A Birthday of Sorts or: Hamster Car Indeed

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Salutations™!!

Well, my “other” kid has a “birthday” today. I got Nigel 2 years ago today. Nigel, if you don’t know, is my Alien II Green Kia Soul. And, I really dig this car.

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate driving. I don’t like driving from the side door of my house to my mail box which isn’t really that far away. But, I don’t mind driving places with Nigel. I go even further and say, and maintain, that that little Soul is the most fun I’ve ever had driving a car. I truly love it. I don’t know what we’ll do next year when the lease is up. Get a new one or pay this one off… hmmm.

So, I now that Nigel doesn’t sound very Korean, which is where Kia is based. But, for those who don’t know there’s a reason that I named it that. I bought him on March 27, 2015. On March 26, 2015, I performed with the Vagabond Saints Society when they did their XTC show. One of the tunes I did was called “Making Plans for Nigel.” The BCPF had just had a conversation the week before that there weren’t enough American kids (or grownups) that were named Nigel or Alistair. We like both of those names, and since we’re not planning on having any kids and I had just done that song, then I picked Nigel for his name. So, no, it doesn’t sound Korean, but like Angelina Jolie and her 18 kids, I adopted Nigel from another country, and his name is now Nigel. And there you have it.

He’s in dire need of a bath, but I have done my best to keep him mostly clean and not clutter him up with a bunch of mess. His sound system is pretty fantastic and he is awesome with the navigation when we are house hunting. I’ve never had a car of my own that had a sunroof and really never wanted one. But, Nigel is pretty awesome with his open. A little noisy, yes, but the windbreaker makes it less loud. And, here we are two years in and he only has about 14,400 miles. I don’t think we have to worry about any overages when the end of the lease comes. I drive him from my house to downtown and back home again. That’s about it.

DSC_0124Again, he’s a great car. Thanks Nigel for being with me. I do really, really dig you. Here’s to much more time together. At least another year.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Totally transformed.” – Kia

Silent Sunday or: Family Day Off

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Salutations™!!

So, we did all our normal things, went to an event, ate at Willows Bistro, went to open houses, cooked a family meal and introduced 3B to an 80s classic film. Today it was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. He seemed to enjoy it. Yay us!

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©Paramount Pictures

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind or: The Less Desirables Movie of the Week

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Salutations™!!

a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), starring Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and George Clooney.

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©Miramax/Walt Disney Pictures

Per IMDb: “An adaptation of the cult memoir of game show impresario Chuck Barris, in which he purports to have been a CIA hitman.”

Chuck Barris (Rockwell) grew up in a weirdly broken home. He became very interested in television, even getting a job as a tour guide at NBC in New York. He wrote “Palisades Park” which went on to become a top 10 hit. He started to think up wacky game shows that were unlike anything else on television at the time. But, there was a dark side. That is, if Barris is to be believed in his book and/or in this film.

He was approached by Jim Byrd (Clooney), an FBI secret agent. Byrd wants to recruit Barris to be an assassin for the government. The money that Barris supposedly makes doing this line of work enables him to develop more of his loony programs. Shows like The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The $1.98 Beauty Show and, of course, The Gong Show among others. He got his assignments by giving The Dating Game winning contestants trips to other countries where he is their “chaperone” during the day. At night, he kills a few people for the government and meets an operative named Patricia (Julia Roberts). They get close, which causes friction with Barris’ on-again/off-again girlfriend, Penny (Barrymore). What else happened? Does he ever get caught? Does he get the girl, either girl, neither girl? You’ll have to watch to find out.

I was very young when The Gong Show was on television, but I do remember it. I remember Gene Gene the Dancing Machine, the Unknown Comic, Arte Johnson, Jamie Farr and Jaye P. Morgan all being on there. I didn’t understand what was going on, but I remember it. I do remember The Newlywed Game vividly. I loved that show. I also knew about The Dating Game pretty well, too.

I do remember Chuck Barris from The Gong Show, too. I believe that Sam Rockwell did a fantastic job playing Barris. He had his mannerisms down and sounded a lot like him, as well. George Clooney, who not only starred in the film but directed it, was properly creepy and brilliantly stoic in his role as Agent Byrd. I’m not a huge fan of Julia Roberts but she did a great job of playing Agent Patricia Watson. Drew Barrymore is gorgeous and is always fantastic in whatever role she plays. I do find it funny that it seems she is almost always driving a Volkswagen vehicle in a lot of her films. Go watch a few of them to see what I’m talking about.

Do I believe half of this stuff? I don’t know. I don’t think so. It’s plausible and quite possible but mostly improbable. Does the improbability take anything away from the film? Nope. It’s a good film, actually. Interesting, intriguing and entertaining. It’s worth a watch. There were several cameos in the film of note: Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Michael Cera, to name a few.

It was on Netflix a while back but it’s currently only available on Amazon as a two-day rental. I own it on DVD and watched it that way.

I had chosen to do this film about two months ago, putting it on my schedule for this day. Oddly enough, Chuck Barris passed away on Tuesday, but I didn’t find out about it until I had put it in to watch on Wednesday. That’s just weird, to me.

Rotten Tomatoes has it rated at 79% Fresh with an Audience Score of 75%. IMDb has it rated at 7.1 stars out of 10. Like I said, a pretty good film.  I rate it 3.75 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to read/hear me review? Send me some recommendations!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“We’re goin’ about this all wrong! We’re killing ourselves trying to find good acts. We just book bad ones and kill them! We kill ’em before they’re through, as soon as it gets unbearable, we kill them. Dead.” – Chuck Barris

Friday Night Music Club or: MC Scorp

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Salutations™!!

So, the March installment of the Friday Night Music Club is tonight and will be at Bull’s Tavern. This month the non-profit/charity is The Bethesda Center for the Homeless.

Musically, tonight FNMC will be focusing on groove-rock of the 90’s/2000’s.15873515_1428930590450353_2994663030644474219_n

The show will feature the reunion of the original Mediocre Bad Guys lineup as they do what they originally set out to do, Jack Johnson tunes.

Zack Fox, Stephen Henson, Mitch Hull and Greg Goad (or some combination therein) will be doing the music of John Mayer.

Josh Moyer, aka Dichotomy, will be leading a band playing Dave Matthews Band songs.

My good pal, Patrick Ferguson will be leading a band of whippersnappers doing renditions of Blind Melon tunes.

If pot was legal in this state, then this show would be for those individuals (and groups) that partake. I know nothing about it, myself, but it is what it is. This music is of plenty who hide not the fact that they’re supporters of the culture. That’s perfectly okay!

I will be hosting the festivities. It will be from around 10pm until 1:30a-ish. There is no cover charge or admission. Just, please, give to the cause. Every bit of the donations go to Bethesda Center. Help them out and support the efforts. Bull’s Tavern is located at 408 W 4th Street in WSNC.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Bethesda Center operates the only day shelter in the community and the only emergency night shelter that serves both men and women.” – Bethesda Center

 

Rock the Nation or: Montrose (Eugeology Entry 11)

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Salutations™!!

I enjoyed last week’s entry, even thinking that I wouldn’t. Good surprise for me. Still waiting on Jon and Eugene‘s assessment of that one. So, let’s see how I like the selection this week.

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©Warner Bros.

#11 – Montrose by Montrose.

I like Sammy Hagar. I like the overplayed “I Can’t Drive 55” and “There’s Only One Way to Rock.” I like a few others of his solo stuff. My favorite stuff from him, though, is his days with Van Halen and that’s my favorite Van Halen. There, I said it. I like Van Hagar better than Van Halen. Do I think the songs are better? Well, I think they’re better written even if they’re not more mass appealing. I like that over the party cock-rock that DLR brought to the table. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Van Lee Roth, too, but enjoyed Sammy better. Anywhat! I got off the rail there.

This was Sammy’s “let’s rip off Robert Plant” phase. Sure, it sounds like Sammy but a lot of it sounds like he’s trying to be Plant. He was young and this was his vocal debut. I get it, he was finding his style. We all do that when we get into music. Heck, I still play like Gene Simmons. And, upon reading more about the album, it turns out that some refer to this album as “America’s answer to Led Zeppelin.” I can see that. It is, at least to me, mainly because of Sammy’s vocals.

Ronnie Montrose was a good guitarist. He had plenty of riffs on the album that were cool and his solos were on point. I feel at times his tone was a bit boxy, but it works for here. It’s not quite Tom Sholtz boxy, though. It was standard Les Paul tone for the time period. Les Paul through a Fender amp, worlds colliding there. I kid. I do like his pull offs and bends.

I did some digging on Denny Carmassi and like the fact that he played on the Heart album. I know it’s poppy cheese but I like it. He’s had a long and storied career that I never knew about (which isn’t surprising) and I enjoyed listening to his works, both post, and during, this production. Heavy beats, heavy playing. You can tell he’s pounding the snot out of the drums. I dig it.

I think my favorite part about the album is Bill Church. His bass lines are flavorful, tasteful and full. He literally fills the recording with his bottom end. Possibly taking up more than is needed. But, I’m a bassist and I don’t complain about those things. He went on to be Sammy’s bassist for most of his solo career. Great, solid bassist right there.

Even with all the components that I like (or mostly like), there’s something about this album that has left me just feeling “blah.” I’m sure I know what at least half of it is: that fast, rollicking “boogie blues rock.” I can’t stand that stuff. Precisely, I don’t like “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (not a Montrose song) and “One Thing on My Mind.” I really want to like “Bad Motor Scooter” and for the most part I do, but something about it, and I cannot put my finger on it, bugs me. I see from where Mötley Crüe got the intro to “Kickstart My Heart,” though. My favorite song on the album is “Rock Candy.” It also was the only song on the album that all four members got writing credit.

I listened to this album about seven times. That was easy to do since the whole thing isn’t but 32 minutes long. I listened over and over trying – nay, hoping – to get a better liking of it. I wanted to like it. I really, really did. And, I didn’t dislike it. That’s the thing. I wasn’t against it and I don’t not like it, I just didn’t like it. Other than this exercise, I probably won’t listen to it again. It’s a decent album that didn’t really grab me the way I wanted it to. That’s a shame.

I can’t wait to read Eugene’s memories of it and if Jon ever catches up, I’d like to read his thoughts on it. So, bring on the next one, Eug.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“But you’re rock candy baby. Hard, sweet and sticky, yes.” – “Rock Candy” (Carmassi, Church, Hagar, Montrose)

Sea Rose or: The Less Desirables Beer of the Week

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Salutations™!!unnamed (13)

City Beverage, the Official Beer Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents Sea Rose Tart Cherry Wheat from Ballast Point Brewing Company, The Less Desirables Beer of the Week.

The weather has been warmer lately and while I don’t let the seasons dictate what I drink, I will think of the way others drink when it comes to style. So, this is a tart cherry wheat, a lighter, refreshing style, at least in theory. I’ve been hit-or-miss with Ballast Point in the past. Their Sculpin and other IPAs are just not my thing. I’m hoping this is different and that I will get satisfaction out of it, because I like tart wheats and such.

BeerAdvocate has no ratings at all for it. Untappd has it at 3.34 caps out of 5. RateBeer has it at 43 Overall and 63 in Style. Those are great numbers and I hope it’s not indicative of what I’ll think about it. It’s only 4% ABV so it is certainly light. Have you had it? What did you think? If you’ve not had it or just have a hankering for more, head on down to City Beverage and get your sixer. Tell them that this is the TLD beer of the week and get 5% off your order. Tune in late tonight or tomorrow to hear what Caitlin, Danielle, RiverRun and I think about it.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Our Sea Rose tart cherry wheat ale is a fresh take on fruit beers. Originally conceived during an employee-led R&D brew, it’s one of our most imaginative recipes yet. The American wheat style is light and clean, while fresh cherry juice adds a soft coral color and fruity nose that gives way to a dry, slightly tart finish. It’s approachable, yet unexpected—exactly what we love to brew.” – Ballast Point

 

 

Dang It! or: Piggy Again

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Salutations™!!

You know how I said I don’t like piggybacking on Mondays? I certainly don’t like
piggybacking two days in a row. I don’t think I even did that back in February when I was working on the “big job.” Anywhat! I’m doing it here. The day got away from me but I was busy 13095840_10154193544504743_7386309517562254345_ndoing other work and I did basically write two blog posts today. So, what I’m gonna do is piggy both of them. Both, of course, are from The Man Who Ate the Town.

First, the latest podcast came out today. So, to hear what was said on that, I would appreciate a listen, go HERE.

Also, I not only did the podcast on, but the blog on Skippy’s Hot Dogs re-opening today. To read that post, go HERE.

I really, really, really can’t thank you enough for supporting that endeavor. For reading and listening. I am humbled by it, truly.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare

Piggybackin’ from the Kitchen or: Asian Delights!

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Salutations™!!

I don’t like piggybacking to start off the week, but it was a pretty big thing for me, so I decided to do it anyway. I mentioned on both this blog and The Man Who Ate the Town that I was going to start doing a new column on there about staying at home and cooking on certain nights of the week, as opposed to going out to restaurants as I usually do. I’m certainly still going to do that, but I’m also going to be doing some cooking from home. I’ll be doing that with guidance from my chef friends around town, if they’ll entertain my questions. Anywhat! The first installment of that column came out today and it was quite yummy. Give it a read (HERE) and hopefully, you will get in the mood to do some cooking, too. If not, then go see one of my many, many friends’ restaurants. Either way, enjoy!

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Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Yes!” – 3B, The BCPF, Scorp (when asked if we would make this again)

Silent Sunday or: The Aftermath

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Salutations™!!

I only did one song, but it was a ton of fun. It’s hard to not sing at the top of my voice along with all the songs but I had to save some at the Vagabond Saints Society does ELO show. There’s no pictures of me (I was next to last) that I’ve seen, yet, but I’ll keep on the lookout. Thanks to Doug Davis, Jerry Chapman, Randall Johnson, Corky McClellan, Ken Mohan, Karon Click (McKinney), Susan Terry, Alex Johnston, Patrick Ferguson, Brian Cole, John MacMillan, Jeffrey Dean Foster, Tony Dagnall and Amanda Sullivan, Stephen Henson, Tammie Davis, Joe Henzler, Lee Wallace, Darrell Hoots, and, especially Bob Campbell for giving up one of his songs for me to have. It was a great night. ELO is pretty righteous. I hate I wasn’t more into them before now.

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Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Don’t bring me down, groose!” – “Don’t Bring Me Down” (Lynne)

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels or: The Less Desirables Movie of the Week

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Salutations™!!

a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988), starring Michael Caine, Steve Martin and Glenne Headley.Dirty_rotten_scoundrels_film

Per IMDb: “Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of $50,000 first.”

Lawrence Jamieson (Caine) is a top shelf British con man living in the fictional French Riviera town of Beaumont-sur-Mer. He’s rich because he only swindles the upper class under the guise of a prince of some country that needs help to feed its citizens. He also has the chief inspector on his payroll to aid him. Freddie Benson (Martin) is a low-rent con artist that dupes anyone he can, claiming to need money to get his grandmother some life-saving surgery. He’s moderately successful.

They’re rivals and Lawrence takes Freddie in to teach him how to get higher paying dupes out of the rich. He does this without paying Freddie. Freddie quits but returns aiming to put Lawrence under. They make a bet to see who can get $50k out of an unsuspecting female tourist first; loser-leaves-town. They find their target: an American socialite named Janet Colgate (Headly) that is dubbed “Soap Queen” because she was on a tour representing an American soap company, sort of like Miss America but with soap.

Lawrence prepares to set up shop as the prince, once more but at a casino, as he’s about to make a move, Freddie shows up in a naval uniform and in a wheelchair. He plays and loses at roulette. She takes pity and he tells her he needs to see a specialist to help him get back on his feet, because his handicap is all mental after his ex-girlfriend ran off with Danny Terrio of Dance U.S.A. That specialists name is Dr. Emil Shaffhausen. Lawrence gets wind of this and becomes Dr. Shaffhausen. The two play game after game of “oneupmanship” for a while. Does it work? Do either get $50k from Janet? You’ll have to watch to find out.

The film was directed by Yoda. That’s not exactly true, but kind of. It was directed by Frank Oz (who played Yoda). There are some silly comedy parts in this film and the back and forth between Caine and Martin is fantastic. Martin is especially funny as the prince’s brother, mentally challenged and socially inept Ruprecht. That is absolutely some of the funniest pieces of film I’ve seen. I was belly laughing at times. The scenes of the French Riviera were breathtaking. Ian McDiarmid, who plays Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars prequels was Lawrences manservant, Arthur. He was funny. It was just weird watching him play that kind of role. He was much younger, then, too. All in all, this was a very funny film and the plot twist at the end, I never saw it coming.

Rotten Tomatoes has it rated as 88% Fresh with an Audience Score of 84%. IMDb has it at 7.3 stars out of 10. I had to “rent” it for 48 hours from Amazon as it wasn’t available anywhere else, streaming. I watched it with The BCPF and 3B and I rate it 4 out of 5 stars. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to read/hear me review?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Oh, Lawrence! This is the happiest day of my life! I think my testicles are dropping!” – Freddie Benson