Silent Sunday or: Meanwhile… Back at the Podcast

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Salutations™!!

No Underdog Records trip yesterday so we didn’t get anything to report. Being as such, and seeing as I am sitting in the studio on a Sunday to do some work, I figured it was time to post another “Meanwhile…Back at the Podcast” pic from B Miller! (hint: don’t try to figure out what was going on in her head…) If you listen to The Less Desirables podcast from this week, some of this may make sense, but, much may not… Are they boobs or not?

Have a great Sunday.

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Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I always doodled as a kid while I was talking on the phone or watching TV.” – Bruce Eric Kaplan

Sounds Like Saturday or: Talk Dirty, Sharona

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Salutations™!!

So, today is the 40th anniversary of …But the Little Girls Understand from The Knack. Before I looked this up, The BCPF picked it to play today. So, we had listened to it all the way through before I researched what to write today. I asked her, what was the name of that Knack album? and she confirmed it was this one. How weird is that? Coinkydink? Yeah… Anywhat, a lot of people panned this for being too much like “My Sharona” and it certainly is a lot like “My Sharona,” and the whole album sounds like a carbon copy of Get the Knack, and it does sound a lot like Get the Knack. But, that doesn’t take away the fact that it was fun to listen to. Enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Oh, she got the savage soul. Oh, it’s only rock and roll.” – “Baby Talks Dirty” (Fieger/Averre)

Friday Music Day or: Even It Up

Salutations™!!

Happy Valentine’s Day to those who celebrate it. The BCPF and I do not, because every day is Valentine’s Day. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true. Today is the 40th anniversary of Heart’s Bebe Le Strange album. I had never paid attention to Gretchen Wilson before but wow! She has a great rock voice. Too bad I don’t listen to her style of country. Anywhat! Enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“‘I’m the one who can please you.’ Ain’t that what you said? You seemed so alone, I guess I was easily led. I showed you my love but I guess that it went to your head. When you were hungry, I brought you your breakfast in bed.” – “Even It Up” (Wilson/Wilson/Ennis)

Honor the Sabbath and Keep It Holy or: Half a Century

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Salutations™!!

Today is the 50th! Yes, the 50th anniversary of Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut. Hailed by many to be the first “heavy metal” album, and the title track (which means that it’s a song called “Black Sabbath” on an album titled Black Sabbath by a band named Black Sabbath) is considered, again by many, to be the first doom metal song. I have no clue what “doom metal” actually is, but hey, some think it’s what it is. Another intriguing aspect is the song “N.I.B” which over the years people have tried to call “Nativity in Black” but really, Bill Ward had a goatee that was shaped like a pen nib and when it came time to name the piece, Geezer Butler couldn’t come up with a title. So, he called it “Nib” but added the periods to add “intrigue.” It worked. This is one of the few covers I could find and it was released today in honor of the 50th. Woot. She hits some notes, for sure. Enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Big black shape with eyes of fire telling people their desire. Satan’s sitting there, he’s smiling. Watches those flames get higher and higher. Oh, no, no, please, God, help me!” – “Black Sabbath” (Iommi/Butler/Ward/Osbourne)

A Week of Albums or: Remember…

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Salutations™!!

Today is the 40th anniversary of Bryan Adams’ first album, which was titled, Bryan Adams. Forty years. I saw BAdams a few years back with Eugene when we went to Raleigh to watch him and Def Leppard. He sounded really good. I don’t know when this video was shot but he’s playing bass and there’s only three of them. This is probably my second favorite Bryan Adams song. “Run to You” is my first. But, this is a great tune. It sounds so… well, “Canadian.” Enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“It’s hard to believe that I held her up and then she let me down. It’s all the same to me but she broke my heart and left me spinnin’ ’round and ’round and ’round – Ohh… Remember the time we spent together.” – “Remember” (Vallance/Adams)

A New League or: Yes to the X

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Salutations™!!

So the NFL season is over and that means no football, right? Wrong!! There’s a new game in town and it’s still football! In 2001, Vince McMahon started a new football league that was basically WWE (actually, WWF at the time) on a football field. It was real football but they cared more about the entertainment than the sport.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

This past Saturday and Sunday, McMahon brought the XFL back and this time, it is all about football.

There are only eight teams, all owned by Alpha Entertainment, McMahon’s new company, all the players are paid competitive wages and each team is run by a President and GM. All the teams are playing in cities with an NFL team or have had one in the recent past.

The previous XFL did bring some cool inventions. They brought the skycam, which is a camera system on cables that makes the camera hover over the field and brings a whole new perspective. The NFL followed suit not long after. The XFL had the camera people on the field upwind from the play so they wouldn’t be in the way. They have that again. The NFL had it on the field for touchdowns and in-between play. I do wish they allowed the wide receivers to move toward the line of scrimmage before the ball is snapped like they do in Arena (i.e. The Carolina Cobras) and did in the XFL the first time.

Mostly, however, the game is played like the NFL with just a few tweaks. Here is a rundown of some of those rules, per NBC LA:

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

The XFL aims to play each game in under three hours, but with the same amount of plays. It will have a 25-second play clock that begins after the ball is spotted for the next play. The NFL has a 40-second play clock.

Outside of the last two minutes of each half, when a play ends out of bounds or on an incomplete pass, the game clock will be stopped until the ball is spotted. In the NFL, the clock stops after every out of bounds play until the referee re-spots the ball and on incomplete passes until the next play begins.

XFL teams will have two timeouts per half, one fewer than in the NFL. Halftime is 10 minutes, two minutes less than the NFL.

Another attempt to shorten the game is not allowing coaches to challenge an official’s ruling. All plays are subject to review by the replay official.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

The final two minutes of each half has been dubbed the “comeback period.” On plays ending in the field of play, the clock will be stopped until the ball has been spotted and five seconds have been run off the clock. On out-of-bounds plays, the clock will stop until the ball is snapped.

Stopping the game clock after every play in the final two minutes of a half will give the trailing team the opportunity to maximize its remaining time and still be able to use its complete playbook, including runs or plays in the middle of the field.

If a team completes a pass behind the line of scrimmage, it can throw a second forward pass as long as the ball has not crossed the line of scrimmage.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

Coaches have the option of attempting a one-point conversion from the 2-yard line, a two-point conversion from the 5-yard line or a 3-point conversion from the 10-yard line after a touchdown. Kicks on conversion attempts are not allowed.

If the defense causes a turnover on a conversion attempt and is able to return the ball to the opponent’s end zone, the resulting score is equal to the number of points the offense was attempting to score.

Several changes are being made to kickoffs, both attempting to reduce high-speed collisions and the resulting injuries but also encouraging more kickoff returns.

The kickoff will be from the 30-yard line, five yards behind the NFL spot. Kickers must kick the ball in the air and in play between the opponent’s 20-yard line and the end zone.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

The coverage team will line up on the return side 35-yard line and the return team on the 30-yard line. Each team must have exactly three players outside the hash marks on both sides of the ball and cannot move until the ball is caught by the returner.

Players can move when the ball is touched by the returner or three seconds after the ball touches the ground. Out-of-bounds kicks and kicks falling short of the 20-yard line will result in an illegal procedure penalty with the receiving team getting the ball on the kicking team’s 45-yard line.

If the ball is kicked into the end zone and is downed, it is a “major” touchback, and the ball is placed on the return side 35-yard line.

Teams wishing to attempt an onside kick must indicate this to an official before the play. The teams will be permitted to line up using traditional NFL rules, 10 yards apart from the spot of the kick.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

The XFL has a set of rule changes designed both to increase the percentage of punts that are returned and discourage punting inside the opponent’s territory.

The punting team cannot release past the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. In the NFL, the end man on the line of scrimmage can cross the line of scrimmage once the ball is punted. Tests of the rule found an average distance of 11 yards between the punt returner and the nearest defender, five yards more than what happens under NFL rules.

Punts going out of bounds inside the 35-yard line are considered a “major” touchback with the ball going to the 35-yard line, as are punts landing in the end zone or going out of the end zone.

If the score is tied at the end of regulation, overtime will be similar to penalty-kick shootouts in soccer or penalty-shot shootouts in the NHL.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

Overtime shall consist of five rounds, staged in alternating single-play possessions. A round will consist of one offensive play per team. Each possession starts at the opponent’s 5-yard line and the offensive team has one play to score. The team with more points after five rounds is the winner.

If teams are tied after five rounds, then rounds continue until one team is leading at the conclusion of a round. The overtime will end once a team has been mathematically eliminated.

Each scoring play in overtime will be worth two points. The defense cannot score in overtime.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

One of the XFL’s goals is to “try to provide as much access to the fan as we possibly can during the broadcast” including showing coaches as they speak to their teams, having officials wear microphones and allowing players to be interviewed during the game.

When I watched the games this weekend, all four teams that I was pulling for lost. The Seattle Dragons lost to the DC Defenders, LA Wildcats lost to the Houston Roughnecks, Tampa Bay Vipers lost to the New York Guardians, the Dallas Renegades lost to the St. Louis BattleHawks. That means I’m 0-4 in picks. There is also a “Team 9” that consists of 40 players that didn’t make a team that gets full practice with coaches – offensive and defensive, no special teams – that acts as a reserve for teams with injuries. Team 9 can be replenished, as far as I can tell.

This has been a better game than the AAF that tried to start up last year at this time and the attendance (average of 17,454 fans) and ratings were decent (3.12 Million). Yes, that’s a far cry from what the NFL does but it was a good start. I bet if television was around when the NFL started, the ratings and crowds would look worse than the XFL.  The fact that we had a good Super Bowl probably helped. After last year’s SB, we were ready to just let football rest for the offseason.

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©XFL/Alpha Entertainment

I’m glad it’s here and I plan on watching all of the games, at least as I can. As of right now, I’m pulling for the Seattle Dragons, Tampa Bay Vipers and Dallas Renegades. I can’t believe I’m pulling for a Dallas team, but I love their uniforms and we know how I feel about unis. The games are played on Fox, ABC and ESPN. Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm and 5pm. Special thanks again to KNBC in Los Angeles for the rules clarification.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“We’re really focusing on audio because we think [it’s] audio that fans can’t get enough of.” – Oliver Luck, CEO and Commissioner of XFL

Big Album Day or: February 10

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Salutations™!!

I don’t like to do video posts on Monday and I still don’t know that I will do one today, but February 10 has a lot of history for releases.

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©A&M

In 1971, Carole King released her seminal album, Tapestry. It contains 12 songs and there isn’t a clunker one. “I Feel the Earth Move,” “So Far Away,” “It’s Too Late,” “Home Again,”
“Beautiful,” “You’ve Got a Friend” (I really don’t like James Taylor’s version but love this one), “Where You Lead” (I’m a huge Gilmore Girls fan and that was the theme song sung by Carole and her daughter Louise Goffin), “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” “Smackwater Jack,” “Tapestry” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” The album is amazing. It’s #36 on the RS list and I wonder if that’s too far up the list. Should it be in the 20s? I don’t know, but man, it’s a great album.

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©Warner Bros.

Now, in 1978, there were three big albums released. Well, I know one of them was big, the other two were pretty big for fans of those bands, too. Let’s start with the “other two.”

Waiting for Columbus is Little Feat’s first live album. 17 tracks on 2xLP. I’m not a Little Feat fan, really. But for some, it’s the tops.

Stained Class is the fourth album from Judas Priest. It’s the first album with temporary drummer Les Binks. Binks gets a songwriting credit with “Beyond the Realms of Death.” Bassist Ian Hill gets his first writing credit with “Invader.” I always thought anyone could be the bassist for Priest because he doesn’t “do anything.” Now, he isn’t flashy, but Hill is a good solid bassist. I think the best song on the album is the opening track, “Exciter.” I have grown to really dig Judas Priest.

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©Columbia

Now, the big one is where we were introduced to the magic that was Van Halen. On this day in 1978, Van Halen was released. The wizardry of Eddie Van Halen was something that few had heard before. His fretboard work, combined with his tremolo picking was earthshattering. Yeah, it’s not as out-there as it used to be but in 1978, it certainly was. Combine Eddie’s guitar work with Alex’s thunderous drumming, Michael Anthony’s near virtuoso-like bass playing, he was matching Eddie in a lot of those tunes, and his ultra-high harmonies and the frontman that is second, in my opinion to Paul Stanley in stage presence (at least then), Diamond David Lee Roth and you have a band like no other. Dave’s ability to split his vocals in those early days was amazing.

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©Warner Bros.

From the siren into with the growling bass in “Running With the Devil” to the groove rock of “Jamie’s Cryin'” and “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” to the classic rock and roll feel of “Feel Your Love Tonight” to the speed boogie of “I’m the One.” All of that on their own would be a darn-great rock album. But, then you add the laid back feel of “Little Dreamer,” the in-your-face version of the Kink’s “You Really Got Me,” the classic “Ice Cream Man” and the song that changed the lives of as many up-and-coming/wannabe guitarists as “Purple Haze,” “Stairway to Heaven” and “Iron Man,” “Eruption” and that makes this one of the greatest rock albums I have ever heard. I say that and I’m not even a big VH fan. It’s #410 on the RS list and I think that’s a bit too high. I think it should at least be in the top 200. But, that’s just me, I guess.

So, I’ll spare you a video to watch, but I just wanted to bring attention to this day in record releases, of which I have three of the four on vinyl! Thanks for indulging me.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“It used to be so easy living here with you. You were light and breezy and I knew just what to do. Now you look so unhappy and I feel like a fool.” – “It’s Too Late” (Stern/King)

Spinning Sunday or: The Haul 2/8/20

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Salutations™!!

Yesterday, The BCPF was to get her hair cut and that got us to Underdog Records earlier in the day. Like, 11am early. Her cut was next door at Hair Bomb with Cynthia Platt-Miller so we did that before eating. The BCPF has lived here her entire life and had never eaten at Grecian Corner so I took her there. We had good food, yeah, good, good food. Anywhat, here’s the haul:

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©Columbia

  • Cat Power – The Greatest — In what I’ve come to know as “sadcore” (“bleak lyrics, downbeat melodies and slower tempos, or alternatively, songs with deceivingly upbeat melodies that are simultaneously characterized by depressive lyrical undertones or imagery,” according to Wikipedia), it was musically something that I figured I’d hear in a coffee shop somewhere. I liked it. Her voice is really smooth. She spent some time in her youth attending school in Greensboro. The BCPF wanted it and yep, she got it. I had never heard anything that I knew of from Cat Power. The BCPF said that she had played me something before but it wasn’t announced who it was. New.
  • Mister Rogers – It’s Such A Good Feeling: The Best Of Mister Rogers — What the world needs now is more Fred. Fred Rogers made everything seem okay when we were kids, at least he did to me. The BCPF agreed. Life lessons, how to deal with situations, education and more. Ol’ Fred was a great guy. This is a Barnes & Noble exclusive and is on transparent red vinyl. NM (but there is a scratch on the best song on the album… boo).
  • Lou Reed – Rock N Roll Animal — Yesterday’s haul can be explained best this way: a lot of Byrds, a lot of Lou. Not a lot of either, really but multiples of both. Let’s just go with that. This is a live album of Lou doing four Velvet Underground songs and one non-VU song. I have stated many times that I am not a fan of Velvet Underground but I like (mostly) Lou solo. These versions of the VU songs were really good. Another cool aspect of this album is basically it’s the Alice Cooper band (the Welcome to My Nightmare years) with Lou instead of Alice. Dick Wagner (who played the guitar solos on “Sweet Pain” and “Flamin’ Youth” as well as the acoustic guitar on “Beth” on KISS’ Destroyer) and Steve Hunter were both guitarists on this album, “Whitey” Glan played drums and Prakash John played bass. All four of those guys were the band on Nightmare. Anywhat! It was a decent listen. NM/EX.
  • Lou Reed – Rock And Roll Heart — This was Lou’s first album on Arista records. I haven’t listened to it, yet. There were three singles released for the album, “I Believe in Love,” “Chooser and the Chosen One” and the title track. VG+.
  • The Byrds – (Untitled) — It’s untitled but really, that’s the name of the album. It’s a 2xLP that is a live show on sides 1 & 2 and studio stuffs on sides 3 & 4. It’s the first “official” live album by the band (recorded in early 1970) and the first to feature Skip Battin on bass, having replaced John York. VG+.
  • The Byrds – The Notorious Byrd Brothers — This album was #171 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time List. That’s a good place for it. Some on that list I couldn’t figure why they were where they were and some I couldn’t figure out why they were there at all, but this one fits perfectly where it is. It’s a good listen. This is the one where David Crosby gets kicked out of the band. Who knows the real reason but it stemmed from his rants and political musings as well as his not wanting certain songs on the album because it was from outside writers (King/Goffin), and so on. But, the album is legit good and, again, deserves the spot it holds on the RS list. VG+.
  • The Byrds – Ballad Of Easy Rider — The title song was written by Roger McGuinn and Bob Dylan, although Dylan wasn’t credited on the album. It was, of course, featured in the film Easy Rider and this album was released to capitalize on the success of that film. Critics panned it at first but it has grown to be a strong spot holder in their discography. VG+.
  • John Entwistle – Smash Your Head Against The Wall — This was the first solo album of any of the members of The Who. The cover is quite weird. It’s his face superimposed in an x-ray of a skeleton chest. I don’t know what it sounds like as I haven’t listened to it, yet, but Jonathan said that he liked it a lot. That’s good enough for me. VG-.
  • Various – Nothing In Common – Original Soundtrack — Sealed but a cutout. Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. Songs from Thompson Twins, Richard Marx, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Nick Hayward (from Haircut 100) and The Kinks among others. That’s all I got for it. NM.
  • Rick Wakeman – The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table — I haven’t heard this yet but I love Wakeman’s concept album stuff. I like mystic, medieval themes, too, so I will probably enjoy this. I look forward to hearing it. VG+.

We got to Underdog Records around 11am and the place was jumpin’. I like seeing a long of people in there. Jonathan had Drive-By Truckers pumping, the incense and candles burning and it was a good time in the old record store, for sure. I noticed Jonathan had a lot of used stereo equipment like equalizers, cassette decks, receivers and even a CD changer. Those were all the “black-faced” late 80s/90s stuff that for whatever reason people tend to shy away from these days. They want silver plated stuff that makes them seem a bit more “legit,” I guess but good sound is good sound. I know the black-faced stuff is more digital and solid-state and the older stuff seems more “vintage” and is possibly tube-powered. I don’t know. My stuff is all black-faced except for my turntable which is plastic but silver. Anywhat, the prices were really good and much of the stuff had been fully-serviced. So, the point is, if you want to update or create a new-to-you stereo system, Underdog Records is the place to be to get that. Listen to each new episode of The Less Desirables to hear what the TLD/UR special of the week is. I use Discogs to track my collection and Jonathan now puts QR codes on his labels to help make sure you get the right version/variant/copy in your Discogs account. Good stuff!

Until tomorrow, keep spinning…
Scorp out!


“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you. So let’s make the most of this beautiful day. Since we’re together, we might as well say: Would you be mine? Could you be mine? Won’t you be my neighbor?” – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (Rogers)

Proud Papa Moment or: Feel the Burn

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Salutations™!!

I don’t hold back when I have a “Proud Papa Moment” and this is one of those. So, if you’re not into the doting dad thing, then you may want to skip on this one.

Yesterday morning, at 5am, I took my son, 3B to the Career Center to grab a bus to head to Charlotte to Johnson & Wales University to compete in the state culinary arts competition. When I got to my mother’s house (where he was staying) to pick him up, he had already gotten himself up and was ready to go. That doesn’t happen often. Usually, it’s a fight to get him going. But, not this morning.

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3B wearing his silver medal

He got on the bus and took the trip, competed and came home. He sent me a text at 230pm, on the trip back, and said “silver.” Silver is great! 2nd place, right!? Well, not exactly, but still… He said he would have done better had he not burned his hand. He was basically handicapped the whole second part of the competition. I say not exactly because there were eight teams. Three won silver and five won bronze. So, there was no gold but the team still kicked butt!

He had a kitchen towel over his hand to grab a pan of sweet potatoes but he adjusted his hand and the towel fell off right as he was grabbing the pan. So, yeah, he burned it.

I talked to his teacher, Chef Estep, and as he got off the bus, he pointed at 3B and nodded his head with a big grin. I asked if he did well and he said, oh yeah. Holding up his fingers showing about a half-inch gap said “this close to gold.”

Earlier, I had told Chef Travis Myers how he did and that if he stays on his path he should be really good at what he’s doing. Chef Travis said, “well, we’re building a lab to grow him,” speaking about the newly announced restaurant that he and Ryan Oberle are creating. I told Chef Estep about that and Chef Estep said, “he’s ahead for his age.” I’ve witnessed 3B in the kitchen and he really does know what he’s talking about.

When we got back home, I checked the mailbox and he had gotten a package from the National Society of High School Scholars and he gets to wear a golden cord and has a large diploma-like certificate stating that he has membership in it. He also has a golden medallion to wear, as well.

So, it was a good day for him and a good “daddy day” for me. I love this boy so much and am so proud of him. If he keeps straight, there really is no limit to his opportunities, especially with the contacts in this industry that I have here locally and the network the contacts have. He will go places if that’s what he wants to do. He has dreams and aspirations and I plan to help him get to those however I can but he has to put in the work.

Again, so proud of my boy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“The university offers a wide variety of degrees, including Accounting, Fashion Merchandising & Retail Management, Equine Studies/Equine Business Management & Riding, Management, Marketing, Criminal Justice, Entrepreneurship, Hotel & Lodging Management, and Sports/Entertainment/Event Management. The Providence Downcity campus offers two- and four-year degree programs in areas of technology such as network engineering, electronics & robotics engineering, computer programming, biology, health science, and graphic design.” – Johnson & Wales University

Sounds Like Friday or: Thick Boy

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Salutations™!!

I am doing the “Sounds Like” on Friday because I’m in a hurry and need to really concentrate on the subject I need to talk about. And yes, I promise I’ll bring back the Friend Friday thing. I just want to make sure that I give the companies that I highlight the right dedication and consideration to do them justice. Otherwise, why do it?

Anywhat! I never get enough of Neil Peart and now we have a finite amount to work with since his passing. This “thick boy” as he calls himself (and he’s just honest) plays some mean drums and while he does sound like he skips a hit here and there, it is much better than many drummers that I’ve heard and I know it is better than I could do. So, enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“What you say about his company is what you say about society. Catch the mist. Catch the myth. Catch the mystery. Catch the drift.” – “Tom Sawyer” (Lee/Peart/Lifeson/Dubois)