Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Eagles 'Long Road Out Of Eden'


I’m constantly amazed about where our tax dollars go. And usually, there’s some sort of trail to see where it all goes. All it takes are a pair of open eyes… Take this for example…

Is this a message that’s just not getting through? Does everyone NOT know that 21 is the legal drinking age?

I kept seeing an advertisement right off Lee and Eugene Streets in downtown Greensboro. I never really gave it much thought until the other day.

I wonder just how many millions of dollars it took to develop this informative and yet unnecessary website. How many millions of dollars are set aside for billboards, radio/television commercials, and print ads?

I’m sorry, but that sort of thing totally blows my mind.

Here’s something that I found incredibly funny on The Onion


Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again

--Once again I ventured through the aisles of confusion at the Home Depot this past Monday. I had to pick up a few supplies for various things needed around the station and for live broadcast events… Such as Murphy In The Morning’s “Dog-O-Ween” that took place today.

I can change a tire. I can change oil. I can even pump some gas. I have my moments when I’m a decently handy kind of guy. But when I go into a large home improvement store… I’m lost. I couldn’t be any more confused even if I were standing on the tampon/feminine hygiene aisle at the giant drug store.

What would take my father 10 minutes to locate, pick up, and purchase… It takes me a good 30 minutes or more. Sure… I could simply walk up to a helpful person there at the Home Depot and have them escort me all around the store, but I have this “I can find it myself” kind of attitude.

I figure that if I use my brain by reading the aisle labels, I should be able to find exactly what I need without having to bother anyone. The only way I want to bother them is by making them think to themselves, “Hey… That dumb ass has passed me 7 times in the last 10 minutes”.

I found a few rubber things used to strap things in fairly quickly (notice that I don’t know what those “rubber things” are called… And that’s not for a funny effect). The aisle said “Tie Downs” and they were found right there. Simple. Next!

Finding a winder for an extension cord proved to be a little more elusive. I spent time in the electrical and when I couldn’t find it there, I started fanning out. I found the extension cords and what did I find on the very same aisle? Winders. Cool. Next.

I needed clips or something to clip things with. As you can read, I don’t really know what they’re “officially” called. Perhaps they’re also called “clamps”. So my brain told me to check out the aisle labeled with “Clamps”. I gave it a quick once over and didn’t find what I needed. So I started exploring other parts of the store.

After putting shoe leather to good use on the 2 million square feet of home improvement store, I decided to ask someone.

I found a very helpful man in an orange vest and I said, “I’ve got two questions for you… One… Where can I find clamps (I sort of explained exactly what I needed)? And two… How do you remember where everything is in this place?”

He said that they change the store layout all the time. So he has to constantly update things in his head as he took me right to the aisle labeled “Clamps”.

Hmmmm… I had been there before. But I didn’t feel stupid or anything because what I needed was at the very bottom of the shelf. Definitely well within snake bite range.

Hopefully, I won’t have to visit there again any time soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Jimi Hendrix Expericence 'Live At Monterey'


Remember my friend Catey? The one that took me down on pit road for the Busch Series race in Charlotte?

She sent me this email accompanied by a picture of her at work…

I had a present from a client waiting for me when I got to work this morning. Not only do I get free crap, I have time to build a fort out of the free crap I get.

Now, THAT is what makes this the best job ever

Catey




--I noticed something odd today in our parking lot…

We have a white multi-purpose van that we use for messy jobs and for back up with big events like our Summertime Brewsfest. It’s just an unmarked white van. Nothing special and used for just about everything. We refer to the van by a couple of names… “Perv One” or “Stalker Van”.

Since Goatboy from the 2 Guys Named Chris Show got his car creamed last week, he’s been driving “Perv One” while it’s being repaired. And when I drove around it this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that it was leaning in a way that suggested a flat tire. Sure enough… It was. The left rear wheel was sitting on the rim.

Since Goatboy is responsible for the van while he’s using it, I went inside to inform him about the tire. I explained that my inspection revealed a large screw had punctured the tire. The screw needed to be removed and the tire plugged. Simple, quick, and cheap. Hell, I’ve even done that myself. And I’m not a mechanical person at all!

A little later, he told me that he was going to drive the van over to the garage across the street.

I said, “Hold it, Goat! You’re not driving that van on the rim. Not only could that ruin the tire, but that could ruin the rim too. Just take it off and take the tire across the street to get plugged.”

Guess what his response was… That’s right! Goatboy had never changed a tire in his life!

Since I didn’t really have the time to show him exactly what needed to be done, I gave him a quick tutorial. The most important parts of my tutorial was where to place the jack and to make sure the lug nuts were put back on tight and snug.

The only problem he had was twisting off the lug nuts. He was lifting instead of pushing to loosen them. I had to show him how to use his weight while pushing down to loosen those jokers. I had to learn that too.

All in all, Goatboy did all right and now he feels a little more manly. And I even got a sense of pride knowing that I had taught someone else how to change a tire.

My dad made me learn even before I started driving legally. And I passed on that knowledge to an old girlfriend who was exceptionally reluctant to learn.

My dad and I were rotating her tires… And I thought that it would be good for her to learn how to change a tire. This was right around 1990. Long before cell phones got popular and smaller than a loaf of bread. I felt that it would be a good thing for her to know in case she ever got caught with a flat. She could be out in the middle of nowhere or some overly kind stranger would want a little something more than a “thank you” in return.

She was livid as I sat there explaining how to loosen the lug nuts, how to jack the car up, and how to take off the lug nuts along with the tire. It really pissed her off that I wasn’t physically helping her. Every time my dad’s back was turned, she would whisper “motherf#cker” with her sweet southern accent. But once she tightened that last lug nut, she turned around with a smile on her face bigger than Dolly Parton’s two largest assets. She felt accomplished and empowered. She also helped us rotate the rest of her tires.

No matter how hard I tried, I still couldn’t get her to change her own oil. She left that messy job to me. Perfect for a guy that absolutely hates getting his hands dirty.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Colbie Caillat 'Coco'


Thanks for tuning back in for an update on my blog. Things have been a little hectic here as of late for me… I just appreciate your patronage. I’m also very excited about making my 500th posting soon!

I’ve got nothing pressing that I can write about… I’m a little sad about the passing of Porter Wagoner. I knew that he wasn’t in the greatest of health, but I sure as hell didn’t expect him to be 80 years old. That was a surprise.



Growing up, my father was constantly watching things like Hee Haw and The Porter Wagoner Show. And as a youngster, I did the natural thing by revolting against whatever my parents were into. The only reason I kept my eyes on Hee Haw was the “Hee Haw Honeys”. I didn’t care who the country music artist was as long as Lisa Todd or Misty Rowe were lounging around in the background. I was young and stupid, but I wasn’t COMPLETELY stupid.

So for the longest time, I hated country music. I deemed it unacceptable. Country music offered nothing but songs about getting a girl… Getting left by a girl… Drinking because of a girl… Cheating girls… Cheating with girls… Getting, cheating, and drinking with girls. It seemed that all the country songs were about nothing but the heartaches associated with girls.

My age and limited knowledge (at the time) of music didn’t clue me in to the fact that “girls” were pretty much a universal subject in all musical styles. I just thought that country artists liked being miserable, drunk, and alone. Because that’s what they sung about.

So when I started working at Peaches Music & Video, I started opening up my mind to country music. It all started with Dwight Yoakam and snowballed from there. I didn’t care for Randy Travis… But “Honky Tonk” music really appealed to me. With the help of customers (The True Brothers) and fellow employees (like Brad K), I started to discover the greatness of Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and Gram Parsons / The Flying Burrito Brothers.

Once, I saw a Porter Wagoner album at my Aunt Betty’s house. I told her that I liked Porter Wagoner (I could only remember the song “The Carroll County Accident”) and she let me take it home with me. I devoured that joker from start to finish.

For some reason, I liked Porter Wagoner when I was growing up. I liked the flashy clothes (also know as “nudie suits” for some stupid reason) and a lot of his songs weren’t about girls. A lot of his tunes told stories.

From time to time, I will pass by the RFD Television Network on my DirecTV where I’ll find The Porter Wagoner Show airing there. I’ll stop and take in a few cornball jokes and maybe a song from Porter or someone else that has long been forgotten over time. It’s almost as good as watching “Big Polka” and his polka show.

Well… Thanks for tuning in to this here blog of mine. I will try to make a more acceptable posting soon. Perhaps something that’s entertaining, enlightening, and not about a girl.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Earl Klugh 'Midnight In San Juan'


I got a strange and yet cool phone call today. It was from a person that I hadn’t heard from in a good long while. So we decided to meet up for some drinks and catch up on things.

She decided that The Brass Taps (formerly Killian’s Pub) on Battleground would be cool. I hadn’t been there since the name change and I was just as eager to check it out.

The one thing I liked about it… The place didn’t seem like a pick-up joint. My friend Katrice had the best description that caused me to laugh like a hyena… She said it was like drinking at the VFW.

There didn’t seem like there was a guy over the age of 50 there! Now the ladies in attendance started at 21 and worked their way up… Good news for me, right?

I still have hair where it counts! That fact puts me near the front of the herd, so to speak.

But let me tell you ladies… From what I saw there this evening… All you have to do is go inside, bat your eyes a couple of times, and the drinks will be coming your way prepaid. All those VFW types will take care of your every need. The only downside would be listening to Vietnam, Grenada, or Iraq Version 1 stories while you sip on your cocktail of choice.

I’m not a smoker, but I believe in smoker’s rights. And I must admit… It got a little too smoky for even my tastes. Before we left, the place looked like it could easily be a training ground for new firefighters. I thought about hitting the floor to find my way out to the parking lot, it was that smoky. I’m feeling like I need a nicotine patch right now to get myself off that horse.

--I’m still having great fun loading up my Zune MP3 player! I just loaded up my musical choice of the day… Earl Klugh (how’s that for culture?)… And I’ve been loading up on all the CD singles that I’ve acquired over the years.

A few years ago, I tried compiling all those singles onto “Various Sh!t” collections on CD. So now it’s pretty cool to just “rip” them in about 45 seconds and get them into my MP3 player. Ahhhh… The convenience.

If I had of known that this would have been this easy and compact on an MP3 player… I would have jumped onboard this type of technology a long, long time ago.

Is it wrong for me to be this excited?

Part of me says “yes” because I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. With anything that I get excited about, there’s always a downside. Whether it’s new technology or someone that I’m going out with… There’s always something to bring me crashing back down to earth. I usually end up very upset, raking my hands through my hair, and never wanting to deal with it again.

We shall see.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

JoJo 'High Road'


For those of you that know me… I have a question for you. Am I uncouth?

I sat down at Natty Greene’s with a couple of coworkers by the name of Josie and B-Ware… I ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon wine. I thought Josie was going to go all NASCAR on me and throw a rod. B-Ware wasn’t all that surprise because quite frankly… He knew there was alcohol in red wine. And I’m all about some alcohol, folks.

So what does Josie do? She gets out her camera phone to snap a picture of me sipping on some red wine. It’s not like I’m John Waite from The Babys sipping a glass of wine in front of a rock n’ roll crowd saying, “This is to you, Greensboro.” No… I was looking for something to enter my bloodstream quickly and get me feeling good.

Terrie Knight joined us later to also give us her surprise about Eugene drinking red wine.

Mother krunk! I was starting to get a complex. Am I really perceived as a cultureless clod?

So I did the only thing I knew to combat the perception… I drank to excess. I figured that I had to uphold some kind of image… Wrong or right.

--I spent most of the day driving around Winston-Salem and I must say that I don’t like driving around in Winston-Salem. The roads are all screwed up. It seems that most of the roads were either laid down with asphalt by following cow paths or they were drawn out by drunkards. The roads all wind around seemingly going around in circles. I’ve spent many a lost afternoon driving around and around until I can find a nearby highway. And that’s the only saving grace in Winston-Salem… If you get lost… It doesn’t matter because sooner or later you’re going to run into either I-40, Business 40, or Highway 52.

Don’t EVEN get me started with a certain area called “5 points”. I’ve been through that intersection at least 100 times and I still manage to get screwed up by taking the wrong path… Including today’s little outing.

It goes without saying that I loathe driving around in Winston-Salem. Even while my friend Kim was driving me around on Broad Street… I couldn’t keep up with where Broad St. was going. It was nothing but curves and twisty turns. Riding along with her in the passenger seat was much like riding around in the “Teacup” carnival ride. There was no point on trying to get a fix on the road. It was hopeless. Turn left… Turn left… Turn right… Dodge the stray cat… Watch out for the hippie… Stop at the light… Go straight and take a left at the picket fence.

Jeez… I hate driving around in Winston-Salem.

And the stop lights?! They last longer than it takes for someone to get cancer screening results back. AND they’re just as unnerving! The wait for a green light drives me crazy.

I’m sure all the folks in Winston-Salem can say the same sort of thing about the traffic in Greensboro… But they’re wrong. Yeah! I said it! Winston-Salem roads and traffic sucks.

Monday, October 22, 2007

David Coverdale / Jimmy Page 'Coverdale Page'


Now that my Zune MP3 player is acting properly… I’m starting to really dig that joker! I like curling up with a book while digitally compressed tunes pour into my ear holes. How could I have fought this for so long?

That’s just me.

And is it possible for my mood to change on this subject as soon as Gretchen II decides to lock up tighter than Baptist girl on Prom night?

Yes.

I just “ripped” 2 CD’s from Flipp and another by Jo Jo. And it only took like 5 minutes to do just that along with the “synching” with Gretchen II to make sure all the music is on there. I’m telling ya… I’m so loving this new technology.

Who knows what’s next for me? I may just get a DVR and ditch my VHS VCR!

Actually, I have looked into getting myself a DVR through DirecTV. I need a working phone line so it can “talk” back and forth for up to date information. I haven’t used a phone line for that bastard for a couple of years. I knew that my dual jack was busted and just figured that would be a cinch to fix. Just a quick trip to Radio Shack to pick up a replacement, right?

Wrong.

So now I’m thinking that it’s either the relay junction (to link one cord to another) or just a bad cord. Once I get the time and gumption to do it… I should be on the DVR bandwagon soon afterwards. Meanwhile, it’s me and the ol’ standby VHS.

--Speaking of things VHS… I’m still in the habit of taping my TV shows for later viewing. I just can’t get behind watching all those commercials. Maybe it’s just me, but Reaper seems to run about 8 minutes between the commercial breaks. I simply cannot abide by that.

And here are some of my thoughts about some of the new and not so new shows on television…

Monday--- Chuck… I’m totally digging this new show at 8pm. Some of my friends just aren’t feeling it.

Heroes… The whole Hiro in old Japan is boring the hell out of me and the show seems to have stalled. Although I will probably stick with it… The pace has to pick up soon.

Tuesday--- Reaper… I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. It seems that most of my friends who watch it are spending their time laughing their asses off during every episode. Me? I haven’t laughed out loud once. But it’s crafty enough to keep me coming back every week.

Wednesday--- Pushing Daisies… I like the premise and I liked the show right out of the gate, but it’s starting to wear thin in only the third episode. I don’t know if I’m going to ride this one out.

Bionic Woman… The show is moving along like a slug. I have the same kind of questions I did back when I was 8 or 9 when the Six Million Dollar Man made its premiere… How does Jamie Summers' non-bionic arm keep up with the rest of her body while she’s in sixty mile per hour motion? I just don’t think that it’s possible and I’m having a hard time suspending my disbelief with that one. Props for 2 refugees from the new Battlestar Galactica series popping up. And where the hell is Oscar Goldman? I’ll continue to stick it out.

Thursday--- My Name Is Earl… The show still has its funny moments, but overall I think that its losing steam. It just doesn’t make me laugh like it used to despite the show’s intelligence. Still one of the best comedies on TV (I haven’t seen any of this season’s Two And A Half Men).

Supernatural… Still a damn fine show! No complaints.

Leave a comment if you disagree and feel free to tell us about your favorites!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chicago 'The Best Of Chicago: 40th Anniversary Edition'


I’ve got nothing… Again.

I’ve always been told that if you sit in front of a word processor long enough, something will come to you. I’m getting nothing.

I could tell you about ripping my musical choice of the day that I just synched to my Zune player… But that’s not very exciting. Continue at your own risk.

I’ve only seen Chicago once. And I can’t even remember what year it was… But I remember that Peter Cetera was spending his last tour with the band so it was definitely in their sucky phase.

I still go by a certain rule when it comes to concerts… If it’s a free ticket, I will see anyone. And when I was working at Peaches Music & Video (4217 High Point Rd: no longer there if you look for it), we had a deal with some radio station. They gave away tickets on the air and dropped those tickets off for last minute winners. When we closed the doors with tickets left over… Anyone working there that night could easily grab a pair of tickets and go. Usually, I was the only one that grabbed a pair to anything. And I mean anything.

I remember a time when Huey Lewis & The News played the Coliseum and I was excited about seeing the show. Unfortunately, it was wax night where we had to sweep real good and wax the floors. So I was late getting there and only caught the Robert Cray Band closing out their set with the hit “Smoking Gun”. I wasn’t happy about that, but I did get to see an overly dramatic “queen” dance on about a dozen mice when he unexpectedly flushed them out of a trash receptacle earlier.

His name was Shane… I don’t know for a fact that Shane was a “queen”… But the rest of the outright gay men that worked there constantly referred to him as such. He was a hoot! And he always had some very biting criticism about how some of our female customers were dressed… Including (unbeknownst to him) my girlfriend Melinda.

Shane was always good for a laugh… And that particular night, I was trying to get the hell out to see Robert Cray. Shane didn’t care. He was just being Shane… A flaming pain the ass. So I asked him if he could get in gear since he and I were going to the show later. Sure, I wouldn’t mind seeing Huey Lewis and his boys… But I really, REALLY wanted to see Robert Cray. That guy had talent in the sense of guitar prowess… He just sort of lucked up with a hit single.

We were taking out all the trash with only one can to go. It was a can stationed just behind the double doors leading to the break room and shipping/receiving department. The trash receptacle was made from a Peaches album crate. All of the slats fully encased the trash can liner so you couldn’t see what was inside of it.

For some reason, Shane ended up knocking over that trash bin and mice ran everywhere! There had to be a dozen of them! And just like the cartoon women who we only saw from the knees down on those Tom & Jerry cartoons… Shane was screaming at a high pitch and literally dancing all over those mice. He was high-stepping like an Indian brave! His arms were flapping around fueled by his fear of those brown little mice.

In a sense… The dance of mice death that Shane was performing was downright disconcerting as he crushed them under his white Nike shoes. And for some reason, I was laughing my ass off! I eventually made my way over to the couch because I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t stand up. It totally made up for missing Robert Cray.

Yeah… We walked in when Cray was playing his hit “Smoking Gun”. Then he walked off and the lights came up. Sh!t.

I was still looking forward to seeing Huey Lewis & The News. I liked them and I knew that it was hip to be square, so I was looking forward to a show from those guys. They seemed high energy enough for me. Even to this day, I cannot name a “bad” tune from those cats.

But let me tell… Those guys bored the hell out of me. It was like watching a show with mannequins standing around while Lewis & The News tunes played throughout the Coliseum. I wasn’t impressed at all. I just didn’t see why everyone in the place was rallying behind those lame performers.

Personally, I guess there was no topping Shane and his mouse dance of death. And I don’t know why that story came out instead of the Chicago concert. But I will tell you that when I saw Chicago… I had no expectations of them impressing me. And yet they DID! They were awesome! The Tower of Power horns! The musician ship of the band! Those mofos were awesome!

And the funniest thing… I remember sitting down 3 seats away from a woman as she looked at me with great disgust when I arrived. She picked up her purse and clutched it tight to her chest the rest of the night.

That’s what you get when I’ve got nothing. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Non-Conformist Cult Radio Show 12/21/01

It's funny how life is sometimes... Every now and again there's a surprise.

On Sunday afternoon, I posted a MySpace bulletin telling my friends to listen to the 2 Guys Named Chris show Monday and Tuesday mornings on Rock 92 because I was taking Goatboy's place while he was away.

I got a few notes from the Rock 92 P-1 Army and there was one that stood out. It was from Daphne and she wrote that she would drop some goodies off at the station and asked what I wanted. Well... Being a painfully single male and Daphne being an attractive women, I wrote back with something like "just bring your own sweet self".

Then it occurred to me... Daphne may be married and I don't need to be sending something like that to her. So I checked out her MySpace page and sure enough... She's married. Not good. I had visions of an angry husband showing up to give me a double-barreled shotgun enema. I sent an apology immediately.

During the day we swapped a couple of notes back and forth. My faux pas wasn't an issue.

Later on that evening... I got another note from Daphne with one simple question... Did I once go to New Hope Baptist Church?

Her question was dead on... We had met before... And she has met me at a remote with Deidre.

On her way home Monday, it hit her that I may have been the same guy she knew from that church. She remembered a Eugene Sims from when she was a kid... Could I be that same Eugene from when she was 9 years old?

We got caught up with each other's lives and all that good stuff. We didn't know each other at all back then because of the differences in our ages (I'm nearly a decade older), but I do remember her and her family.

And that's the kind of funny things that happen in life that I love!

The wild thing is this... Daphne has been my MySpace friend for at least 6 months before our realization. And of course I had to pick on her about my placement on her friends list because I (an old personal friend so to speak) was still behind the Buzzard's Road Kill Mama. How could this be?

And since we're talking about MySpace... My number one friend of the week is Doc and The Blind Tiger. The BT is one of my favorite places to check out some live music. Drop by and check it out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bruce Springsteen 'Magic'


This past Saturday morning… I awoke to a sunshiny day and although I was slightly hung over… The smile from Thursday and Friday was still on my face as if it had been tattooed there. Yeah, I woke up feeling the way Keith Richards looks and yet I still had the grin that you can see on the fat Buddha statues. There seemed to be no coming down from the high, baby!

That is until I plugged in my Zune MP3 player the second time that Saturday afternoon.

I got up and uploaded today’s musical choice on there (Bruce Springsteen), as well as Matchbox Twenty’s latest release. Everything went fine. I got my second Zune (Gretchen II… For some reason, the software wants you to name it) almost two weeks before this past Saturday. They replaced the first one with a brand new Zune. They made me a happy customer. I’ve been using it to listen to music when I’m reading and everything has been fine.

Until I started uploading a CD by Terry Sullivan

Gretchen II stopped uploading and she wouldn’t move. I could hear the little hard drive whirring around inside like a small coffee grinder. The program on the PC had frozen up during the sync mode and Gretchen II was like a mule who had had enough on an unusually hot afternoon. That bitch wouldn’t budge. I talked to her sweetly and begged her to be good to me. She would only light up whenever I punched a button and do nothing else. I was growling like a rabid dog.

So once again I got on the website and did a little troubleshooting from home. It didn’t help and I couldn’t even turn Gretchen II off. There was only one other thing to do… Call the customer service line.

Tiffany and I went through the same things again and Gretchen II reacted like a coma patient. There was no reaction at all… So they’re sending me another box to send Gretchen II back for a replacement. That’s cool… Gretchen III would soon be here to make everything good.

After Tiffany and I got off the phone, I decided to try a little experiment. Since I couldn’t turn her off… I would have to let it shut down on its own when the battery died.

All day long I kept waiting for a sign from Gretchen II. Either a sign of life or a sign of death. I got neither until Sunday morning. Gretchen II’s battery had finally expired.

I turned her on and she immediately notified me that she was in fact needing some juice. I plugged her into the PC and she took off like a looter that was getting shot at. She was fine! And she synched up perfectly without Terry Sullivan’s CD giving her any problems.

She’s been working fine ever since!

Yeah… I’ve thought about calling Zune Customer Service, but there’s a nagging little voice in the back of my head telling me that Gretchen II may have another episode. I’m looking at the upcoming box (they send you a prepaid box to send it back to them) as an insurance policy.

We shall see.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Non-Conformist Cult Radio Show 12/07/01



Me and the “Reckless Ladies of Racing” made our ways into the Speedway with our coolers in tow. Kristina and I were packing wine instead of the standard drink of choice, beer. The guy that was checking coolers told me that he had never seen anyone bring in a bladder full of wine before.

I picked up a 3 liter box of wine earlier that day. I wasn’t having beer and I had to have something alcoholic. Once you take it out of the box, the bladder full of wine makes a dandy beer substitute.

Once inside the confines of LMS… Catey and I split from the herd to make our way down to pit road. I cannot tell you how excited I was. As you will see from the pictures… I was smiling the whole night like an ether junkie with quite a lung full.

Here’s a bad picture of Catey showing me the way through the tunnel directly under turn 4...



We followed the road all the way into the infield area where the garages are. Here’s another bad picture taken with my cell phone of some car being pushed out onto the pit road area…



We made our way onto the grassy infield of the front stretch for the driver introductions. I called Kristina on her cell phone and told her to look for me behind the semi-truck. She couldn’t see me for some reason, so I move towards the painted writing where she could see me. I gave them a wave from down there.

Here’s the lovely Catey mocking my mental patient smile during the driver’s introductions…



Here’s I am standing in Jeff Burton’s pit before the race… Is it odd that I stood in the race winner’s pit before the race even started?



I couldn’t believe that I could get as close to the cars as I did. I so wanted to touch Robby Gordon’s car, but I thought better of it. Notice the stupid grin on my face…







I even took a picture of Robby Gordon’s “war wagon” that was parked in his garage stall…



And here’s what it looks like if you were standing on the pit wall… Not that I did that because I didn’t want to piss anyone off or get hurt…



Here’s one with my favorite driver, Robby Gordon. As much as I wanted to yell something to pump him up, I figured it was best to leave him alone. He had that serious “business at hand” kind of look…



When I finally arrived to my seat… This was the view that I had…



I broke out my camera phone again to snap a picture to illustrate how fast those cars were whizzing by. The blur near the fence was Robby Gordon’s car going by us at over 160 miles per hour…



And finally, this picture shows how well a view we had of turns 1 and 2...



We left with about 25 laps to go and before we had to leave, Kristina wanted one more rush. Whenever I asked if she was excited before the race, she sarcastically said that she was “thrilled”. Well I’m here to tell you… She was impressed by the speeds the cars were passing by when she stood at the yellow line near the fence. The wind nearly blew her down! And before leaving her new adventure, she had to have her one more windy experience of 35 stocks cars zipping by her at 10 feet away.

She also enjoyed listening to the crew and driver chatter on the scanner. She seemed really tickled by that. I don’t think I have converted her into watching NASCAR races on television, but I think she would love going to the track again for another race. I’m thinking the night race at Bristol or even my favorite track, Talladega.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Matchbox Twenty 'Exile On Mainstream'


My good mood continues!

Friday was one helluva day that started with a NASCAR Legend dropping by the Rock 92 studios…

Now I must say that I don’t get excited when I meet rock stars and other celebrities… I guess that I’ve gotten a little jaded over the years. It’s just not a big deal. This Friday showed me that I can in fact get all giddy when meeting someone. I had the pleasure of meeting Junior Johnson ! One of the most colorful characters in the history or NASCAR.

Since I was dressed for the Busch Series race later that night at the Lowes Motor Speedway… I was wearing my Jim Beam Black Robby Gordon t-shirt. Junior was there to talk about his Midnight Moon and Catdaddy brands of liquors. Faux pas!


I didn’t know that Mr. Johnson was going to be there… It was a great surprise! I did get my picture taken with him and that was a big thrill. I just covered up the Jim Beam Black logo.

--I still had Thursday’s smile on my face on Friday… And I finally met up with Kristina with coolers and a small box of wine. She purchased some other smaller boxes of wine at her neighborhood convenience store. She can’t drink beer and I’m not drinking it for the month of October. So wine would have to do.

Then we hoofed it over to Catey’s place to meet up with everyone else. Catey’s cat Knee high… Is like the tallest damn cat that I’ve ever seen! I wouldn’t be surprised if that cat was once scouted for the NBA! That joker was literally “knee high”.

We left in tandem with Catey leading the way down south towards the Mecca of stock car racing… Lowes Motor Speedway.

We got parked and immediately pulled out the chairs and coolers with the precision of an Army drill team. There were no wasted movements. The four of us moved in perfect harmony with one goal in mind… Intoxication.

We sat and chatted while Catey called in the guys with the golf cart. They were kind enough to pick us up and cart us over behind turn 2 of the Speedway. Believe me… Walking that distance would have taken at least 45 minutes and a good amount of blistered skin. I can’t remember their names, but that one guy drove the cart like he stole it. If you placed a orange-sized lump of coal on my sphincter… You would have a gotten a very small diamond after a ride with that guy. Jeez!

I had to fill out more paperwork to get into the pits and after that, we stopped by a motor coach home that belongs to a crew chief of a Busch Series car. Very snazzy joint! Then we were driven back to our tailgating area where Kristina had easily made friends with Kira and Gina (Deadhead).

I was a little concerned about leaving her with strangers… I had visions of her getting into a parking lot poker game ending with her wandering the parking lot in despair about losing all her money to card sharks Kira and Gina. I don’t know why I think of these things…

Here’s a group shot of the “Reckless Ladies of Racing”…



From left to right… Kristina, Gina, Kira, and Catey.

Stay tuned… I’ll finish the rest tomorrow.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Rocket Summer 'Do You Feel'


All day long… I had a smile on my face. Why? I will tell you why… The temperatures were lovely with no humidity. I F’ing LOVE fall weather!

You know they say that most people love the season that they were born in… And I was born during the fall months. So call me a believer if you want.

For the first time in a long time, the temps were at a tolerable level for me this morning. I almost starting clicking my heels in the air while I was walking out to Roxy this morning. I was like a heavyset Fred Astaire in camouflage.

Sure… I had a busy time with the 1075KZL Courtyard Concert with Matchbox 20, but I didn’t care. I was happy. I was in love with the day. You could’ve killed my cat Monroe and I would have said, “Oh well… She had a good life. Wanna a hot chocolate?”

I haven’t experienced those same type of feelings since 1:17am on November 18th of 2006.

I did find something funny about the day… Everyone around me was “freezing to death”. Ladies were bundled up and complaining about the cooler temps. I LOVED it! It seems like fall is finally here!

--I will be headed down to the Lowes Motor Speedway tomorrow for the Dollar General 300 Busch Series race. I’m very excited about that too! And to top it all off… My man Robby Gordon will be running in that race!

Man oh man, the day is getting better! Too bad that it’s almost over… But I have a feeling that tomorrow will be even better.

I’m starting to become an optimist… My God! What is happening to me?

If my wish for season 4 of Green Acres on DVD is answered in the next 24 hours… I will know that the Universe is finally listening out for my wishes.

I know this update is short… But I gotta run

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

'A Little Piece Of Rope' by Tapehead Studios


I completely missed the voting boat yesterday. How could I miss it? The damn signs were everywhere including the one with the lazy eye city council candidate.



I’m usually very good about voting, but for some reason it never occurred to me that there would be primaries before the big elections in November. And besides, chances are that I would only be allowed to vote for 2 things.

I’m in the unaffiliated camp, or what they call independent.

I used to be listed as a Libertarian until they didn’t have enough registered voters during the last gubernatorial election. Yeah, the Libertarian Party is nationally recognized, but our great state doesn’t like third parties messing up things. So they use voter turnout to determine whether or not to allow them to play. I suppose it keeps the old boys happy when there’s only 2 parties invited to the big dance.

In case you didn’t know… As Libertarians we are proponents of small government, we’re against income taxes, we like our guns, and you can do just about any drug you want because we’re all for legalization.

I felt bad when I realized that I missed my chance to have a say in my local government. It really isn’t a big deal, but it does bother me.

Have you ever thought about running for a spot in local government?

--What’s the deal with Hannah Montana?

There’s going to be a Hannah Montana concert next month at the Greensboro Coliseum and people are going nuts about it. My coworkers and I have been approached by people that we haven’t heard from in years… And what do they ask about? Tickets to Hannah Montana.

I have never seen the show. Nor do I want to. I just can’t remember anything like that when I was young. I don’t even remember the Osmonds coming around when I was a kid.

And the bad thing for most people who want to take their kids… They can’t get tickets unless they pay through the nose and anus to ticket brokers. Just look on eBay and see what I’m talking about. It’s crazy and I don’t get it.

The craziest thing I ever remember attending was the Custom Car Show at the Coliseum when John Schneider, TV’s “Bo Duke” from The Dukes Of Hazzard was making an appearance. My sister Tina couldn’t wait to meet him and she wasn’t alone… There were long lines of young teenage girls waiting to meet their favorite Duke Boy.

Poor Tom Wopat was probably spending his free time in therapy working out his “red-headed stepchild” complex.

Well… I really have nothing. So it’s time I should wrap things up…

Today’s musical choice is a mix tape by someone whose name escapes me… I’m not sure but I think his name is or was Larry White. It’s a mix where the audio from an old radio drama is put together with music to carry the storyline along. A soundtrack narrative, if you will.

You can find out more about his mixes by visiting this site. There’s even some listings by me on there. Here's a copy of the play list...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lisa Dames 'No One Like Me'


Since I got my Zune MP3 player back from the fine folks at Microsoft, I’ve found myself slipping into an old pattern…

When I was a kid and on through my twenties, I would read quite a bit. I have always loved reading. I would read cereal boxes during breakfast. I would read the packaging of other quick-fix food containers during the rest of the day. And like that guy in the film Kingpin… I would read the shampoo bottles, toothpaste tubes, and other bathroom items while I was heeding the call from nature that none of us can put on hold.

I read just about every Stephen King book that was put out until he lost me with ‘It’. Ever since, I’ve only been wading the King waters instead of diving in.

I’ve even been known to take paperback books with me to concerts and theaters… If I went alone.

But somewhere along the way, I stopped reading all the time. It was mainly because I lacked the time to read. And the biggest reason why I stopped reading at home was because I no longer had music that was easily accessible. The stereo was always too far away to use the headphones. My preferred method.

Now that I’ve got that Zune player… I’m reading again. And I’m trying to make more time to read. I find it very relaxing to listen to some tunes while reading a damn fine book.

At first, I wasn’t impressed with the music on my Zune player. It had the sound quality of a normal bias tape. I didn’t notice that much stereo separation and I just don’t care for those “ear buds” type of headphones. It feels slightly unnatural… Like gravel up my nose. I thought maybe that was the price I was paying for thousands of tunes that I could hold in one hand. So I tried plugging a decent set of headphones into it and was surprised how much better the sound quality was. It was on, baby!

I may just take to this digital revolution after all… And I sure as sh*t wouldn’t have a problem ripping off Lars Ulrich by illegally downloading Metallica tunes. Everyone else… I’ll gladly pay for the music you make if I don’t get a promotional copy, that is. Lars gets under my skin with his high and mighty whining… His whining that came from 4 mansions fully stocked with expensive cars and hot/cold running ranch dressing. Whatta douche tube!

I’ve been reading Chuck Klosterman’s ‘Fargo Rock City’ while listening to the tunes on my Zune. I borrowed the book from Danny Fonorow months ago and I’m just now getting to it.



It’s funny as hell! And growing up listening to the type of music Klosterman has lived with and written about… I can read parts of my own life in most of the chapters. Including the part about keyboards in hard rock!

For the record, I was adamantly, ADAMANTLY against keyboards in hard rock. It was all right every once in a while, but if a band had a full time member on keys… I treated them like a leper colony. Much distance was kept between their music and my ears… Bon Jovi, Europe, and Autograph were kept out of my collection. And besides… In my opinion, they sucked!

I’m digging this writer’s work so much, I’m thinking about checking out his other books.

If you’re a metalhead (I’ve never liked the term “heavy metal”- I prefer using the term “hard rock”) from the 80’s, you should check out this book.

Feel free to name your favorite or dumbest hard rock band with the comments feature.

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Non-Conformist Cult Radio Show 11/23/01

Once again I’m sorry that I haven’t updated this little bit of mental masturbation in a good long while. I had the chance on Saturday, but I didn’t. And I had the chance on Sunday to update, but I didn’t. I just couldn’t get with the program.

For most of Saturday, I could have written something… But I just didn’t feel like it. Then on Sunday I kept saying to myself, “Ah, screw it!”

It feels like I’ve been on a treadmill of activity here as of late. Just when I think things will slow down… Another big pile of busy-ness get dumped on top of me. And for the first time over the weekend, I got to sit a spell and catch my breath.

--I did something for the first time last night… I watched an episode of Heroes on nbc.com.

I’ve tried to keep up with it the best that I can, but I somehow missed last week’s episode. I even missed the replay on Saturday night. I must have set my timer wrong because when I settled in to watch the tape, it was a couple of episodes of The Office on there instead.

Will someone please tell me why the show is considered a comedy? I just don’t see it.

So last night I ventured over to NBC’s website and decided to give it a go. I have tried watching other shows online last year, but I just couldn’t stand watching 30 seconds… It would freeze up for 2 seconds… Watch another 30 seconds… Repeat process until done.

I watched that episode with only one freeze-up. And that split second freeze-up was no big deal! I may even try to get started on Life because I’ve heard good things about it.

The only new shows that I’ve watched this season are Chuck, Reaper, and Pushing Up Daisies.

I liked Chuck from jump street. I can identify with geeks because a lot of my friends fit into that category. And if you believe in the “birds of a feather” philosophy… You can make up your own mind about me.

That’s also the same kind of feeling I get with Reaper.

Chuck is about a computer geek that accidentally downloads a bunch of government secrets into his brain. I missed the second episode (gotta catch that on nbc.com), so that’s about all I know about it. Other than the title character now works for the government in secret.

Reaper has that kid from The Loop in it. So there were bonus points before it even stepped up to the plate.

His parents sold his soul to the Devil (Ray Wise from Twin Peaks: added bonus points) who has recruited him to recapture escaped souls from hell.

I know the show is good because I keep watching it. But I don’t think it’s as funny as most of my friends believe it is. I haven’t laughed once during the show. Am I crazy?

Now… Pushing Up Daisies is AWESOME!

I missed the first airing and when I had dinner with Christine and Gwyneth the other night, she convinced me to come over and watch it on her DVR.

Pushing Up Daisies has the same type of surrealism that made Edward Scissorhands so great. It’s built like a fantasy around a guy who has a special gift for bringing the dead back to life. If he touches them a second time, they die again. He has one minute to let them die again or someone else in the vicinity has to take their place.

A private investigator catches him using his talent and figures out money can be made by claiming awards on finding out who killed or what killed folks. He brings them back to life, asks who kills them, and returns them to eternal rest.

It’s a dark little show that is very cute and darling. I highly recommend it.

--I’m now watching season one of Dead Like Me from Netflix. Just from the pilot episode, I must say that I’m digging it.

Why is everyone putting out “death” shows these days?

Interesting.

My MySpace friend of the week is Dianna. Drop by and say “hello”.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Various Artists 'Goin' Home: A Tribute To Fats Domino'


I got my Zune MP3 player in the mail the other day. It seems that my original player decided to lock up tighter than a nun at an adult video industry convention. They didn’t bother to attempt to fix it… They sent me a new one and automatically signed me up for the new warranty. Awesome!

I will say this… Those folks at Zune/Microsoft were cool to me. The customer service was excellent and I never heard the cry of a single small-eared Indian elephant in the background. I got nothing but considerate service with good ol’ American English.

So I plugged up Gretchen II and it immediately went to work. A lot quicker than the first unit. So obviously, there was definitely something wrong from the get-go. I was amazed to find that it had synched and loaded all the music that I had saved from the last go round. It downloaded all the Robert Plant CD’s along with my Maroon 5. I thought I was going to spend hours trying to figure out how to put them on Gretchen II.

Computers and things like that seem to intimidate me. I don’t really know why. I look more forward to talking with a high-pressure car salesperson than messing with something new on the computer. Whenever I start with those things, I end up cursing loudly and at a high rate of speed. Then I start pulling out my hair and it all ends with me in the floor crying with my face buried in carpet.

And if I have a successful attempt… I will usually walk into a modeling agency afterwards and try to keep the lucky streak alive by using my “come on” lines. That always brings me back down to earth.

As I’m typing this up, I’m thinking about how long it’s going to take me to rip songs from my new Heavens Sake CD in order to put them on Gretchen II. I think that it’s going to be easy, but on the other hand I have a fear that it’s going to be a long drawn out process. Just about the same length of time it takes for bread to get moldy.

Maybe I just need a change of attitude… Perhaps I should take the “who’s the boss” approach and make that bitch submit to me.

--Next week, I will be attending my first NASCAR Busch Series race in over a decade. The last time I saw a race, Dick Trickle (my all-time favorite) was driving. I’m hoping that Robby Gordon will be in that race because I don’t know too many of the Busch Series drivers these days. Since I work a lot on Saturday’s, I have fallen out of touch with them. Sure… The Cup drivers get in there and mix it up, but I’d really like Robby in the field. It would make me feel as if I have something at stake in the race.

The coolest thing is that a friend of mine has scored a pit pass for me. I can go to the pre-race driver’s meeting, stand around in Eric McClure’s pit, and hang around during driver introductions.

I had to turn in all kinds of personal information and basically sign my life away in case I get hurt or killed by a 3,500 pound race car. And for some reason, that excites me. How many sporting events can you attend where you, the spectator, can end up in the morgue before the night is over?

I have always loved the fact that it’s possible for a race car or a piece of it to end up in your lap during a race. The danger is not only real for the drivers, but it’s also very real for the fans. Anything can happen. The biggest thing that I’ve ever been hit with was a big chunk of hot rubber at Martinsville Speedway.

I was with my buddy Wally Harrison and we were sitting close to the track. Very close. A big chunk of hot tire came over the fence after a restart and hit me in the chest. I found it between my feet, picked it up, and molded it into a little dog for the bored kid in front of me. I sometimes wonder if he still has that rubber dog.

I’m planning on taking a camera for a photographic recap for you readers.

--Before I forget to mention it… Deidre from the Two Guys Named Chris show is my number one MySpace friend of the week. Drop by and say “howdy” to her!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

'Tons Of Replacements' A compilation by Brad Kesler

Yes, I know it has been a while since I last updated this thing. I appreciate some of the angry emails and the ones asking if I were dead. It makes me feel pretty special. The threats are sometimes so sweet, it brings a tear to my eye.

--I got a big surprise last week when an old girlfriend left a picture comment on my MySpace page. It was a picture that I didn’t know even existed.

Check it out! I’m the guy on the right pictured with Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead.



Here’s the story behind the picture…

It was 1987 and my girlfriend and I had lucked upon some tickets for the Alice Cooper show down in Charlotte at the Oven Auditorium. I remember it as the ‘Raise Your Fist And Yell Tour’ and I was so looking forward to seeing the opening act… Motorhead.

I had never seen Motorhead and the chances of ever seeing them here again on the bible belt’s buckle are slimmer than me marrying Drew Barrymore. Atlanta and D.C. are always the closest towns Motorhead hits when they’re on tour in America.

Before we got on the road, Melanie felt like the night was going to be special… She wanted to get a bottle of Wild Turkey to nurse on as we travel I-85. So we pick up that along with Eddie Thacker (Peaches #36 coworker). Eddie had to sit in the back of my brand new 1987 Ford Escort EXP where there are no seats. The EXP was a 2-seater.

That didn’t stop him from doing a few shots with Melanie while sucking down his Wild Turkey and Coke. Melanie, as I recall, was drinking straight from the bottle… My kind of girl.

Eddie started getting quiet in the back of my car (her name was Ruby) just as we were hitting the city limits of Charlotte. I didn’t like that, so I started asking Eddie if he was all right. After the fourth of fifth affirmative… I got a negative response from Eddie. I pulled that bitch over into the breakdown lane as fast as I could… Melanie opened the door and before I got to a safe stop, Eddie stuck his head out to upload the contents of his stomach down the side of I-85.

He puked and puked… Then after a little rest, we started down the road again. We didn’t get 2 miles before Eddie needed to release some contents from his stomach’s reserve tank. We took a little longer and that pushed us behind a bit. I was willing to do what it took to keep my new Ruby all pristine and free of vomit smell.

When we finally got there, we rushed to the Will Call to get our tickets. Lo and behold, there were also backstage passes for an after show meet and greet.

I could hear Motorhead playing very loudly as we made our way into the auditorium. And just as we got into the darkened room, Lemmy shouted his farewell to the crowd. I didn’t even get to see them on stage.

Alice Cooper was a great show… As always… But I felt defeated because I didn’t get to see Motorhead. I wasn’t angry at Melanie or Eddie… It was just one of those concert things, you know?

We slapped our passes on and met the MCA Records rep for the meet and greet. I was thinking that I would get to meet Alice Cooper (one of my faves)! So imagine my surprise when I walked into Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead!

We talked for a good fifteen minutes or so… And it wasn’t that “fan boy” kind of talk… It was like I was interviewing him. Asking him questions about various albums, his influences, bass guitars, and things in general. He talked to me and asked me questions. He had one of his roadies fetch me a beer!

And then Melanie walked up… Still a little drunk, she asked Lemmy a question… “Have you ever seen The Young Ones?”

I hung my head and he said, “Darlin’… We were ON The Young Ones.” Then he walked away and was gone… And that’s when I’m guessing the picture was taken. Just before he was walking away.

Alice Cooper never made an appearance but his band, backup singers, and dancers did. I spent some time talking to them while drinking my roadie fetched Newcastle. And a few feet away, Melanie was sitting on a folding table and was being hit on by Kane Roberts… Cooper’s hotshot guitarist.



I was a little uneasy as I watched it all play out… Roberts walked up to her and started making little circles on her thighs with his fingers. She said, “Hi.”

They chit-chatted a little as he kept making those little circles just above her knees. And I heard him say, “You know… I’ve got a new solo album out.”

“Yeah, I know,” she said. “I’ve got it.”

“Yeah?” he asked with a I’m gonna get lucky tonight glint in his eye. “What do you think of my album?”

Without malice or any intentions to hurt his feelings… She said, “I haven’t even opened it yet.”

Kane Roberts took his hands off my girlfriend and moved on to another woman in the room.

For 20 years, I didn’t recall that picture ever being taken. It was an awesome surprise!

Here's the song list for the Replacements compilation...