Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SPC - Blue 4

Wow, I can't this believe this month is almost over already! The theme for this month's Self Portrait Challenge is "Blue". I've found the blue challenge to be rather enjoyable.

To see what others are doing with blue, visit the SPC website here.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bob Part 2 - Electric Boogaloo

I'm really struggling to write something today. In fact, I'm struggling to do anything. Yesterday was really busy since I had to work for 6 hours at the library and then I went to the concert. Today I reacted to this by waking up at 11 and just lazing about. I'm not even enthusiastic about watching the Oscars tonight. I guess there's nothing too terribly wrong with all this, but it makes me feel guilty sometimes (the lazing about, not the non Oscar watching). In any event, I'm going to try and press on with a concert review.

I got the House of Blues about 45 minutes before doors were supposed to open. I wanted to try and get up by the barrier in front of the stage if I could, but I didn't want to show up 3 hours ahead of time. I wish I had been just a tad earlier, because I ended up right behind the barrier people, about the equivalent of second row (it was SRO on the floor). I had a great view though.

The crowd was a mix of older and younger people, although it may have been the whitest crowd I've ever seen at a concert (not that that really matters). I didn't feel much like chatting with anyone, so I didn't. There was about an hour to wait before the show was supposed to start, but it seemed to pass by pretty quickly.

The show started out with a reformatted version of Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. Bob was on guitar for the first 3 numbers before retreating behind the keyboards he has favored the last few years. During the very first song a girl climbed up on the stage right past the security guard and ran over to Bob's microphone. She just stood there looking at Bob before security hustled her off. I hope that was $60 well-spent for her. She left her faux fur wrap hanging on the barricade and it was still there after the show. There's a video below of the incident. I'm just glad she wasn't a psycho with ill intent.

So the big question with Bob is always "what about the voice?". Perhaps I was the beneficiary of low expectations, but I thought he sounded much better than the last time I saw him. There was more range, power, and depth to his voice than the show I went to almost 2 years ago. None of the words seemed to get caught in his throat this time. He even hit a couple of semi-high notes. The first Dallas show on Thursday was Bob's first since early November, so maybe the time off did his voice some good. I thought Bob's energy level seemed higher too.

I thought the sound in general was better than the last show too. The instruments all seemed to be balanced pretty well with nothing sounding too loud. He played a lot of songs from his latest album, which were mostly in a blues-type of vein. We got some good harmonica solos too. As usual there wasn't much interaction with the crowd. He mumbled something after the first song that I couldn't understand, and later he said something about "thanks for coming out to this venue". He also introduced the band at one point. At the end of the show the band was standing in the middle of the stage to say farewell and it took forever for the lights to get turned on. They stood there in the dark for awhile before the lights finally came up. The crowd seemed pretty into the show. Overall I thought it was a great show and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Based on this experience I am definitely interested in seeing him again if given the opportunity.

Here's the video with the girl running up to Bob:

Lay Lady Lay:

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Lay, Lady, Lay
Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues
Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)
The Levee's Gonna Break
Spirit On The Water
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
'Til I Fell In Love With You
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
Honest With Me
When The Deal Goes Down
Highway 61 Revisited
Workingman's Blues #2
Summer Days
Ballad Of A Thin Man

Thunder On The Mountain
All Along The Watchtower

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Saturday, February 23, 2008


The new Cat Power album, Jukebox, is out. It’s an album of cover songs, including one of her own songs. There is a deluxe version with a second CD with 5 songs. This is the album that she was in Dallas to record part of last August, and now I recognize some of the songs that I heard in concert. Recognizing a Cat Power cover is not always an automatic proposition. She definitely puts her own stamp on others’ songs. Her version of New York is amazing. My only complaint is that at 2 minutes it’s way too short.

Let’s see, there are also covers of Hank Williams, James Brown, Joni Mitchell, Billie Holliday, The Highwaymen, Janis Joplin, Patsy Cline, Nick Cave, and Bob Dylan. After having a month to listen to this album I’m really, really digging it. That voice just slays me, and the way that she makes these songs her own is amazing. The guitar sound is great too – it’s textbook Telecaster. Some of my favorite songs on here are New York, Metal Heart, Silver Stallion, I Believe In You, and Breathless. You can hear samples on the Amazon page, and her MySpace page has one complete song from this album – Song For Bobby (about Dylan). I just found out a couple of days ago that CP is coming to Dallas in April. I am so there. Concert bills are steadily adding up, but that’s a post for another day.

Speaking of Bob Dylan and concerts, I’m actually going to see him in concert Saturday night. I know I wasn’t all that impressed with the first time I saw him, but this is Bob Dylan! That guy who wrote all those amazing songs has got to be in there somewhere. He’s playing three nights in Dallas at the House of Blues. I wanted to see him in a smaller venue than last time. Interesting review of night one here.

Here's a video of Cat Power's performance of New York on Jools Holland's show:

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Year Of The Rat

I'm a couple of weeks late on this, but I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Lunar New Year. And speaking of lunar, go out and look at the lunar eclipse tonight (or tomorrow morning) if you can!

2008 is the Year of the Rat. I'm a rat. So I guess that means this is my year to shine, right?


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

SPC - Blue 3

The theme for this month's Self Portrait Challenge is "Blue".

I have a blue car. It's probably not the color I would have picked if I had had control over every aspect of this car. My last car "died" rather suddenly, and the car I drive now was one that the dealership had that fit my budget. So after taking a couple of days to think things over I decided to buy it. It's served me well enough and the color has kind of grown on me. I have a friend who insists it's green, but he doesn't know what he's talking about.

To see what others are doing with blue, visit the SPC website here.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Aw, Hail

I haven't been feeling so great today. I'm not sure what the deal is. I feel kind of depressed in addition to feeling on the edge of a headache. Maybe it's the weather, it's been pretty cloudy and dreary all day. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel better since I don't have to work and can sleep in.

Speaking of weather, yesterday I was rather rudely awakened by the sound of hail hitting my roof. If you've never heard hail hitting a roof, you may not know that it's pretty loud. Since I was still planning to sleep a bit longer and since pressing my face against the window probably wouldn't have been a good idea anyway, at the time I wasn't sure how large the hail was. Later on when I was drinking my coffee and watching the local news they had some photos that people had sent in that showed hail that was about the size of golf balls. Nice. There were actually still a few hailstones in the yard when I got up about an hour after they fell. It doesn't look like I have any roof damage, and my car was in the garage. It's very unusual to have hail in February, usually it's more of a springtime occurrence.

I finally got around to watching Shaun of the Dead last night. I've had the DVD from Netflix sitting next to my television for about 3 weeks now. That is one freakin' hilarious movie! It's similar in style to Hot Fuzz (made by the same team and starring the same two main actors), but I thought it was better. I highly recommend watching it if you haven't.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Woo and Hoo

Welp, Radiohead tickets went on sale yesterday morning...and I got one! This was the presale, and these things sold out fast. In fact, I never even saw reserved seats showing as available. I'm very excited - Radiohead is pretty much at the top of my "have to see before I die" list. So, I'm really hoping I don't get turned into roadkill by a Smart Car before May 18th.

I've got a full day at the library tomorrow. I like it and all, but c'mon - it's Saturday! I know, it's for a good cause.

I've gotten a bit of a giggle out of this visage of our new (only 6 months old!) courthouse:

Our ax Dollars At Work


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

SPC - Blue 2

The theme for this month's Self Portrait Challenge is "Blue".

My favorite coffee mugs are a set of 3 cobalt blue ones that I have. I like that they're big enough to pour a generous-sized cup into, and I just really love the color. It's a very rich blue.

To see that others are doing with blue, click here to visit the SPC website.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Never A Dull Moment?

On Tuesday I worked at the library circulation desk for the first time. I felt like such an idiot because we couldn’t exactly shut everything down for me to learn how to do everything. So I had to stumble my way through as there were people waiting to be checked out. And of course all kinds of craziness had to happen that resulted in me always having to ask “how do I do that?”. People were signing up for cards, wanting to replace their old cards, trying to check out more than the allowed number of DVDs, returning stuff, asking if they had late fees, etc.

We had two people come in with the craziest names. One was a rather rotund gentleman with a long white beard. He wanted to know if the book he was returning was considered overdue. I took his card and scanned it and then I almost did a spit take when his name came up. It was Santa Claus! Middle initial M. I was thinking it had to be a joke, but one of the other people working there said that they had asked the guy about it before and he said that was his real name. That his family name was “Claus”. I guess his parents thought it would be super to name their kid Santa. I bet that was lots of fun for him in school. And I guess he knew what he would be when he grew up. Although maybe he’s gone the other way with it and is a total scrooge. Then we had a guy come in to sign up for a library card. He gave me his driver’s license and I almost spit again. Last name: Terry. First name: Terry. Terry Terry. BoBerry. I bet school was fun for him too. Parents, don’t do that crap! You may think it’s funny, but kids are mean and your kid with the funny name will end up hating you. We also had the police show up because one of the librarians had some rowdy kids in his area. The funny thing about all this is that it was a relatively slow night!


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Money Well Spent

The mouthpiece that I bought last summer to protect my teeth since I grind them at night has been one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. I’ve been getting much fewer headaches over the last few months. Most of the headaches that I used to get started out when I woke up in the morning, and they would progress through the day if not treated. The last couple of headaches that I’ve had have started out later in the day. It makes sense I guess that keeping my teeth from grinding would result in fewer headaches, but I was skeptical because I’ve been getting headaches for much longer than I’ve been grinding my teeth. But maybe a reduction in headaches as I got older was obscured by the tooth grinding issue. Whatever the case, I’ll take it! Best $200 I ever spent.

(I wrote this last Monday, and ironically I got a headache right before bedtime that night. BUT, seeing as how I only got about 5 hours of sleep the night before I’m 99% sure that that’s what did it.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

I’ve joined the ranks of the bag people. You know, those people who bring their own bag to the grocery store. I really hate those plastic bags. They seem to multiply like cockroaches, it takes petroleum (and probably lots of other noxious crap) to make them, and they seem to litter the landscape like crazy, and yeah, they pretty much last forever. So far I just have the one Kroger bag that I have bought and a couple of Trader Joe’s bags that my sister gave me. And yes, I know that it’s ridiculous that my bag was made in China and sent over here on a boat burning fossil fuel, but it’s still better than a plastic bag since I can reuse it.

I just read an article about how in Ireland they have started charging money for every plastic bag used. Subsequently usage has dropped by about 94%. I think that’s a great idea. Sunday at Kroger I found out that they are taking a similar but more gentle economic approach. They give you a 5 cent credit for each reusable bag on your grocery bill. I do like these economic approaches because I think that is the best way to get people to change their behavior – make the desired behavior pay off monetarily. Now granted, the bag cost me $3.99 to begin with (I got the insulated version, others are cheaper) so it would take me 87 grocery trips to recoup that cost, but it’s still a good thing. 87 trips sounds like a lot, but if you figure a minimum one store visit per week that’s only 1 year and 8 months. If the bag lasts that long it’s essentially free. And if you already have some canvas bags around the house you can use those.

Now I just need to do a better job of remembering to bring my bag when I get out of my car at the grocery. Eventually I’ll get it down. And the grocery stores need to have a better way to allow these bags to work with the self-checkout (since they depend on detecting the weight of items the bag makes them think you didn’t scan something, therefore causing chaos unless you have an alert attendant). I have to say I’m a little surprised that one of my most-traveled stores has not jumped on this bandwagon. Target, I’m looking at you. This just seems like the kind of thing that Target would love. I would expect Wal Mart to be a little slow on the uptake, but not you Target! Get with the program!

I didn't have to go far to find one of those damned plastic bags littering the environment - this one is in my back yard. It's from Taco Hell. Try looking for plastic bags sometime, they're everywhere.

My groovy, and oh so stylish, reuseable grocery bag.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

SPC - Blue 1

The theme for this month's Self Portrait Challenge is "Blue".

To see what other people are doing with blue, visit the SPC website here.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

From Slug To Bug

OK, I wasn't a total slug today. I worked out, and I got outside to do some yardwork. It was a beautiful day here today - 77 and sunny. That's the first time it's been warm in a while, the last couple of weeks have been kind of cold. Anyway, while I was doing some pruning on the cedar tree that I have in my backyard I discovered that apparently it's some kind of ladybug bungalow or something. There were ladybugs all over it! Here are some snapshots.

I liked how these two were shacked up in this leaf.

Hey, can't a bug get some privacy around here?!

Don't jump man! Don't do it! You got so much to live for!

Snug as a bug in a ... tree.


Saturday, February 02, 2008


Today I was a total slug. S-L-U-G. Not that it wasn't warranted after this past week. Yesterday I didn't have to work at the library, and it was nice to be able to come home and relax a little. I won't be back at the library until Tuesday, and then I will be doing another 3 day special. On library days I pretty much have to go straight from my day job to the library. I got some snacks to eat on the way (it's about a 45 minute drive) so I wouldn't be starving by 8. So far the library time in the evenings has flown by pretty quickly. It kind of sucks only having about an hour until bedtime though.

I've worked in several areas of the library already. So far the times that I've spent at the reference desks there haven't been a ton of people around, which is good. It gives me time to talk to the librarian who is there with me and ask them questions, and it gives me some time to learn about the collection. I even spent an hour in the children's section on Wednesday! I've really enjoyed everything so far although I felt kind of weird talking to the kids. I think it's just because I'm not really used to talking to children. I think I like the cataloging the best because it requires the least amount of interaction with others, but I also learned that spending all day on the computer cataloging stuff can really fry your brain. All in all things are going well at the library.

I can't believe Lost is finally on again. My Lost pants are going crazy. The beginning of season 3 I thought things kind of bogged down a bit, but by the end of the season I was back on board. I thought the season 4 premiere was pretty good. I loved that it was a Hurley-centric episode. I also love that Lance Reddick from The Wire is now on the show. And that twitchy little f'er Jeremy Davies. It kind of sucks that there are most likely only going to be 8 episodes this season due to the writers' strike. Maybe that means that they will extend the end date which is currently 2010.

Tomorrow I anticipate more slugitude, plus Superbowl. I hope everyone's Groundhog Day was everything they wanted and more!