Saturday, June 30, 2007

Siberian Surf Rock?

Um, yeah...ever heard of The Red Elvises? I had not, until last night. Some friends, feeling the need to "repay" us for sharing my unused ticket to see Martina McBride bought tickets to last night's showing at Knuckleheads. I'm almost embarrassed to say I had a good time. The Red Elvises (I insisted on calling them Elvi) proclaim to play "Siberian Surf Rock" ("Kick - Ass Siberian Surf Rock" if you must know). They are something of a melting pot, a la B-52s, Surfaris and Russian folk. Wikipedia refers to them as "Indie Rock." All I know for sure is that these folks like to party, and they do put on a good show, especially for the men (their keyboardist is a cute, petite little thing who heats up the dance floor with her dance moves, while never missing a beat on the keyboards or squeeze box, whichever she happens to be playing). Here's a link (Rocket Man) to one of my video clips, although there are much better ones out here.

And for something completely different, last weekend, we saw Tab Benoit at my insistence. Tab is much more my taste in music and a fine guitarist at that. Here are a couple clips from that show...I apologize in advance for the very poor quality, but if you like his style at all(Zydeco/Blues/Swamp Blues/Country/HOT! ;-), then I'd suggest you buy up all his CD's. We first saw him when he was just getting started in the mid-1990s and I, for one, fell in love instantly. He's grown into a fine, fine musician. That's all the review I have time for, but I hope you'll check him out.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Updating The Old Resume

And I do mean old...take a look at what I found in the archives, in my file marked "resume." My, oh my. How far we have come in the way of word processing technology. And wow, am I really that old?! What I liked best was that I saved the press-on lettering for the next time I needed to do a cut and paste job like this one, last updated circa 1994. And do note the extensive use of Liquid Paper and tape (click to enlarge the photo), along with the dot matrix printer used to print out the body of text.

And then there's the fact that I kept the "Time Table" in the file so that I may never forget how utterly arduous was the task of completing college in four years (which turned into nine years, thank you very much...more orange, less blue, as the years wore on...note to self: don't comingle work, school and family like this again). And then of course, there's the illustrious work history that I shall be sure to include on my updated resume:

Dairy Queen counter worker...I can still impress my friends and family with the swirly on my ice cream at those all-you-can-eat's just like riding a bicycle.

Fish Shanty fry cook...this was a very stressful job...when people are hungry and on holiday, they can be downright rude and obnoxious...and I learned that a large vat of grease has a very short shelf life...the fresher the grease, the fresher the fish...but restaurant owners like to stretch out the life of grease as long as possible and there are companies whose sole job it is to collect and recycle old grease...ick.

Oh, and by the way, that is no longer my address so don't be sending money there. :-)


Friday, June 22, 2007

That Wasn't Everything

The bad news continues...

I arrived home last night to find that one of the goldfish had died. The goldfish. One that, unlike all previous goldfish that have lived approximately 1 week in our care, had surpassed all expectations and lived at least 4 years and grew to 5-6 inches long (it looked like a Koi). We never named him because we knew that would be the end of him. The other two fish were hovering around it, trying to revive him when I got home, but it was too late. We don't know what happened, but the other fish seem fine so far. My husband suggested an autopsy. Instead, I buried him (intact) in the "garden" this morning. Farewell, my speckled friend.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Good & The Bad

Wow, what a week! I have spent a fair amount of time praying for peace this past week and a half, following The Big Screw-Up. I know some of you have been praying for me too (or crossing toes and fingers as the case may be), which is more than I deserve and I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate that. On that path, things are progressing more positively than I could have expected though we still don't know what the IRS agent plans to do to me in the way of stringing me up for penalties. At least the client and my bosses and peers have been more than understanding (comments have ranged from "maybe I'll be living on a boat sooner than I thought" (that was me ;-), to "it was clearly a mistake, we all make them," to "don't beat yourself up too badly, we'll get the full deduction the following year," to "that's what malpractice insurance is for;" choke...I still don't like the sound of that). Anyway, thank you for your prayers.

Meanwhile, while I was lounging around at the El un-Del-Del, my brother emailed me to let me know that his architectural firm is on the hunt for a VP of Finance and would I be interested (he had not even seen my blog post yet, which I stupidly pointed him to, to show him how timely his question was, but inadvertently also telling him "better increase the malpractice insurance first." I would love to work in a creative environment but still be on the financial side of things (and only be responsible for one client!), so I am, um, thinking about updating the old resume and talking to them about it.

Then, we have one of my biggest IRS exams that has been underway for awhile coming to a close. I just sent in the final documentation for that today and spoke to the auditor. We are hoping for a no change on this one...we'll know for sure tomorrow so I better not jinx the outcome on that.

So, that's the Good.

Then we have the Hit 'Em While They're Down list, and I wish there were a way to put a positive spin on these things, but I received notice yesterday that a large gift tax return I signed is going to be audited, *sigh* and I received notice today that two very dear clients passed away last night. Two! In one day. I know Eric knows how this feels when you have worked closely with someone and suddenly, they are gone. Both had cancer, but both had fairly good prognosis and I had been working with them on estate planning matters to make sure their affairs were in order, etc. Thankfully, there were no items outstanding awaiting signatures or anything that I am aware of, but it saddens me to think that the outcome was not at all what we all prayed for and expected. There will be funerals to attend next week and lots of handholding for the surviving spouses.

The week has been further complicated by several companies that are selling their businesses and in need of Urgent Care.

And that's the Bad.

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Train Wrecks and Other Stuff

Is this a new addition to Blogger? I've never noticed this before, but now, with MapStats, I can finally see what search terms people are using to "find" my blog ("find" is a loose term since, as you can see, only a few lucky souls have actually permeated the iron curtain). I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog (as per the post title). Really, is this all I talk about? Any of you web geeks mind telling me what is going on here? Am I really shielded behind my Blogger account from the searchers and seekers out there in the world wide web? If so, that is just fine by me. I'm just curious. I've tried Googling my own blog name and have even gone so far as to Google entire post entries and I still don't show up in the search engine. Of course, I never tried Googling "train wrecks" (or "train wrecks" with 2 spaces) before, so that explains a lot. *rolling eyes*

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More Pictorials

Other "interesting" sights in San Diego...

The USS Midway

The Welcome Home (these people were about 20 feet tall!)

Tiles in the Sky (the perfect color)

Self Portrait (holed up in the rocks, reading my book)


Compare & Contrast

Here are pictorials from my recent trip to Hotel del Coronado in San Diego (or "The Del" as it is known in them there parts...isn't that like calling it "The Of The"?) that I thought you might find interesting and maybe a little we have...

The Main Building

...and My Building

The View from the Main Rooms

...and from My Room


7 & 7

I've been tagged! Thanks, Janie, I was beginning to wonder when I'd post again.

I'm supposed to name 7 random things about me and then tag 7 others (and I don't care if you have already done it, if I tag you, you have to do it again and of course, because these are random things, you must name 7 more random things).

#1 - 7 is my favorite number. It is also God's favorite number (if you don't believe me, just check out the, not as in "check it out at the library" but open it and start'll see). This year my birthday falls on 07-07-07 which is just really cool. I wonder how I'll spend it. I've no plans but I'm sure God does.

#2 - I've never drunk a "7&7" (that is a mixed drink, isn't it?) but maybe I should. For my birthday. ;-)

#3 - I cry everytime I watch a horse race or the Olympics (pretty much during any individual sport...running, swimming, bicycling...but not team sports, well, maybe curling). Everytime. I can't help myself. Did anyone watch this year's Belmont Stakes? I accidentally landed on the channel and stuck around long enough to watch the race (and what a race it was....the first filly to win in over 100 years and neck and neck at the end!) I had warned my husband there would be tears if we watched it, but he still seemed shocked when my face was soaked in tears at the end. Sobbing, I was.

#4 - I'm a color fanatic. I love to pick out colors...painting the house, clothing, artwork, beadwork, you name it. Certain colors and color combinations make me very happy. It's like aromatherapy only with colors instead of aromas...duh. If I could find a way to harness my admiration of art and colors in such a way as to make a living doing it, that would be my calling. But alas, there is no advanced degree in "Colors."

#5 - I am a realist. I take life as it comes and am not usually disappointed. I don't come across as a bubbly optimist, but I'm not a gloom and doom pessimist either. I've learned not to set my hopes too high (the best things in life are unplanned and unexpected) and I try to find the good in bad situations. Sometimes, this means I am slow to make decisions and take actions that might improve my circumstances. I have a very high tolerance for pain. ;-)

#6 - I have a serious fear of public speaking but I enjoy teaching, and if I'm teaching a subject that I enjoy, it doesn't bother me to stand up in front of a big room full of people. I'm not one who can get up and do stand-up routines or anything, but if you're a serious student, I can be a mostly serious and (I think) pretty good teacher. My dad was once a professor, so I think I inherited some of his teaching genes. Maybe I missed this calling.

#7 - I am a perfectionist about many things (don't you know that when you make the bed, the quilt pattern goes like this?!) but planning is not one of them. I do not like planning and for the most part, I do not plan much. When I make plans, I only take pleasure in knowing that God is laughing. So in the absence of plans, I've perfected the art of worrying. I attribute this to my mother who is the world's best worrier. It is only a matter of years before I become my mother.

Now, I tag all of these fine people...

John B


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

For fathers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them love and affection today and all days, we pray to God, our Father.

For my friend, Beau (Jen's husband), who is experiencing his first Fathers Day as a real father, I wish you a blessed day with your family. For my own father, who is right now sitting on the banks of a lake up in Ontario, Canada with a bunch of his fishing buddies, enjoying one of his favorite activities (and most thankful for the opportunity to do so after his knee replacement surgery that kept him laid up much longer than he anticipated), I love you! :-)


Friday, June 15, 2007

Am I The Last to Know?!

Today's "retreat" session included a 2 hour presentation by an economist (and not just any economist, or someone important like our new Federal Chairman, but one from Kansas City, from whence we all flew...spouses were invited to this special session). Woo-hoo! The excitement in the room was palpable as we settled into our seats to listen to what he had to say.

But in all fairness, the guy was full of good information and knows a lot about a lot of things, one of them being oil. I jotted down a few things he said (I haven't confirmed any of these, so feel free to do your own investigative journalism). I was the only one in the room taking notes. Economists are great at predicting the past and seeing things in reality and wondering if they will work in theory. Not that I have anything against them. Just sayin.

Anyway, did you know?

That the largest oil reserves in the world are in Canada? The only problem there is that the reserves are in solid form and cost more to extract, but with oil prices as high as they are and going higher, it now becomes very profitable to start extracting it.

That we have only tapped into about 10% of the known oil reserves in the world but about 60% of the easy to get to (i.e. cheap) reserves?

That 60% of the oil consumed in the U.S. comes from sources outside the Middle East? Approximately 60% comes from U.S. sources, Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.

That Canada could provide 80% of the U.S. demand for the next 100 years??

So, if Iraq is all about the oil, then why aren't we going to war in Canada instead?

Other things jotted down in my notes (in the "job search" category):

The average age of skilled machinists in this country is 63 and about 70% of them will be retiring shortly. This leaves a huge skilled labor shortage in the manufacturing industry (and we wonder why more manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to other countries).

The transportation industry is experiencing a massive shortage of truck drivers and Kansas City is the natural hub of this industry. Teamsters are commanding six-figure salaries. I think I could drive a truck, but I'm not sure about joining the Teamsters yet. This calls for a little more soul searching.

Walmart is building (or planning to build) a mile-long building for its new distribution center near Kansas City. I already know how to drive a forklift but it was a long time ago.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm Not Dead Yet

For those who have expressed concern (and those who are concerned but haven't expressed it...which is most of the world population, certainly /*end sarcasm), I'm not dead yet. Actually, I haven't even faced my "accuser" yet, so the punishment remains unknown at this juncture, which is harder than actually knowing, I think. I think. Maybe. Oy!

Instead (and I know this is going to sound positively incongruous), I'm off to San Diego for a 4 day romp in the sun, staying at the world famous Hotel del Coronado. This all sounds very fun and everything until you understand that I'm going alone (i.e. without my husband) and I will be surrounded by all of my partners (and their spouses, mine just can't get away), for our annual "retreat." Our retreat is usually conducted at someone's home here in town, but this year we are celebrating a year of good conduct (I know, I KNOW! *hanging head in shame*) by going off someplace more exotic. How can I possibly enjoy this, without my husband, and with all of my partners who will want to talk about business and stuff (and me, wondering if I'll even have a job when I get back)? How?!?


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I just learned of a big work related screw-up yesterday. Even though I wasn't the one who made the mistake, I was the one responsible for catching it. Sorry I can't elaborate more (not that the story gets any better than that) but for privacy reasons, "screw-up" will just have to suffice, and "big" meaning millions of dollars. *cringe* I am trying to console myself with the words "it's only a timing difference." And I'm steering clear of sharp objects. I slept very badly last night and woke up with a stomach ache and a headache...this feels like the final knock-down punch in a boxing match. I am knocked down, deflated and depressed.

So, to console myself, I went into the Quik Trip on the drive between meetings this morning and filled up on bad coffee (with syrupy cinnamon-hazlenut "Delight") and a couple of those monster taquito things that sit on the roller thingies under a heat lamp until they turn into rocks and (AND!) a package of Hostess Donettes (coconut crumb style). And so, now, the stomach ache, it is real bad!! Ugh!!!

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Things Not To Do

Speaking of things falling off the back of a truck (see previous post), today I followed an old flat bed truck in to work and cringed at the sight of a perfectly good looking dog perched on the back, amid contruction equipment and debris. We were travelling along at a good clip of oh, 75 mph (!) or so and every time the truck hit a slight bump or curve in the road, the dog wobbled. I tried to pass the truck so that I would not be the one to hit the dog when it fell off (I am sure this will be the dog's ultimate demise which is very, very sad but I did not want to be behind the truck when it happened), but the truck was going too fast and traffic was too congested to safely pass. So I tried just looking away...which may not be the safest way to drive, you know? So this is a public service announcement, or a request, no, make it a commandment...

Thou shalt not drive with dogs on the back of a flat bed...I don't care if you do tether it to the truck in some way...I do not want to witness or be a party to your dog's death by way of mutilation or strangulation.

Thank you.


Friday, June 08, 2007

The Drive Home Report

As seen on the drive home...a few weeks ago. Yikes! I trust the driver was taken to the hospital. This looks like a serious rollover crash. What I found puzzling however is the fact that the car is coated in mud and there is no mud anywhere in sight. Almost like the car was dropped off here by somebody looking for a disposal site who finally gave up and left it on the side of the road. Maybe it fell off the back of a flatbed? Or maybe it came from the overpass above? I never did figure it out. Any ideas?


The Front Porch

Update: I did a lot of yard work today. Have I ever mentioned how much I detest yard work? No? Well, let me tell you. I detest yard work. Except for when I detest accounting even more and then I claim that I'd rather be a gardener. I do love flowers. I sometimes think I'd like to operate a flower cart on a busy city street corner but that's really neither here nor there. Anyway, I'm updating this post to show the lilies I found on the side of the house today. These usually make their appearance around July so they came as a complete surprise. Must be global warming. ;-) Also, the hanging flora is hanging no more. That is what happens when you don't water them. Who knew?! I also traded out my "Front Porch" and "Hibiscus" photos and added one more. So there you go.

Day Lilies! (hidden behind the air conditioner)

Look at what's growing on my front porch! Beth started this "meme" awhile back. My flowers are never the neighborhood showcase. In fact, I'm doing real good just to pull the stumps that were last year's hibiscus out of their pots and plant something new. Now, I'll be doing real good to keep these few pots watered throughout the summer. It's a far cry from roses, but it's all I've got. And it was a rough start, what with the freezing temps early on. The peonies (not pictured here) were but a shadow of their former showy selves this year. So here is my...

Front Porch (and Smokey waits to go outside)

Hibiscus (my favorite because they bloom all summer!)

Azalea (it froze and is only now greening up again) and Zinnias

Violets (these also froze and were left for look at them!)

Hanging Flora (red, white and blue)


Thursday, June 07, 2007

And Now for Something Completely Different

From Princess Jami (who managed to post the Democrat/Republican tests without any of the fallout that I've put myself (and others) through. ;-)

SCATTERGORIES's trickier than it looks! It is!


Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following categories.
They should be real places, names, things...nothing made up! If you can't think of anything, skip it....

Copy and Paste to answer in your blog.

Your Name: Gwynne

Famous singer: George Gershwin
4 letter word: Good
Street name: Geronimo
Color: Green
Gifts/presents: Goats! This is a great gift...check it out!
Vehicle: Geo Metro
Things in a Souvenir Shop: Glow-in-the-dark Lady of Guadalupe (yessss!)
Boy Name: Gary
Girl Name: Grace
Movie Title: Gremlins
Drink: Gin & Tonic
Occupation: Gardener
Flower: Gardenia
Celebrity: Gloria Gaynor, disco diva :-)
Magazine: Gourmet!
U.S. City: Galveston
Pro Sports Teams: Giants
Something found in a Kitchen: Garlic (lots of it!)
Reason for being late for work: Grumpy
Something you throw away: Garbage (too easy?); gum
Things you shout: Go!!!
Cartoon Character: Gumby

Now you try. And then when you're finished, do a little Father's day shopping at Archie McPhees...this store has the greatest stuff in the world!


Here I Go Again

Read at your own risk...

I have carefully mulled over each of Darko's points and wish to defend a few of them. See, this is the beauty of having your own blog. Darko's comments are relegated to the depths of Davy Jones' locker (down in the comments section of the last post), while I get to put my responses on the front page. ;-)

Let’s take this in bullet sized bites…from the top (if, by taking any of your points...yours are in italics...out of context, I have misconstrued your meaning, please correct me):

Let me launch my sloop and hope that I can carefully navigate through the waters.

Mission accomplished…I appreciate that you held back on the mud slinging. ;-)

As role models I have a strict self-imposed edict to choose only people that I know fairly well, so neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Clinton (nor, as a continuation any politician) would be folks I’d have up there as people to admire and follow.

I guess I view the role of the President a little differently. I believe that one of the primary roles of the President, as a statesman, is to lead the country. Part of any leadership position is to model acceptable behavior. When I vote, I base my vote as much on character as I do on issues. In fact, more so, because I know that while the President helps set the policy agenda, he (or she) does not set policy in a vacuum. However, in setting the tone of our government, which trickles down through the ranks and impacts policy, character is of utmost importance. So, while you may not choose any politician to serve as your role model, it is human nature to look to our leaders for example. Not everyone is wise enough to know better. ;-)

Did that (Clinton's) behavior, as you stated, precipitate terrorist acts against us “at least in part directed at the sort of morally reprehensible behavior by our former leader”?

I was a bit vague in my statement, for brevity’s sake. What I meant was that these terrorists are Islamic extremists whose religion finds American materialism and immorality repulsive. According to Islamic law, it is lawful to wage war against infidels and apostates. I don’t believe the terrorists flew those planes into our buildings to show Clinton a thing or two; I’m saying the terrorists hate us (in part) because we are infidels in their eyes (and Clinton’s behavior epitomized that).

I am not excusing Mr. Clinton for his behavior. Neither am I excusing our fine Congress of wasting our time and dollars sifting through Ms. Lewinsky’s blue dress.

Agreed. And agreed! The whole situation was an embarrassment and a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Although his actions were inexcusable, the impeachment and all that followed only made matters worse by making a mockery of our entire government. I guess we should be thankful for the likes of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan to keep the tabloid media where they belong…in Hollywood.

At the time of the 1st Gulf War, I didn’t understand why #41 halted our advance onto Baghdad when we had a chance to “clean up the mess”.

My understanding here is that we pulled out of Iraq only because Saddam agreed to give up his weapons of mass destruction programs (presumably because, like you said, #41 knew it was better to give Saddam a chance to clean up his own house before we cleaned it up for him).

I supported and still support the military action against the Taliban government in Afghanistan. It was and still is a justifiable course of action.


Iraq, on the other hand, was a country I thought should not have been attacked.

There was never any clear proof of a tie-in with al-Qaeda nor with the terrorists of 9/11. Egypt and Saudi Arabia had a stronger tie-in to the self-immolating idiots commandeering the planes than Iraq did.

Hmm, the invasion of Iraq caught me off guard also, and for awhile I wondered why, since Iraq did not appear to be involved in the 9/11 attack. But when you consider that we already had troops in the Middle East, that we would really like to have a Democratic ally in the Middle East (most terrorists arise out of non-democratic countries, have you noticed? I know there are the freaks like Timothy McVay, but most of them act alone, not attending terrorist training schools together), that Saddam had a long history of tyrannical rule and violence (executing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, endorsing rape, torture, and murder as standard government fare, entering war with Iran in which over another million people died…need I go on?!), that Saddam had not complied with the agreements he made when #41 pulled out of the Persian Gulf War (even Clinton suggested that Saddam’s actions could not be allowed to go unchecked lest he gain further control and terror of the region with his WMDs), do you really think that going to war for the wrong reasons (i.e. WMDs that did not materialize, or terrorist activities that were not directly connected to the 9/11 attacks) makes the war unjust? I don’t think so. Millions of Iraqis have been freed from Saddam’s tyranny. The Americans who have died serving our country and the lives of those freed have died for a most honorable cause.

And yet, we as a nation were coldly and deliberately lied to by the administration and by #42 himself.

This is the one I hear over and over and over again, and frankly, I don’t see it. I really don’t. A lie is deliberate by definition and I don’t believe that Bush or anyone in the administration knew there were no WMDs when they claimed that there were. In fact, they had every reason to believe their Clinton-appointed CIA director, George Tenet, who said that it was a slam-dunk case that Saddam had WMDs (in fact, Bush took quite a bit of heat following 9/11 for NOT heeding Tenet's warning re: a general memo about Osama wanting to destroy America, so it probably seemed wise to respect Tenet’s judgment this time around). Add Iraq's history of WMDs, missile programs, clandestine nuclear activity, and the know-how to help other countries and terrorist organizations build WMDs, and I think we were justified in believing they existed. So really, I don't feel that the Administration lied to us about this.

I truly believe that Mr. Clinton still has quite a lot of the 6 ½ billion people out there in the world around us who admire him.

Sad, but true. That is the danger of charm and charisma.

Darn, I wish life was as easy to get into order as a sock drawer.

Me too!


Monday, June 04, 2007

Watermelon Slim and The Workers

In addition to cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer, my sock drawer and my daughters' Barbie bins (don't ask...I have no idea what fit of anal retentiveness took over this weekend, but it's all good's over...all of the Barbie paraphernalia is gone and what remains are these partially clad, partially bald, sometimes headless, icons of beauty...I even spent the extra time dressing them just for you)...

...anyway, in addition to that, we managed to squeeze in another blues concert at the now legendary Knuckleheads blues and honky tonk bar down in the barrio, sitting right on the train tracks. The constant toot of train whistles in the not-so-distant background is the perfect backdrop for the blues. As soon as I can figure out how to upload my 197 MB video file using dial-up, I'll share with you more of the experience. For now, a photo will have to suffice.

The guy playing the dobro slide guitar (left-handed even) is Watermelon Slim (Bill Homans). The other guys are The Workers. In addition to playing his slide guitar using old airplane-sized wine bottles as slides, Watermelon plays a mean blues harp and has a solid grasp on the blues. And he has a blog. During an intermission, I had the chance to talk with him a bit while he signed my CD and asked him about his involvement in MENSA. He says his IQ has taken quite a dive over the years, that back in the 70's he tested at well over 200. Over the years it has steadily declined and now measures around 142. I guess hard living will do that to a man. He seems to have turned a corner though, perhaps following a severe heart attack in 2002. He's working for God now and it shows. I could tell in just a few short minutes that this man has a lot packed in that blue-collar, truck driving, blues playing head of his. I was intrigued.

These words from Steve Leggett, at the All Music Guide, where he is reviewing Slim's 2006 album that was nominated for many coveted blues music awards, capture Watermelon Slim better than I could:

"The sound on this record (which was produced by Chris Wick, who also plays bass on one of the tracks) is simply huge, and yet Slim's songs and field holler vocals keep it all appropriately intimate, making this release one of the best contemporary blues albums in years. On the surface Slim (his real name is Bill Homans) seems always to be working on the edge of parody, but this ex-truck driver who is also a member of MENSA (and owns several university degrees) is after bigger things. His passion for the blues makes these songs pulse with a gospel-like joy and intensity, and his new band the Workers gives him the kind of raggedly perfect backdrop to make it all slam home......This remarkable set is capped off by the closing "Eau de Boue," which outlines Slim's passionate devotion and commitment to the blues, and since he is perhaps the smartest ex-truck driver to ever sing this stuff, Slim sings it in French, maybe just because he can. For Watermelon Slim the blues isn't so much a musical genre as it is a calling, and beyond that, a shot at redemption. This guy is the real deal, and this is a great album."


And Now, A Word From Our Sponsors

Venturing where I said I would not go. I just added "Politics" as a category. It only took a little over a year for that to happen. You can fast forward to the next post if you wish (oh, right, there is not a "next post" yet...but there will be shortly).

This post is an expansion of what was going to be a comment in response to Darko’s comment on my last post. I’m low on blog fodder these days so I might as well open myself up to public ridicule and humiliation. I really don’t have a whole lot more to say on this subject, nor do I wish to debate it. I consider Darko to be a friend, so this is not at all intended to start a fight. And I don’t kid myself into believing that I can change anyone’s opinion, but to be silent only suggests that either a) I support the opinion expressed, or b) I find it so offensive as to not warrant a response. And since neither of those is true, here is my response.

For the record, here was Darko’s comment:

“I'm not capable of stating politely the differences between our last two presidents' x-rated actions except to state, and the facts will bear me correctly, that where the previous 2-termer's actions affected one person, the current 2-termer affected us all.

When it comes to doing the nasty thing in life, I'll almost always side with the singular action as opposed to the multiple. I thought Life (Yes, the Big "L") is always more important.

And, for the record, I don't think Dubya's dad did such a bad job, probably because he was quite capable of thinking clearly by himself.”

First, I do not believe that Clinton's actions affected only one life (or even “only” several lives since he did have numerous affairs). At a bare minimum, his actions directly and irreparably affected the lives of each of those women, his wife, and worst of all, his daughter. But, as the leader of the free world, his behavior served as a role model to many, maybe even as many as 6 ½ billion people (though granted, many of them don’t have televisions or newspapers)! Tolerance of this sort of behavior, especially from our leaders, has a long-term and profound impact on all of us. If we as a society lose our moral compass, we lose much, much more. In fact, I don’t think it’s too extreme to venture that we ultimately lose everything.

Second, while I respect your opinion and your right to it, I don't share the belief that any of Dubya's actions have been "x-rated.” I assume that you are referring to the war in Iraq. If not, I’m sure you’ll correct me or add to the list. I know you’re not alone in your opinion of the current administration, but I believe that when war was declared on the U.S. on 9/11/01, we had no choice but to stand up and defend our country against terrorists that preach hatred to their young. And that hatred, I might add, is at least in part directed at the sort of morally reprehensible behavior that was demonstrated by our former leader. If I truly believed that this war was really just about protecting “our” oil interests and nothing more, then I might also believe that thousands of lives are being lost over greed. I pray that is not the case.

I also believe that if we go into a country and rip out its existing government and do nothing to help rebuild that country, it is more likely than not that any successor who manages to rise up out of the destruction will be another tyrannical dictator, possibly worse than the previous one. I don’t need to explain why this would be very bad. And if we then find ourselves in the midst of a civil war, don’t we have an obligation to stay and help fix what we (in part) started? When Clinton took U.S. troops into Kosovo where we had no economic interests, was he not entering into a civil war where we had no business? The only difference there in terms of lost lives was that we had more than enough fire power to squelch that “situation” pretty quickly. By the way, unlike many conservatives, I thought our involvement in former Yugoslavia was long overdue…I know we can’t be Big Brother to everybody, but when you know people personally who are dying to free themselves from oppression, your perspective changes. And when you (as a country) have the resources to stop it, you can’t just sit idly by and watch entire countries implode.

I suppose I could add that if Dubya can’t think clearly for himself (your indirect suggestion), then nothing is his fault. But I won't.

In conclusion, I think we agree that Life is always more important.

Next up…how I spent my weekend straightening up my sock drawer.