About Lono

My name is Lono. I live in Parker, CO. I have a wifey, horses, dogs, cats, and fish. I write here, as well as a music site www.maybeiamwrong.com I am also in a band called Clownfight. IamCorrect at Gmail.com

Friday Fives – Dirk Cougar edition

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Any big summertime plans for the remainder of the summer?

Yes.  As usual, a mix of concerts and light travel. Beck, Penn & Teller, a camping trip to Northern AZ, Brandi Carlile, and I am officiating a wedding.

What’s your idea of the perfect summer day?

It’s hot as hell out, so I might as well be a work in the AC.  Come home and watch the sunset on the porch with the wifey having some cocktails and listening to whatever new country star she has discovered.  I am now down with Dierks Bentley, and she also is the one who discovered Chris Stapleton.   Now, is there a worse name than Dierks Bentley?  What was he thinkin’? Can you imagine his managers have been trying to get him to change his name since day one?  It shows to me he is a man of character to stick with that unwieldy ass name.

Let’s change it to… Dirk Cougar!

How do you beat the summer heat?

Hide!  We don’t have AC.  We have a swamp cooler, with is fine for 90% of our cooling needs in Colorado.  However, it is mid 90s these days, and the swamp cooler can only do so much.  Usually, we are at work.  If we are off, though, we often escape to a movie.   In fact… did you know that air conditioning was INVENTED for movies?  It was in NYC, and one theater owner had a competitive edge idea… to cool his building down.  It was wildly successful, as the rest of the earth said ‘hey, why don’t we do that?’  It didn’t become commonplace in residential homes until the 60s, though.

In 1925, The Rivoli Theater in New York City’s Times Square approached Carrier to install the very first unit. Patrons flocked to see movies in cool comfort, and Carrier’s wildly successful invention is now credited with fostering the summer blockbuster.

Insert cliché summer/heat question here:

Um… ok.  I’ll come back around to this one.  Pass!

Do you have air conditioning?

No.  we have never had AC in Colorado.  We went from nothing but lots of fans for years when we were young and poor and tough.  Then, our first wonderful house on Dandelion had an attic fan.  That was all, but it was amazingly effective.  It was a 2 story house, and the whole house kinda came up to a point.  Where it did that, there was a HUGE fan that would simply whisk hot air out of the house, and draw up cooler air.  Now, we have a swamp cooler, which is just terrific.  The house still gets warm, but it is never hot.  And by late evening, that thing gets the house super chilly (50s), and we turn it off.

I see AC in Colorado similar to having heat in Phx, AZ.  It’s nice to have, but not essential.

Also, last year we finally broke down and bought a portable AC unit.  Not the thing that mounts in the window, but close.  It is a standalone thingy on wheels, and basically will cover one room.  I know Americans don’t believe the news, but it is getting warmer on average every year.  This summer was the hottest summer in history in Europe.  Everyone who wants to argue that climate change isn’t real should have to disable their fans and AC.  I just know anecdotally how much hotter every year has been.  Luckily this year, we didn’t hit 90s in Denver until July.


Friday Fives – a patriot’s look at things

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What is one of your favorite things about your country? 

As flawed as we are, it is still the best place for opportunity for an ambitious and talented person.  Am reminded of the Bill Graham quote about the Grateful Dead:  “they may not be the best at what they do, but they are the only ones who do it!”  I am lucky enough to have traveled and seen just how fucked up the world is.  Doesn’t mean we don’t need a lot to work on, but in America there is always hope.

What is your favorite thing to do on your country’s national holiday?

It is best summed up by a quote from HJ Simpson – “What better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than by blowing up a small part it.”

What do you usually do for your country’s national holiday?

Didn’t we just address that above?  I guess I didn’t.  We watch from home, here’s why.  We live way East of town, up on a hill.  Specifically, Denver is famously 5280 feet, my house is at 6200 feet.  So, from my porch, we can see West all the way from Castle Rock on the South end to Boulder at the North.  For free, we gather with the neighbors at one of our yards and sit around and watch the city explode with light.  Last night, around 9:15 pm, we could see 6 or 7 different professional firework displays at the same time.

What is your favorite national/regional ethnic dish?

Does it have to be my region, or ethnicity?  My favorite dish, ‘ethnic’ or otherwise, is the gyro sammich.  When done right (which is almost never the case), it is the perfect sammich on every level.  Sadly, I spent a good 20 minutes last night chatting with one of my neighbors about the perfect gyro.

Who is your favorite national hero and why?

Nelson Mandela.  Not my nation, mind you, but what he did for South Africa transcends all of this.  After spending decades in prison, unjustly… upon his freedom he went on to be president of South Africa.  What a hero.  Jesus may have died for our sins, but Mandela lived for them!

Side note – why didn’t they kill him?  Why keep the most famous prisoner on Earth?  I am beyond thankful he lived a long and fruitful life.  If I were the bad guys, though, I would have just disappeared him.  Had they done that, he would be an obscure footnote that no one remembered.

Friday Fives – it ain’t about bats!

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How do you take your tea?

Up the pooper (with Matte,  of course)  You?

God passes you the aux cord and let’s you put on a song for the entire world to listen to. Which song will you play?

The long lost acoustic secret version of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Angel’.  How secret? Even I don’t have a copy. Even the internet doesn’t have a copy.  In case God also doesn’t have a copy, we’ll do well to share ‘Into the Mystic’ from Van Morrison or ‘the Day Brings’ from Brad.  Any one of these tunes could join and save all humankind.   See how I am not linking to a version of Angel from Jimi Hendrix.  The song does indeed exist. It was released posthumously. However, the one they released is overproduced schlock.  The version I once heard (and have reason to believe the great Chris Young may physically possess) is so perfect that I won’t muddy it with the ‘official’ version.

Do you know how tiny his career was?  Not his influence, or his impact… but the actual career?  Stunningly short. He only released 3 albums in 3 years. Never had a hit with an original song.  Let’s be honest, unless you were Eric Clapton, not many knew or appreciated Jimi during his time.

What simple task are you surprisingly bad at?

Ironing.  It is totally lost on me.  Unless I am ironing a pocket square… it’s gonna be ugly.  I just can’t iron anything. For each straight line/run I create…  a makes new wrinkles underneath. I am not against ironing, I am just incapable.   And please do not for a minute thing I am pulling some kind of macho ‘women iron my clothes’ shit.  I wish I could iron. Luckily for me, there is an easy remedy. I drop them by my dry cleaners once a week.  $1.25 a shirt, problem solved. Even if I could iron… time is money!

What are you STILL mad about?

Fleetwood Mac choosing Stevie over Lindsay… and Stevie for putting them in that position.  You likely know Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham a couple years ago.  Stevie and Lindsay were fighting again, which isn’t news.  In fact, Stevie and Lindsay fighting is the best selling album of all time ‘Rumours’.   Before their latest re-union tour, Stevie told the others ‘either Lindsay goes or I go’.  When I say ‘they’, I can only assume this is about Mick Fleetwood It’s his band. You may also know that LONG before they became the California sound, they were an old crusty British Blues band.  Did you know Santana’s hit ‘Black Magic Woman’ is a Fleetwood Mac cover?

Too long a story told short – Lindsay Buckingham saved the band.  Hell, he saved the music industry. EVERY Fleetwood Mac song you know is likely written by Lindsay.  His includes all the great Stevie songs. Let me state without question – if there were no Stevie Nicks, Lindsay Buckingham would still be an epic guitar star and songwriting here.  If there were no Lindsay? Stevie would be your waitress at Chili’s who wears a ton of flare, but not in a hipster way.   Prolly in Sedona. I think Stevie owes just about everything to Lindsay.  So getting him booted from the band is beyond fucked up. And putting the band in that position?  Super dick move! Bonus? They literally broke his heart!  I know I am given to hyperbole and exaggeration… but they really actually broke they guy’s heart!  After the news, we found out Lindsay had to have some kind of open heart surgery.   Bad, huh?   Oh… it gets worse > AND… the surgery damaged his vocal chords.  He may never sing again.  Thanks a lot, Stevie!

Listen, I like Stevie.  Even saw a solo tour of hers.  She is from Phx, and briefly went to my high school.  Rumor had it that her folks owned ‘Compton Terrace’, which was the original outdoor shed (your city has one.  Half seated, half lawn. Odds are Eddie Money money might be playing there as we speak. And we all had a crush on her.  HOWEVER… and no point in time would I ever choose Stevie over Lindsay. That is like choosing Liam over Noel. Yeah, Liam is a good singer, but Noel wrote them ALL.   If you choose Stevie in this conflict, then you are on team Milli Vanilli, and likely kick puppies.

Phew.  ok. Listen… you asked!  Plus, its still only a few years ago.  Thing that makes this hurt the most is everyone is in their 60 or 70s now.  We may not have time for the classic Fleetwood Mac breakup cycle. Read this, Rolling Stone did a nice and brief piece just on breakups.

And if nothing else, people, his music makes Christie Brinkley appear!  EVERY time.  That alone should be worth some kind of medal.

Ok, so I am still mad about that.  And Fife Symington.  But mostly it’s just football injustices.  Guess that is a first world problem to have.

Mostly stupid sports related things.  Corey Dillon running 300 yards against the Broncos in a single game.  Coach Shanahan answering the press when they ask him how he is going to handle the Broncos going against the Bears who had the greatest special teams returner in history.  He said (of Devin Hester) “yeah, we are going to kick it to him.” Conventional wisdom is in a situation like that, you just kick it in the end zone. Or, ideally, down the field away from the returner where it bounces out of bounds.   OR… if for some gonzo reason you are really going to hand the ball to Hester… don’t announce it to everyone. Guess what happened? Dude ran back THREE kick returns. Man, watching Devin Hester was just an honor. Let’s see if we can find some clips.   Ooh… let’s not just link. Let’s embed! When stealing content from the NFL, its best to go big. Since they are a charity after all!

Dated: What’s the best music video you’ve ever seen?

Well, none of them seem to age well.  However, I love this quirky song so deeply that even this bizzare ass video holds a big place in my childhood.  Wait, that is just a great song, not a great video.  How about this one? I think it’s the fingerless gloves that somehow legitimized the band to me.  Oh, and I was lucky enough to see these guys live in their heyday! Saw them with the Police and Thompson Twins in about 1982.  That should move them to the top… and it might have.. Had they only the courage to wear overalls. This song is so great, as well, that is deserves and embed and not just a link.

Ok, in that video above… are they going for a look of the 50s?  I can’t tell. It’s England, and I certainly hadn’t been there when I was in 6th grade.  This look… is it retro, or punk? Is it working class? Is this just how people dress in England?  I had no idea, and I think that is what made it all so romantic!

Ok, can I lastly give props this video.  Watching this video looks almost too good to be true.  Do they really sound this good? Is the singer actually that intense?  Would he EVER hang from lighting rigging if there wasn’t a film crew around?  That answer to all those things is many times. I have seen them about 20 times, including 3 times just on this tour promoting their breakthrough ‘Ten’.  He did crazy shit like that every night of that tour, and likely many others.

OK, sorry I missed last week’s fives.  I have a good reason. I was on the beach in Mexico playing guitar.  Here is proof! Remember me thusly.  So, this is an extra long entry.


Mexico guitar beach 2019

Friday Fives – movie anecdotes

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Of all movie opening scenes, what one sold the entire film the most?

I think ‘the Italian Job’.  But, that is likely because I think that movie is just perfect.  First off, caper movies are my absolute favorite. Plus, the cast is just insano amazing.  And… its a movie with Jason Statham where he never once kills anyone.

Great story, amazing cinematography… just a really great film.  And the opening scene sets up everything you need to know about just about every character.  Oh, and pretty much everything involving the Mini Cooper. Remember that other movie that had a chase scene where involving a Mini Cooper and a helicopter… kind of inside?  No, you have not. Here, I’ll link to the streaming version from Amazon.  Just watch it now if you haven’t already.

What’s the one horror movie that genuinely terrified you while watching it?

Generally speaking, i can’t and won’t horror movies.  I am too fragile. I vaguely remember one that involved (I think) Nicole Kidman, and an old house, and ghosts.  I started it at night, and I was so freaked out I had to stop watching. I had to finish in daylight. But sometimes a thoughtful thriller… like ‘Cabin the Woods’ or ‘Get Out’ are both super good.

What was your weirdest movie theater experience?

Long ago, as a kid, my bro Johnny and I would go see the $1.50 movies.  These were movies that have been out a few months, and left new release world.  I dare say this was before home video and VHS. You can imagine a theater that only shows old movies for a pittance, they weren’t the most cared for theaters.  I am talking about the one at 40th & Thomas, but you knew that. Anyhow, we both went in to sit down and it was already dark. My eyes hadn’t adjusted, so I was moving very slow.  The chair I chose didn’t have a back to it. I couldn’t see that, but everyone in the theater (whose eyes had adjusted) could see it. And since I was moving slowly, they get the show in slow motion.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve brought into the movie theater?

A 3 year old

What used to be extra common in movie theaters that you just don’t see anymore?

3D.  It was a big thing in the 80s.  At least, it really was to me!  And you didn’t get these almost regular looking glasses.  No, it was one red lens, and one blue one. And it was awesome.  Oh, and back then they had 3D movies on TV!!!  No special TV or anything, but the networks would advertise it well in advance, and 7-11 gave away the free glasses.

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Friday Fives – is that still around?

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What is a product/service that you can’t still believe exists in 2019?

Paying $120 a month for cable.  We ‘cut the cord’ about 3 years ago.  We get all the Tv we need and more via Netflix, Amazon Prime, and we (luckily) are able to get the network channels free over the air in HD.  That last one is a total crapshoot.  You have to live on a hill, in direct line of site of the mountains.  Basically, we spend in a year on TV what cable subscribers pay a month.

What was a common in 1999 but is unusual in 2019?

Opening your cell phone bill and wondering if it would be $100, or $1200

 What is debunked but people still believe in?

Flat earth, loch ness monster, compassionate conservative, trickle down economics, that toilets don’t swirl the opposite way in Australia.  and all big foot sightings/footage.  Note… that doesn’t mean there is no big foot (hint… there isn’t)… but every piece of ‘footage’ has been totally debunked.
Oddly, I have talked about this here before.

 What instrument would you like to hear more of in modern music?

Acoustic guitar.  It is actually in nearly every song, regardless of genre, but is potted down (muted) so low… it’s almost invisible.

Someone stops you and offers $1 million if you can talk 1 hour without stopping or stuttering about a topic of your choosing. What do you pick to speak about?

Oh boy, I can pontificate on a LOT of shit.  That is what this site is about, isn’t it?  Obviously, my expertise is rock and roll.  I know a TON.  I mean literally more than everyone you know combined.  That is how seriously impressive… and completely useless… my knowledge and understanding of rock and roll is.  If I could monetize this, I would be a zillionaire.  I have been referenced in books, including Rolling Stone.  There was a ‘Rock and Roll Jeopardy’ which was sadly short lived.  Thing is, it was only for celebs.  Survivor’s Jeff Probst was the host, and I believe Mark McGrath did all the winning.  Because of that (as opposed to the Sugar Ray back catalog) I have always had tons of respect for him.  He is as smart and passionate as he is pretty.  Wanna memba what he looks like?  Think Guy Fieri minus 120 pounds.

The real influencers… are the negative influencers. What to do with the Rons of the world

How to identify, and manipulate, negative people in the office

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A few years ago, Malcolm Gladwell did some great work on ‘influencers’.  I believe the book was ‘Tipping Point’.  He talked about how a few charismatic and passionate folks can  – even accidentally unconsciously – start a movement.  They create trends.  They make and break business and products.  This was the first proper academic look at ‘influencers’.  Mostly, it seemed an obscure corner of the marketing world to be aware of.  It was interesting, as is everything Gladwell does.

More recently, ‘Influencers’ has a new meaning in the era of social media.  Mostly – super beautiful people who have monetized their lifestyle.  The Kardashians, for example, can receive up to a million dollars for a single tweet.  They take and post a beautifully staged picture with a (most often) beauty product.  It is worth it for everyone.  Google tells me she has 59 million followers.  A staged photo is a LOT easier and cheaper for everyone than a full ad campaign, commercials, etc.  Likely, that single tweet has more impact than a super expensive arty commercial might have.

Influencers became another en vouge tableau with the Fyre Festival.  The criminal mastermind created an epic multiday super festival for only the super rich.  Sold millions in tickets and lodging reservations to an event that was not going to happen.  How?   Lots of pictures of super hot girls frolicking on the beach and playing with turtles pigs.  If you went to the festival, then you too would play with these same turtles pigs and supermodels.  It worked.  Dude raised millions by posting these well crafted social media moments with top influencers.  Really, this was an ad.   Seems kinda like a waking nightmare to me.

I am not here to tell you about them.  I don’t care about them, as they have no impact on my day to day life.  Odds are, they don’t on you, either.  Unless you are still waiting for a refund from Billy McFarland.

I am here to talk about the ‘negative influencers’.  You are way more likely to deal with these folks daily, and they have WAY more impact on your life.  The negative influencers are the bitchy whiny victims who people still seem to listen to.  Here is an example from the corporate world.  I worked with a guy whom we will call ‘Ron’.  That’s because its his name.  Ron bitched about everything.  He was just an energy vampire that could give Mr. Rogers a bum trip.  Ron was very smart, though.  People looked to Ron, and absorbed his feedback on things.  His feedback, of course, was always shitty.

You know how when you drop a baby, it first looks to you to see how freaked out it should be?  When a toddler takes a fall, you learn QUICKLY to put on a happy face and smile and call them tough and strong.  If they fall and look up and see your horror… they will FREAK the fuck out.  This is how people looked to Ron, for some reason.  I could announce free pizza for the office.  What is better than that?  If I told everyone together, they would say ‘great’, and then look immediately to Ron.  Ron, of course, would say some ungrateful shit like ‘pizza again?  Can’t we have something different?’. Or ‘Jesus, not from Anthony’s again, those guys suck.’

Like Jujitsu, we learned to use Ron’s momentum against him.

This is how you use and shape a negative influencer – read on

We learned if we wanted to pass an initiative, we needed Ron on our side.   Before we launched a program, we would run it by Ron.  We would pull him, and any other negative influencers, into a room and lay it all out.  Start with flattery > “Ron, you know the department as well as anyone else.  We have a program, and I want to run it by you.  Let us know if we are missing anything, and what you think.”

While I hate to validate the Ron’s of the world, this is wildly effective.  See, Ron feels valued.  Ron is the kind of guy who thinks he should run the department anyway.  By feeding him early intel, and getting early buy in… now he advocates for us.  The most important part of this is he will advocate the program behind our backs!  He feels invested in the new initiative now, and feels a partial owner.  When people are bitching about the new thing at the proverbial office water cooler, Ron corrects them.  Ron knows, or at least thinks, he has ownership in this.  Ron thinks if this succeeds, if reflects good on him.  Besides, odds are Ron really does have some valuable feedback.  He isn’t used to people soliciting it, or using it.  He will lap it up like my Lab eating peanut butter off my…   well… you know!

Instead of undermining leadership behind our backs… now he is a net promoter of the program.  Debbie taught me this years ago, and I have been using it ever since.  It works!  Go out there and put those Rons to work for you!

*** I just read this back to myself using Jon Ronson’s voice.  It was great.  You should do the same.

Friday Fives – of cellophane and goalposts

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What is something every day, yet on reflection you realize you really appreciate?

Where I live.  Every day I look out my windows and realize how amazing this is.  Every day when I arrive home, I come home to this.  Its all I ever dreamed of an 100 times more.

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What is the greatest invention ever?

Gotta go with the wheel.  Or were you thinking of something more recent?  I must once again praise the bench scraper.  I just use it for everything.  I think it is for baking or making dough, technically.  I don’t use it for that.

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also, a pair of decent spring loaded tongs is invaluable.  If that doesn’t dazzle you, then you didn’t grow up with these.  These were the entirety of kitchen tong choices for the first few thousands years of evolution.  Go ahead, try and pick something up with these.

Image result for old style kitchen tongs It would be like watching a millennial try and use a rotary phone.  I do not put that link there to mock anyone.  No sir, I am just super jealous they got to skip this dark period of humanity.

 What activity in P.E were you surprised that you were good at?

Football.  I used to run when I was younger, doing meets and track and all that.  My dad was a marathon runner.  It gave me an unexpected edge at playing football.  Mostly speed.  Being short and fast is widely useful in playing football.  I can move around those 300 pound moose men and they don’t even see me coming.  I was physically too small to play football for our high school team.  However, every day at lunch we played tackle football on the field.  All for fun.  No teachers or coaches of any of that.  Man, I really love football.  And I really hate the NFL.  I am torn.

I LOVED PE, though.  I was athletic, and it was fun and satisfying.  My opponent will tell you I was busy playing ‘smear the queer’.  That is because my opponent fucks baby pigs.  Vote Lono for Senate.  “He’s Never Helped Anybody”®

What is so traumatic and disturbing that it ruined your month or year?

I am lucky and fortunate I have not had any severe trauma or misfortune in recent years…. Or hardly ever.  So, my complaints are first world problems, I suppose.  A couple things that have really, really upset me was Chris Cornell’s suicide, and Trump being elected president.  I still can’t listen to Cornell singing, or any Soundgarden.  I believe it was truly a terrible accident, and nothing he thought through.  As for Trump, it just tells me America is still intolerant and racist and super phobic.

What is something you will only buy name brand?

Cellophane… Saran Wrap.  Don’t go generic on that, ever.  Spend the extra buck or whatever it is.  Come to think of it, I think most stuff in the kitchen you don’t want to skimp on.  pots and pans and knives and cutting boards and bowls… buy some good shit.  It will last forever.  When you are pinning a 200 pound elite athlete to a goalpost for fun (which I highly recommend)… don’t be cheap.


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