Friday Fives – roy kills off our protagonist?

1.  If you were to open a store or a boutique, what would you sell, what would the shop be like?

I would love a book store or used cd store.  However, I am such a fan and a collector I could never part with anything.  People would bring stuff to the counter and I would be talking them out of it, so I didn’t have to part with it.  Same with guitars.  I know that is kinda dodging the question, but I am not a fan of the question.  So, to myself, I have rationalized my shit answer.  Clever, huh?

How about guitars?  Yummy.

2.  You won a lifetime supply of the last thing you purchased! What do you get, and are you happy with it?

I’ll give you the last two things I bought, how about that?  Two things ago was a can of hazelnut chocolate Pirouettes from Whole Foods.  These are the BOMB.  They looked, and tasted, just like these.  So… pile them on and I am cool with that.

The last thing I truly bought was a slice of pizza with my editor, believe it or not.  The guy who writes these questions and turned me on to blogging.  We caught up with each other for a bite and some great conversation.  It was Anthony’s.  So, yeah… you can smother me in NY style pizza for sure.

3.  What is a fad that diet off that you still participate in?

low/no carb.  Made famous and popular about ten years ago with the Adkins diet and the Suzanna Somers diet.  They are both low/no carb.  However, there are some key nutritive differences between the two.  The Atkins diet is simply a way for you to rationalize to your wife why you eat so much bacon.  The Suzanne Somers is for neurotic types who don’t believe in shit like science… and get their health advice from talk shows, and Jenny McCarthy.  100% of these participants (myself excluded, i swear) have celtic-y looking tramp stamps.   Prolly a dolphin on their ankle, too.   In short, it works.  Most or all carbs are basic sugars.  If you aren’t working your ass off, your body converts them to fat for storage at a later date.  Awesome if you are fighting dinosaurs, not to awesome if you are a cubicle monkey.

Oh, and I know this is super obvious, but it can’t be said enough.  Nothing will ever replace eating healthily, moderately, and exerising.  No pill or patch will fix that.  Well, unless the patch goes over your mouth.

4.  Has anyone ever tried to intentionally kill you?

not to my knowledge.  Is there a round about way you are trying to tell me something?  Listen, Roy, it wasn’t my plan to leave Sprint.  It was certainly never anything against you. It was a leadership decision, and in NO way is related to my restraining order.  We can work this out, right?  Jesus, don’t kill my birds.  It’s all I care about.

5.  How long have we left until the Robot Overlords take over the world?

        13 days and roughly as many hours.


Friday Fives – revisionist statistician edition

1.  What is something that no one looks cool doing?

Having sex.  At least, not the guys.  At least, not me. and I definitely don’t look cool having sex with guys.

2.  What is the most useful fact you know?

How to say ‘I have monkeys in my trousers’ in several languages.  Seriously

3.  What is something that you can spend a lot of money on but is just as good or maybe better if you go the cheap route?

Well, I’ll tell ya this first, and foremost.  One of the biggest truisms I have discovered in my 40 plus years on Earth – you get what you pay for.  If everyone else paid $100 for something, and you paid $25.  You didn’t get a ‘deal’.  You got a piece of shit.  Every time.  He paid $80 for dinner, and you paid $6?  Yeah, his was better.  Shoes, jackets, food, hookers, cars… you name it.  Be suspicious of anything that is too good a deal.  Here is another real life example. I was just in Asia the last few weeks.  I went to the market in Bangkok and I saw ‘Beats’ headphones.  This model costs $300 in the US.  I was thinking maybe I could get them for as much as half off… $150.  Guess how much they were?  $35.  That isn’t a deal, that is a counterfeit… AND a piece of shit.  I pulled out a pair and listened to them.  They sounded like $35 headphones.  On the upside, if you are shallow, they absolutely did look like the $300 headphones.

The one thing that doesn’t seem to follow ANY pricing logic is airfare.  Sitting on a plane to San Diego, maybe you paid $200.  The guy next to you could have paid $800, or $43.

Oooh, one more example.  Do NOT ever buy the cheap generic saran wrap.  I don’t care what market you are in, or what or who makes the generic knock off.  Save yourself the heartache and frustration and spend the extra $1 on the real shit.

4.  What’s the most mind blowing fact that you just made up?

that 5 of our every 4 Americans are overpaying for airfare.

5.  If your belly button were an actual button,  what would it do when pressed?

It starts a small structure fire to a building in Detroit.  This is not, btw, hypothetical.  No, it’s not an actual button, either, but it does start structure fires in Detroit.  Actual button?  That is some imagination you have, buster.

Friday Fives – in concert edition

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, or over-think this.  Just whatever pops in to mind.

20141017_095812Best concert

Gosh, I have been to so many concerts. Hundreds. See those ticket stubs in there?  That is just the last ten years, after I had effectively stopped going to concerts.  Best Concert? In the spirit of not over-thinking it (per our instructions), it just may have been Pearl Jam last night in Denver. I have seen the band a lot. Over ten times, I would say. Last night’s show was unique and amazing. And long. Almost four hours. I wrote that up this morning, though, if you are interested.

Worst concert

I can’t think of any overtly bad shows. Ok, there were some that were a little disappointing. I saw Smashing Pumpkins three different times on the Siamese Dream tour. Each and every one of those shows was stopped early because Billy lost his shit at something stupid. However, the band was absolutely at the height of their powers then. So, even a shortened Pumpkins set was still more beautiful and powerful and intense than every other rock band playing a full set.  At that time, in that era, on that tour, Smashing Pumpkins*** were the greatest rock band in America.  This was a band at the height of their powers > like Guns and Roses ‘Appetite for Destruction’ era.  Zeppelin in ’77, the Destroyer bootleg era Chili Peppers*** on the ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magic’ tour.  Beastie Boys*** on ‘Ill Communication’.  Nirvana*** on Nevermind tour.  Pearl Jam*** on the Ten Tour.  Police*** on ‘Synchronicity’.  Prince in the ‘Purple Rain’ era.

Billy Corgan:  he will cut you

These are bands that were in top form, taking over the Earth.  It never lasts long, but if you can catch a band in this moment, you should.

There was another show I was disappointed at, but not the band’s fault at all. Back at Lolla 2 (1992) Pearl Jam had been added to the bill last minute. They were just coming up, and getting bigger every day. Because they were a late add, they had a shitty time slot. They went on at 2 pm. PLUS, it was a school/work day. So, about half the audience wouldn’t show up until about 7 pm, after work, time to catch the headliners. PLUS – it was Phoenix in the summer. So, it was 118 degrees out… as it is in summer in Phx.

At this point in time, I was already a rabid Pearl Jam fan. This was my third time seeing them, and they were still just out whoring for their very first album. I saw them three times in Phoenix in one year.  Can you imagine how many shows they must have played that year?  Editors note:  I counted them up.  They played 71 shows in one year. So, there was virtually no one there to see them. It was early and it was hot as hell. There was no shade at this venue, so most folks found a shaded beer garden and holed up there for a few hours. Sadly, those folks missed an amazing show. Pearl Jam ALWAYS puts on a killer and passionate show.

Most overrated live band

Poison. Actually, I don’t know how they are ‘rated’ live. But, I do enjoy their music. I don’t actually have any albums, but I know the music. Many, many years ago I had the cassette ‘Look what the cat dragged in’.  Look at this cover.  They were seriously hot, beautiful women. Their show was flat. It felt like they were just going through the motions. I fully get how that happens. After 4 or 500 hundred live shows, I imagine it gets tedious. The good bands, though, never let it show.

Oh, and Pink Floyd. That is correct, I have not only seen Pink Floyd, but they sucked. Even kookier – I can tell you that every other person there will tell you it was the greatest show in history. Why the discrepancy? Because most people are stooges. Couple that with the fact that I seriously am an expert in live concerts. I have actually seen more national touring acts than all of your friends put together.

At this point (early 90’s, Division Bell tour) the band was basically the David Gilmour show. That isn’t a necessarily a bad thing. The band played only expected songs. The setlist was boring and predictable. On top of that, the versions played were too good. There was no character or intimate moments. It literally sounded like the band put on a greatest hits CD and stood there. I understand that saying Pink Floyd is wildly over-rated sounds like a hipster douche. However, they are wildly overrated. I very much enjoy their music. However, about 60% of it lost its appeal after I stopped doing drugs. In an unrelated side note, here is my favorite Pink Floyd song, performed awesomely by David Gilmour. This is a beautiful and unique performance of a very deep cut… the kind of moments I live for… and the kind of moments that were not present that evening in Tempe.  I could tell you the name, but it’s so absurd you wouldn’t believe me.  Put some headphones on and dig it!

If you ever get me cornered, ask me to tell you about the drive home. In a blizzard. On drugs. In a strange car.   With a busted window. With 3 guys tripping balls. Oh, I guess I just told you the story. Well, never mind.

I love to play this song camping. It’s tough for the others. I tell them I am going to play some Floyd. Then, I play that song, an Fearless. People get quite disappointed. Sorry, but Wish you were Here gets boring after playing it for 30 years.

Most underrated live band

Again, I am going to mention a couple here. The first is Barenaked Ladies. I haven’t seen them since Steven Page left, so I can’t vouch for their shows now. However, this band is the most fun band live… consistently. I went in to the first show (tour supporting Rock Spectacle, and excellent live collection) just being a casual fan. Maybe even the tickets were free. I can’t remember laughing so hard or feeling so engaged as I did that night. Once that happened, I went to see them every chance I got. In Winterpark the show became rather famous among hardcore fans as the ‘pipe guy’ show.

It’s a great story, but one you need to hear in person. I have met hardcore BNL fans, who have never been to Colorado. I tell them “I was at the ‘pipe guy’ show and they gush every time. Ever been to a rock show at a ski resort? It is super cool. They set up a stage at the bottom of the hill/run. Then, the people just fill up the hill. Everyone has a great site line, because you are halfway up a mountain. On top of that, you are in the woods. It is just magical.

Oh, the other is James Taylor.  As you can guess, I have seen him a ton, too.  Over ten times.  Now, you imagine a James Taylor show is relaxed white people listening to very pretty songs.  It is.  But, it is SO much more.  First off, his voice is still crystal clear.  It sounds as good or better than it did in 1972, when Fire and Rain first came out.  Next, he is a super good guitar player.  Then, my favorite part; he is incredibly funny.  He is as engaging and fun as BNL.  There is no concert I laugh at more than a James Taylor show.  He gets is self image.  He is keenly aware that is a punchline of all that is white and boring in music.  He plays off that. Here is my favorite song of his, Copperline.

Best concert album

Simon and Garfunkel – Live in Central Park. There is no further discussion. There is top five list. Just that concert, far and away above the others.  I defy you to watch this and not cry.


*** I was at these shows