Friday, October 30, 2009

Weather Channel's death-spiral: Friday Night at the Movies?!

Fark's sake.

Now I have to add to my rant from a few weeks ago; the creeping stupid that has absorbed the Weather Channel in the last few months (since NBC's takeover) has gotten even more stupid. Bad enough they wasted an entire Saturday evening with crap about Atlantis....

Now they're showing prime-time movies.

Tonight, it's "The Perfect Storm." Get it? It's a "weather" movie, so it belongs on the "weather" channel!


And it's not an isolated thing; it started tonight (October 30) and will continue at least 4 weeks:

"The Perfect Storm
8:00 pm to 10:30 pm, Friday - Friday
10:30 pm to 1:00 am, Friday - Friday

The Weather Channel Presents series brings you popular movies all with a unique weather tie-in! Every Friday night starting at 8p ET."

Gee, I hope the local weather stops at 8 p.m. and starts up again at 1 a.m.

Is NBC TRYING to kill off this channel?

What other movies would they show?

"Sleepless in Seattle" There was rain and fog.

"Twister" Hey, they like tornadoes--every time I surf past, it seems like another "Storm Stories" episode with a house leveled by a tornado is playing. This one will just be hours long and the people will be prettier.

Hell, why not go for Shakespeare's "The Tempest"?

I better not give them ideas.

Here's their list:
The Perfect Storm – Oct. 30 (18-year anniversary of the “perfect storm” on which movie was based)

March of the Penguins – Nov. 6

Misery – Nov. 13 (there's a snowstorm in it; Weak.)

Deep Blue Sea – Nov. 20

Maybe I should smile and shrug, since I don't watch the channel constantly. I pop in for the "Local on the Eights" thing when I know there's rain on the way, just so I can see the 3- and 5-hour Doppler loop and get an idea of how quickly the front's moving in. It's quicker than waiting on my dialup connection for a Web-based loop. What they offer in its place is the standard text-bar with local conditions--but no radar.

Can't interrupt the movie, after all.

Guess it's time for a fast Internet connection.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pic of the Day: Rush-Zep Trifecta Complete! (two-fer!)

So now I've discussed John Rutsey's being heavily influenced by John Bonham's drum riff from "The Immigrant Song" in no less than four songs on "Rush."

I've discussed Alex Lifeson's being influenced in two songs by two Jimmy Page riffs in Zep's "Heartbreaker."

Now, the Zeppelin Influence Trifecta ia complete!! This time, it's fashion rather than music:

Page & Plant:

Lee, Lifeson & Peart, in the mid-'70s--note Geddy's open-to-the-navel shirt:


I hate to say it--Rush being my favorite band and all--but the Zep guys look a lot cooler. The Rush guys look like they're in tryouts for the "Charlie's Angels" drag review.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Song of the Day: Professor Nutbutter's House of Treats (Primus)


I'd forgotten how insane Les Claypool's bassline is in this first track from 1995's "Tales From the Punchbowl."

Most of the fast-driving groove Claypool lays down sounds like slap-and-pop (thumping a string with the side of your thumb--the "slap"--then plucking the same or another string with one of your's all in the wrist). He's got the bass tuned to near-subsonic lows that will make your subwoofer happy and your housemates and neighbors frantic for quiet, but it's never muddy.

Add Larry LaLonde's ever-weird guitar playing and Tim Alexander's solid drumming, then top it off with Claypool's twangy nasal vocals. That's a sound only someone with strange musical tastes could love.

...and there are ALBUMS (well, CD's) full of that in their catalog.

Here's Primus doing the song back in 1995:

Not the best-quality audio or video, but if you watch Claypool's right hand, you can see the slap & pop technique (which I've always been fascinated by). He's playing a 6-string bass as if it's a plain, dinky little guitar, which impresses the hell out of me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Song/Riff of the Day: Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin)

After a few years of not hearing this song at all (thanks to the lame-ass playlist on my local "rock" station), I've been hearing "Heartbreaker" a few times a week--and mentally hearing a pair of Rush songs that were strongly influenced by it.

Amazingly enough, I'd never heard--or at least paid attention to--"Heartbreaker" [Led Zep II, track 5] before listening to Number Two's copy of the Zep 4-disc Box Set. As soon as this track came up, I thought I was hearing the Rush song, "What You're Doing"--the riffs are very similar, both based on your basic Blues pentatonic.

The opening (verse) riff:



[I'm using the "=" marks as place-holders; for some reason Blogger's computers look at blanks and think, "We need to save some screen space here. I'll just take those out." I don't like having to clutter it up...but oh well]

And here's the opening/signature riff of "What You're Doing"



[...and while I was listening to the song, figuring out the TAB for it, I remembered that I wrote about it before, as one that depends on the "Immigrant Song" drum riff]

Nah, they're not an exact match, but the Zep influence was especially strong on this song.

The next bit--and the next Rush tune--comes in just after the first guitar solo, when the entire band goes off on a little jam:



Jimmy Page leans on this progression for a few bars before going into the second solo.

Alex Lifeson plays it pretty close in "Beneath, Between and Behind," from the second Rush disc 'Fly By Night'. From the verses:



Faster tempo, but the feel is the same, even with the riff stretched over two bars.

This is how you do it, if you're going to rip off a riff! One riff, one song--not the same riff in four songs (see the "Immigrant Song" post).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pic of the Day: Grab a Mop!

Nobel Peace Prize Winner President Obama (heheheheh) told the Goposaurs to stop grumbling and get to work:

And in that spirit, here's something for them to wear while they whistle and work:

It's especially appropriate; so much of the cleanup involves several years' worth of elephant poo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Captain Stubing of the GOP is "the cow on the tracks"

Michael Steele, the whitest black guy I've ever seen [why else would the goposaurs even have him as a member?], does have a knack for saying the most unbelievably stupid things without a trace of irony.

Fortunately, there's an Internet with people who know how to take teh stooopit and make it serve a purpose:

Why "Captain Stubing"? Why, I'm glad you asked:

Why, because the GOP and "The Love Boat" have so much in common, lately--both had long successful runs and vanished into obscurity. Both featured well-known faces who are no longer what they were.

All Steele needs is a white button-down shirt, white shorts, a cruise ship, and a star to steer her by and he's set for life.

He'd better just stay off the damn tracks; otherwise, he and his merry crew will have more in common with Captain Edward "Stay the course!" Smith and Titanic than with the happy bumblers of an hour-long sitcom.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Creeping Stupid Absorbs Weather Channel

Okay, I've had it with them.

I tolerated their "Storm Stories" crap that ate up an hour and gave us an abbreviated "Local on the Eights" segment at the end of each half hour. I only pop in on The Weather Channel for the Local thing. If they would spend their time explaining how weather works--you know, doing SCIENCE instead of running another clip show of people whose houses got wiped out by [insert weather-induced phenomenon here], maybe I'd be more interested.

I ground my freaking teeth in irritation when they trumpeted that they were re-designing their sets so they could go HD. I've got a regular TV and no interest in upgrading just so I can see bad makeup jobs. Besides, I don't want to look at these people. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FREAKING WEATHER IS DOING. The name of the channel is kind of a hint. Is there a big thunderstorm brewing? Gee, I don't know! The Weather Channel's telling me about an old man whose log cabin was flattened by an earthquake in 1952, and it's not 29 minutes past the hour!

I wanted to hurt someone when they launched their mega-clip show, "When Weather Changed History." The name alone is freaking stupid. You can't "change" history. The weather CAUSED the problem that led to the Shuttle Challenger to explode. The weather--a hurricane--CAUSED the disaster in Galveston in 1900. The freaking show should be called, "When Weather MADE History." Besides, this stuff it just getting in the way of the local weather.

But the end of it--the capping achievement of suck--began when some moron decided to put Al Roker on for people to wake up to. Fortunately, I don't wake up at 5 a.m., so I miss out on Smilin' Al and the celebrity lovefest. What is this, 'E!'?!

I'm sorry. I was wrong--the true capping achievement of stupidity was this past Saturday night (October 10) when The Weather Channel presented a two-hour woo-fest 'documentary' (produced by NBC): The Quest for Atlantis...Startling New Secrets. The startling secret? Two wasted hours with limited local weather interruptions.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pic of the Day: Pumpkin Puking

Not because it's almost Halloween, but as a note to a friend. I called him this evening and found out he was in the hospital for 11 hours yesterday...and it turns out he's diabetic and dealing with a bit of pneumonia. Docs say he can beat the diabetes--eat reasonably, regular exercise, the usual stuff they tell you. But the pnemonia has been whipping his ass for days.

So this is a "get well soon" post.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Barack Obama

Yeah, I like saying that.

It's partly pride that we have a president who's not such a monumental fuck-up that he took a fourth of his 8 years in vacations, clearing carefully-grown brush for the cameras to see. Obama hasn't lied us into a new war or authorized torture (so far). He hasn't raped the Consitution or gutted environmental protections.

Yeah, those are pretty good things. He's not perfect, and maybe he hasn't earned the prize yet. But he's gained some prestige and "street cred" (what Fratboy referred to with his imbecilic sneer as "political capital") that he'll be able to use on the world stage. Or maybe he HAS earned it, as this Kos diary says. When it's put that way, I'd tend to agree.

There's this idea over at Goddamn Awesome: Demond Tutu got the Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts against Apartheid in South Africa, but it was another 10 years before it was abolished. The Nobel gave him prestige and "street cred" that put more punch behind his efforts.

But the main reason I like to say, "Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Barack Obama" is because it pisses the wingnuts off and MAKES GLENN BECK CRY.

Nice work, President Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Barack Obama!

The goposaur mouthpieces claim that Obama is making this country an international laughingstock; sorry, kids, but that was your Fratboy who did that. Remember, shortly after Fratboy was appointed president, John O'Farrell pointed out in his column--now in a collection of his columns--that the global village had finally found its idiot. They're going to pitch a fit over it.

Let's hope Obama doesn't screw up and decline the Prize. I'm tired of him and the other Dems giving in to goposaur temper tantrums. Screw 'em, Mr. President.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two and the Glock: Rosary Night

Yup, Number Two had a gun. A big-ass Glock (9mm, if I remember right). She kept the thing in her bedside table drawer.

Keep in mind that she is mostly blind.

Keep in mind that she is bipolar.

Keep in mind that her docs are piddling around with her meds. When I first met her, she was on lithium. They changed her to Depakote in late September of '96. These meds weren't working out--and she was pretty much stuck on the down side of the poles.

Keep in mind that on top of all this...she was on Norplant. Interesting little chemical factory, Number Two. She made nitroglycerin seem stable.

Now let's go back to that gun. It was "for protection"; they always are. Her strategy was to be "hear something scary, point gun, shoot."

I took the bullets out of it and hid them after what I call Rosary Night.

It was a few weeks after we got her moved into the trailer. We went to bed as usual; I went to sleep as usual. But at some point I became aware of my hands being moved and something being put therein. I woke up to find Two arranging her rosary in my hands like I was a reclining saint.

She told me to go back to sleep, don't worry, I'm just having trouble sleeping, going to have some tea. She wouldn't explain the rosary and wouldn't let me sit up.

It took me an hour to talk her down and get the story: she was planning to have a last cigarette, then she was going to walk into the woods out behind the trailer, find a spot, and cap herself with the Glock--because she "was happy for the first time in her life, and wanted to end it that way."

I sometimes wonder how much of her depression and such were from all the meds and the Norplant, and how much was from having a shitty life as a kid. She told me that her parents and various former boyfriends had beaten her; her mother threw her into a dresser and broke it. I never laid a hand on her--something I'm still proud of, given how evil she could be when the various chemicals teamed up and something set her off--but I'm pretty sure she was expecting me to unhinge and give her a thump.

Boy, did she get pissed when I hid the bullets, even knowing WHY I did it.