink a LOT.  Right now, both wifey and I are working from home (corona virus and such) we drink about 5 pots of coffee a day.  She is normal, and stops drinking coffee around noon…  just like you pussies!

 

*** about wedding photos.  I am a revered, for real.  I mean, my divinities (2 of them) are from the internet, but are legally recognized.  I have facilitated about 20 weddings, all over the country, and even an international one.  Let me tell you when to do photos… BEFORE the wedding.  Here is why.   SO many reasons I just get angry thinking about this stupid tradition.  You are never going to see a lot of these people ever again.  They have traveled from afar to see you.  Despite your best intentions, a quarter of these people you won’t see again… unless it’s a funeral.  You have VERY limited time with these precious relatives and loved ones.  They are here, for YOU.  And you are out in the front yard taking pictures for 2 hours?   NO NO NO.

Do it before the wedding ceremony.  Then, once you say “I do” you can mix and mingle and spend time with your loved ones and mingle and drink.  I recommend this to every couple I marry, and everyone who has done it has been super appreciative of the idea.

Friday Fives –

On Jeopardy, we would call these questions “Pot Pourrie” *****

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If you could ask Donald Trump one single question and get an absolutely straightforward honest answer, what would it be?

Every single word you speak is an outright lie, or a great exaggeration.  Is this conscious?  Do you believe this stuff at all?

What is your fucking deal, man?  (with all regards to the Lebowski)

Mr President, does this taste like LSD to you?

What’s a common saying that annoys you?

“it is what it is”.   Even I am guilty of using it on occasion.  But I knew someone who used it constantly, which I hated.  Its total resignation on every level.  And you can bet Lebowski’s rug that anyone who says ‘it is what it is’ more than once a week doesn’t vote.

 What sequel was better than the original?

Me!  Get it?  ‘cause I am the youngest?  No?  Ok.  How about this, and maybe its not even a sequel… the Johnny Depp version of Alice in Wonderland.  This has NOTHING to do with him or his character and he was WAY WAY WAY over featured.   The movie itself was a super cool idea I have never seen.  The premise was what happens if/when Alice goes BACK there years later.  Remember in the original story, she is a child of single digits.  Now she is like 30 and goes back.  Is everyone still there?  Have they changed?  Has anything changed?  Will they remember her?  Because this is my favorite book in the world, I dig the idea of playing with timelines.

Who was the last person you hugged? How long ago was that?

Besides my wife and dogs and horses?  Yes, I hug them all.  It would likely have been Sally O’Malley.  Note, her name isn’t Sally O’Malley, I just call her that because it rings.  Sally is my neighbor, and one of my favorite people in the world.  She is also an amazing potter.  Go ahead and check out her website.  Look kinda familiar, the website?  Yeah, I built it for her.  I would do anything for her.

Who is the least problematic and universally beloved celebrity, in your opinion?

Neil Young.  Because he really doesn’t give a fuck.  Now, if you only wanted to talk universally beloved celeb we have Tom Hanks.  Who does not love Tom Hanks?  Sara Lee, that’s who!  That bitch is only looking out for herself.  But is he really the least problematic?  No sir.  Quite the opposite.  He is so squeaky clean that even a parking ticket would blow our minds.  In that sense, this question should be split in two.  The least problematic… meaning the person you don’t EVER have to worry about… is Neil Young.  Remember all that ‘honey badger doesn’t give a fuck’ fun?  That is Neil.  I have pointed this out before, but it bears repeating.  There are MANY actors or artists who say they don’t care, and only follow their muse/music.  And people will ascribe that attribute to many celebs or artists.  I am sure people say that about Axl… that he just doesn’t give a fuck.

All untrue.  In my very educated perspective, there are only two musical artists who truly truly truly did only what they thought was right or fun.  Prince, and Neil Young.  Basically, we need Tom Hanks and Neil Young in a cage match -re-match.  The original one?  That footage never aired due to a lot of blood, and even more lawsuits.

Neil Young once quit CSNY.  On a flight, to a nationally televised gig.  Just ‘wasn’t feeling it’.  Supreme dick move?  You betcha!  and he has a lifetime of those.  When he does it, though, its not a power play.  Neil once didn’t like his recording contract, so he delivered the most unlistenable dreck he could conceive of to David Geffen… who (somewhat rightfully) sued his ass.

Similarly, do you know why Prince changed his name to that symbol?  Not to be an arty self absorbed cross-gender freak show (though I am sure that aspect was a bonus to him)…  it was a business move.  His record company wouldn’t release his music.  So he said he would go elsewhere.  They (Warner Brothers) said “You can’t, we own your name!”  Legally, it turns out they were right.  Thing is, Prince’s real name is ‘Prince’.  It is also why during this time he wrote ‘Slave’ on his cheek for every pubic public appearance.

sorry, I really dodged that question and went off on a totally unnecessary rant.  The answer is clearly Tom Hanks… with a loving close second to Brian Cranston.

**** don’t you want to see Darrel Hammond as Sean Connery read that to Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek – I’ll take poop pie for $500

Friday Fives – corona-ganization edition

What’s the most cluttered spot in your home?

The kitchen counter.  It is unavoidable.  Especially since we don’t have a coffee table.  It is the only place in main living area to set things.  Its basically an exposed embodiment of the junk drawer

What’s your method for decluttering?

About 75% of it can be put away in its proper place.  The rest is mail and papers and recipes… that stuff just gets stacked in an emergency.

What are your favorite cleaning product?

Vinegar is a big one.  We have this nice fancy new counter top that can’t have any chemicals on it.  Plus, we have a septic tank, so ANY of use bleach ANYWHERE is not an option.  Not even in the toilets.  Vinegar is the shit, it can do everything.  You should be using it instead of bleach.  Even in laundry.

What helps get you motivated to clean up?

People coming over.   And shame.  Those two together can get me off my ass.  Why do you ask?  Are you coming over?  Shit… listen… give me half an hour.  I can clean anything in half an hour.

What’s the most organized spot in your home?

The pegboard in the garage… my equivalent of a workshop.   Also, my truck.  Both are very nicely organized.  This means to me ‘wife, stay the hell away from these areas’.  See, I don’t mind if she uses the tools (and she totally can)…  but she just puts stuff away NOT in its proper slot.  I have a system, see.  Its probalby not a good system, but its my system.  You can put me in the truck or the garage, blindfolded, and I can pick out any tool.   Hero?   Yeah, it’s a lot carry that around like I do… but I do.  Hero.  

Yeah, that sounds kinda nice.

 

Friday Fives – you can’t say midget anymore edition

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What is that thing in your house that was pretty common and is absolutely extinct now?

Since I don’t have a good answer.. Let’s go opposite.  That ever happened to trash compactors?  Every middle class house had one in the 80s.  This is a brilliant device, and I can’t believe it fell out of favor.

Also, 

What about something from your grandparent’s house that was common and absolutely extinct now?

Picture

A whole house vacuum system.  They used, i think, tthe ducts for heating and AC.  All he housewives needed was a hose.  And you just plugged it in to the wall.

What is a favorite television commercial from your youth for a product that no longer exists?

This one for hepatitis,  SUPER catchy melody, and I still remember all the words.

Stop, drop, and roll!  Wait, I want to write a seperate piece on this.  Apparently, in the early  80s, children were spontaneously combusting. A LOT.  When you catch fire: stop drop and roll.

San Francisco Fire On Twitter: If Your Cloths Catch On Fire, Stop

What advertised that passed away with time do you still recall fondly – the product, not the ad like the question above.

I am going to pivot here, as I don’t fully get the question.  The greatest advertiser ever, with all props to the late great Billy Mays  also, this guy is my favorite.  His name was Don LaFontane.  He used to do ALL the movies trailers.   Remember when every movie trailer had a voice that started with the phrase ‘in a world’.  He coined that.  His voice was so sonorous and deep.  Here, enjoy the man himself.

His voice is like a shoulder rub… the kind of shoulder rub Joe Biden doles out to pretty much everyone.  That is the voice.

What do you say to people who don’t take COVID19 precautions seriously?

Oh, you can’t reason with them.  Many still believe it is a liberal hoax.  The term or these people is – “ Republicans”.  These folks don’t think.  I heard last week that 30% of Americans don’t believe the virus is a real thing.   These are also people who don’t believe that climate change is real.  They also don’t believe in recycling.  Here is the thing… let’s say here are a liberal hoax… and we heed it anyway?  What is the downside of less pollution?  Are you worried about big oil?  Too late, they are fucked right now.  You may have heard that “oil is trading for less than zero”, which is wild.  There is so much unused oil they are literally trying to give it away.  The entire world economy stopped using oil.  See, the people who pull the oil can’t really stop.  Remember the oil leak in the gulf?  Also, they can’t store it anymore.  This oil thing may have much bigger consequence that we realize.  The #1 traded commodity (fancy talk for a thing) is oil.  Second?  Coffee.   Ok, what were we talking about again?

Friday Fives – happy accident edition

Helicopter Crash in Waitsburg, Washington (May, 2014) - YouTube

Have you ever been in or caused a car accident?

You bet your sweet ass I have!  Have you seen me drive?  It’s more like ‘have you ever not caused an accident’  On the whole, though, I have less than you.  However… I see the subtext of the comment.  You want to know about the doozy.  The one where I (accidentally?) clipped a helicopter as it was taking off.  No, that hasn’t happened.   Yet.  BUT… I did hit a semi – a car carrier nonetheless – head on at freeway speed.  While that truck obviously destroyed the Maxima, I was proud to have taken out his front axle.

Have you ever had a happy accident?

Once in high school we were heading out to a party.  It was FAR.  It’s probably developed now, but 30 years ago you could head north about 20 minutes and just be in totally undeveloped desert.  We called it ‘the power lines’.  In that drive, we were in an accident by a carful of cute drinking teenage gals (and we were a carful of cute drinking boys).  The accident was pretty small, and the cars were fine.  We chatted up the girls and they headed with us out to the powerlines.  So… that was pretty cool!  Who could have guessed the cute redhead was an aspiring helicopter pilot?

Have you ever done anything ‘accidentally on purpose’ and regretted it?

Do we not do that every day?  Consciously, or unconsciously.  Ergo… I regard your question as ‘leading the witness’ and all around disingenuous.  Plus, I don’t have a good answer.

Do you think the kitchen or the bathroom in your house has seen more accidents?

Ooh, yuck to both.  But you are looking for an anecdote, right?  Like that time I accidentally clipped a helicopter as it was taking off.   Well, I kinda set the kitchen on fire when I was a kid.  I guess we had a wonky toaster.  I put a pop tart in the toaster, and forgot about it.  I went back to getting ready to go to Big Surf.  Well, the toaster didn’t pop the tart.  And… given time, it caught on fire.

Worse?  For whatever reason, we kept the paper towels above the toaster… mounted just below the wood cabinets.  Yeah.  Fire.  Not fire like an upside down helicopter mid explosion… but it was still bad.

Do you believe nothing happens by accident but rather by destiny?

Yes and no.  I know that is a cowardly answer.  My head says no, but my heart says otherwise.  I have especially noticed that with jobs.  SO many jobs I didn’t get that broke my heart.  and almost everyone turned into a shit show within a year where I was thrilled I hadn’t got the job.  I acknowledge, though, this could just be a defense mechanism,

 

Ok, I gotta go to bed.  Sorry for the brevity

 

Friday Fives – Thoughts on John Prine

RIP John Prine: America's Humanity In Song and Story | The ...

How did you discover John Prine?

From Roy.  Roy has turned me on to more great music than perhaps any other single person in my life.  Or Kermit.  Those two are responsible for just about everything I listen to.  BUT…  Roy gets extra points.  Roy turned me on to new artists when I was older.  This is almost impossible to do.

Anyway, he created a bootleg DVD of ‘Sessions at West 54th’.  It is a perfect performance on every level.  First, the song selection.  It’s a nice combo of obscure personal favorites of his, and all the ‘hits’.   AND… perhaps most important… his sense of humor.  The show is very much of the vain of ‘Storytellers’.  Here are some of the performances below.

What makes him so special?

The way he turns a phrase.  It is more than just lyrics, but how he uses them.  In one sentence, he can tell a 30 page novel.  From ‘All the Best’

I wish you love – and happiness
I guess I wish – you all the best
I wish you don’t – do like I do
And never fall in love with someone like you

Man… those last two lines tell of a lifetime.  He seems to be saying genuinely “I want you to be happy.  Here is how you can be happy.  Don’t do what I did.  I fucked up bad, because I fell for you.  And you destroyed me!  So, I hope you don’t have to go through the misery you put me through.”  There is an urban legend that he sang this at an ex wife’s wedding.    Prine has a protégé in the great Todd Snider.  Snider expressed this sentiment even better.  This is from my favorite song of Snider’s ‘Too Soon to Tell’.

Are you ready for the most perfect John Prine-iest lyric not written by John Prine?

“I wish I could show you how you hurt me in a way that wouldn’t hurt you too”.  The influence is very traceable, too – from John Prine to Todd Snider.   Prine discovered Todd Snider, took him on tour, and released his albums.  Here is some Todd. 

Let’s say I have never heard the music, but am interested.  Give me one critical studio song

Sam Stone.  A heartbreaking piece of timeless social commentary… done by a goddamn kid!  He was 23 when he wrote that.  It’s not the song he is famous for, but it is John Prine 101.  The song he is famous for, and that even you should know, is ‘Angel from Montgomery’.  Bonnie Raitt took this song and ran with it.  I dare say 40% of Prine’s exposure to the world is thanks to Bonnie Raitt making it a hit.  Listen to this live version, and ESPECIALLY listen to how she executes on that last verse… the one that begins ‘there’s flies in the kitchen…’

ok, now one live one

how the hell can a person go to work in the morning, come home in the evening, and have nothing to say?

how about another stand out lyric?

this certainly relates to the conversation above.  Where 1 line is telling the story of a 30 year marriage crumbling.  This is from Lake Marie –

Many years later we found ourselves in Canada
Trying to save our marriage and perhaps catch a few fish
Whatever seemed easier

I got to see him live some years ago.  Setlist FM seems to think it was about a decade ago.  Here is the link and date and setlist.  Red Rocks, baby!  Got to see him with the late great Levon Helm.  Here is a clip from that very show.  In fact, there are a bunch of clips from that show online.  Here you go.

As news about his passing made it around, I was very surprised how influential he was.  I had assumed he was a niche folky.  I was wrong.  He was a master songwriter, and class on economy of words.  Every great songwriter knew him and was influenced by his.  This is great, because Prine doesn’t fall in your lap.  I have never heard a Prine song on the radio.  John Cale, or someone said ‘Velvet Underground may have only sold 40,000 records… but every one who bought one of those records went out and started a band.” *** Editors note to self – close, but still wrong.  Maybe that should be the name of your little blog.  The quote comes from Brian Eno, and goes mostly thusly.  “the first Velvet Undergound album may have only sold about 3,000 copies… but every one who bought that record started a band.”

I LOVE that line.  I don’t like Cale, or 98% of the Velvet Underground… but that quote is pure bliss.  Prine gives us Todd Snider, Bonnie Raitt, Sturgill Simpson, Kasey Musgraves. Only recently with his death have I seen the impact he had on modern music.  You know every band Gen X and above ascribes the reason they got into music was the Beatles, right?  I mean… every one.  An example?  Black Sabbath started out as a Beatles cover band called ‘Earth’.  That is how deep the Beatles’ impact goes.

It appears John Prine holds a similar place to folk and country artists.  Another important thing to me is his sense of humor.    Like his protege Todd Snider, you will often find a great little funny story at the beginning of each Youtube clip. He was a tough bastard!  Before this terrible illness, he survived 2 different cancer experiences.  The first one was so severe they had to take out chunks of his throat.  That is why in later years he kinda looked like the elephant man.