Et Tu Juju? or: Hammer to Fall

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Salutations™!!

Yesterday, about the time I posted the post, word came down that Gronk was suspended for one game. Kind of figured that would be it, okay. Brady is good enough to not have him and still win. He’ll be back just in time to be ticked off when they play the Steelers in Week 15.

But, the game last night pitting the Steelers against our hated rivals the Cincinnati Bengals (or Bungles as I call them) was a doozie. First, in a freak accident and not really any one’s fault, Ryan Shazier, the Steelers defensive leader jammed his neck making a tackle (from behind) and ended up with a spinal “contusion.” They carted him off the field and took him, by ambulance, to the hospital. He’s still there today and probably until tomorrow as they are doing more tests and evaluating him.

The Steelers and Bungles have a violent past, especially recently, and especially because of Vontaze Burfict. He’s a dirty player on the level of Ndamukong Suh. The Bungles also have Adam “Pacman” Jones who is at times a dirty player. He’s certainly an instigator. During the playoffs in 2015, Burfict took aim at Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown and put him out of the game. It was malicious and intended. Burfict was then suspended for the first three games of 2016. That just adds to the dangerous mystique of the rivalry.

Last night, when Le’Veon Bell was catching a pass and making a Steelers first down, Steelers rookie sensation Juju Smith-Shuster made a peelback block (where the player goes back toward his own end zone and makes a blindside block on a “defenseless” defensive player – I know there’s a better definition of that, but that’s what I got) on Burfict and it nearly knocked him out. Okay, so, I have to admit a part of me thought that was pretty bad-arsed. But, truly, I don’t want anyone hurt like that. The worst part of it wasn’t that he made the hit. The worst part was afterward when he stepped over Burfict, straddled him and looked at him like he’d just proven a point. That’s called taunting and is not good. Any other time I’d probably be okay with it, but this is after Shazier went down and the whole team was down and jittery. Good block but unnecessarily violent and absolutely ridiculous on the taunt. Now, I admire and am fond of the fire the kid has but you could really tell, by the look on his face, that he felt bad for it afterward. But, in the moment? Nah.

Later in the game, as Antonio Brown made his tie-setting TD catch, Bungles DB George Iloka squares up and delivers a helmet-to-helmet shot to Brown but Brown held on. The Steelers went on to win the game 23-20, staying atop the playoff picture leading into two important games. The Ratbirds (Ravens) come to town next week (when both Gronk and Juju are both suspended) and then the Patriots come in the following week. So, it’s important the guys in black and yellow keep their heads and buckle down! Hopefully, Ryan Shazier isn’t lost for the rest of the season. Really, as much as I don’t like a lot of teams and players, I don’t want them hurt like that, especially not from a Steeler’s moment of mental weakness. So, all of you stop making stupid mistakes and just play the game. Be safe, y’all! Thanks for indulging my sports rants two days in a row!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“You are suspended for the dangerous and unsportsmanlike acts you committed during the fourth quarter of last night’s game. Specifically, with 7:10 remaining, on a passing play to a running back, you lined up a defender and delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside shot to his head and neck area. You then ‘celebrated’ the play by standing over him and taunting him. The contact you made with your opponent placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury and could have been avoided. Your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of sportsmanship expected of an NFL player.” – Jon Runyan, NFL Vice President of Football Operations to Juju Smith-Shuster

The Hit or: Stupid Is…

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Salutations™!!

So, I’m releasing no secret in saying that the New England Patriots are one of my most hated NFL teams. They share that spot with the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens (the Cincinnati Bengals are just a hair behind that). There are many reasons for this. The biggest being Tom Brady. Next, comes Rob Gronkowski and Bill Belichik.

In this Sunday’s game, Gronk was unhappy that there was no pass interference called (and it was pass interference) on a pass in the middle of the game. He’d been called for a few things (all through the season) and, to my understanding (which I know can be incorrect), he’s one of the most penalized TEs in the league. So, when the call isn’t called for him, and after the play, he takes a running start and throws his shoulder directly into the back of Tre’Davious White’s skull. So, White was hit in the back and the front of his helmet was driven into the ground. He was visibly shaken and we found out he entered the concussion protocol. With the concussion epidemic that the league is going through right now, we shouldn’t take any of that as “light.”

Now, he said that he lost his cool and apologized. Okay. But, still, you hit someone while driving under the influence, you can apologize but you shouldn’t just get off scot-free. I’m not saying that I believe he should be suspended just because he’s Gronk and plays on that awful team. I’m not even saying that I think he needs to be suspended, but if you look at what recent suspensions have come from, fights, cheap shots, etc., then you have to at least consider it. Also, if Tre’Davious White misses any time in the concussion protocol, then Gronk needs to be out as long as he is. He didn’t deserve to be put out. It wasn’t a regular play that did it, it was maliciousness. I mean he rared back and launched. Now, if White misses no time, does he still need to be suspended? It’s not for me to say, but, if they want to keep him out Week 15, that would be great. I kid about that part, but seriously, any suspension is up to Goodell and Co. I know he’ll get fined, if not then they’re showing some serious favoritism.

Also, did anyone see the whiney-baby tantrum that Brady threw on the sideline against Josh McDaniel? Instead of a mouth guard, he needs a pacifier. Ahole! That’s inconsequential just wanted to throw it in. What are your thoughts on Gronk? Suspension? Fine? Both? Talk to me, Dear Reader.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Stupid is as stupid does. – Forrest Gump

 

Silent Sunday or: The Haul 12/2/17

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Salutations™!!

We got to Underdog Records way before they opened. It was cool to see a crowd forming just as Jonathan opened the door. I hope the rest of his day was that busy. We got to see Clay Howard, Michael Hoch, Jorge that comes in all the time and a few people, obviously, that are in the group with us that I didn’t know. Anywhat! It was a good haul this week, I think. We have enjoyed most of it already. So, let’s do it!R-7979900-1497975710-5777.jpeg

So, yeah, a great week and some great listening. I played Boston’s first album this morning in honor of my brother-in-law, Bill, whom I never got to meet. Today would have been his 52nd birthday. Happy solar circumnavigational anniversary day, buddy! Hop by Underdog for some great records, record players, gift certificates and so on! Use Discogs to catalog your stuff!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Hey, you know what paradise is? It’s a lie. A fantasy we create about people and places as we’d like them to be. But you know what truth is? It’s that little baby you’re holding. And, it’s that man you fought with this morning. The same one you’re going to make love with tonight. That’s truth, that’s love.” – “I’ve Never Been to Me” (Miller/Hirsch)

“Ewww!” – The BCPF

No Clue… or: Sounds Like Saturday

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Salutations™!!

Okay, I’m going to admit that I don’t really know what’s going on here, but I will say that I kind of dug it and I’m passing it along to you, Dear Reader. Perhaps you like it, perhaps you’re confused. What do you think?

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“The musical instrument is called dhyangro drum and binayo in NEPAL.” – The Social Mirror

Been on My Way or: End of an Era

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Salutations™!!

This morning I received confirmation that I have been allowed my release from the travel agency I was working with/under. This is a load off my mind. I love the travel business. I really do. However, it takes a lot of time and patience that I just don’t have. I don’t think I failed at the job, I just think it became such background in my life that I didn’t get to concentrate on it the way it deserved. BOYWT

I made a fair amount of money doing it, but the biggest problem I had was trying to convince people that they needed a travel agent. With OTAs (online travel agencies) such as Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, and the like people feel they can do it themselves. I get it. With loyalty programs and reward systems, it becomes easier to think that. I had resources to check all over the grid and I’ll admit I would book my stuff through the resorts or hotels directly. But, what I tried to convey to people is that you work so many hours a week to get the money to take a vacation, why will you spend just as many hours looking into vacation things that you may or may not be happy with. There’s way too much out there to choose from that it bogs you down. We as travel agents were there to take the work out of it for you. We weren’t there to find you “deals.” I wasn’t a dealer I was an agent. But, none of that matters now.

Turns out it cost me about half of what I made in commissions to even be able to call myself an agent and be able to book travel. I hadn’t booked anything in about three months, or even discussed it, other than a passing conversation with friends. It enabled me to take “FAM” trips (familiarization trips) but really, most of what was available to me wasn’t any more affordable than what I could book and it usually excluded The BCPF. She’s my travel and life partner and really, if she’s not going, I don’t want to do it.

So, anyway, this is my final resignation. I’ll still talk travel with anyone and I’ll offer advice on things if I’m asked (and I hope that I’m asked) but I can’t book anything any longer. I’ll miss it but it’s definitely for the better. Oh well. Travel on, anyways! Thanks to my clients and thanks for my friends who trusted me to get their travel worked out for them.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“What has happened to the good old-fashioned travel agent? I want to go to a really posh travel agent and have them organize everything for me. I don’t want to do things on the Internet.” – Jenny Eclair

Highway to Tomorrow or: Progressions of Power (Eugeology Entry 47)

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Salutations™!!

I let Eugene down on the last one, but I had to be honest, right? Let’s move on to this week’s entry. Jon will be along, eventually, right?

Progressions_of_Power_(Triumph_album_-_cover_art)

©Attic/RCA/TML

 

#47 – Progressions of Power by Triumph.

Note: I only listened to this one four times as opposed to the usual six spins per album.

I didn’t need six spins to talk about this one, even though I had never heard it before being assigned it from Eug. I know there have been things said about Triumph. The poor man’s Rush, the other rock trio from Canada, etc. I have certainly come around on Rush. I used to really get annoyed listening to them, but I have learned that it was some really good songs, mechanical or not. I had heard less of Triumph, musically. Of course, I had heard “Fight the Good Fight” and “Lay It on the Line,” those were hits here and got some play on the local classic rock channel. I even have a live album from them on CD.

But, I never really paid attention to them. I passed on them. That was dumb. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to know more, I just had other things to listen to. I can hear some similarities between Triumph and Rush much of which I won’t get into. But, this is especially the case in the vocals. Now, only about half of the songs are sung by guitarist Rik Emmett, but he has that high shrill voice that is much more melodic and smoother than Geddy Lee’s. I like his voice. I like his voice better than Gil Moore, the drummer and co-lead vox. Not that there’s anything wrong with Moore’s vocals. I just prefer the higher registers that Emmett throws at us. Also, Triumph is less proggy than Rush tends to be.

This album starts off slow with me, though. “I Live for the Weekend” is a boogie-rock type song that I just can’t get into. I was afraid the whole album was going to be like that and then I’d have to disappoint Eug for a second week in a row. I also thought it was a live album from the way the production sounded. It wasn’t. I also liked that fact, that it wasn’t. Luckily, the rest of the album was awesome and fan-frickin’-tastic.

I love the gritty riff rock of “Nature’s Child.” It gets to highlight the drum work of Moore, as well. Great flange/phaser effect there, too. I know Eug love a good flange. “Woman in Love” is just in your face rocking. It reminds me of some Foreigner and that’s not a bad thing, at all. The harmonies in the chorus are typical of the time but so well executed. The guitar solo is also on point.

So, in probably the least “rock” thing I can say about this album, “Take My Heart” is my favorite song on the album. I am a sucker for a good ballad but this gets really syrupy and sappy and I love it. The vocal melody, chord progression and instrumentation are amazing!! Again, I love it! Love! It! So, there.

“Finger Talking” into “Hard Road” is a great segue combination. “Hard Road” is a great way to rock the album out. It shows Emmett’s guitar prowess and vocal ability, well. Great song to end a great album.

I do like that it kept a little prog rock qualities but really it was a straight-up rock album that for the most part, I really dug. I have to give a shout to Michael Levine. He’s a great bass player that I think gets lost in the Emmett/Moore Machine. He has great riffs but they’re subtle and not blaring or flashing. Solid.

My least favorite tunes are “Tear the Roof Off” and “I Live for the Weekend,” but even those aren’t bad. They’re just not my favorites. All in all, I think this was an excellent album and I thank Eug for introducing us to it. If you’re not familiar with Triumph, Dear Reader, or you are a Rush fan, give this a try. I’m not comparing them to Rush, I just think fans of that band would like this one. This is a good album to intro them.

I can see Eug trying to catch up on his own list and I think I see Jon way back in the distance. He’s just had a lot going on this year. Perhaps he’ll at least listen to the albums even if he doesn’t write about them. I hope he writes about them, though. Okay, that’s all.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“I wear a song to mask my awkward face. The music helps to fill the empty space. I wish that I could hide it all away. Instead, it shows in every note I play. And I play. And I play…” – “Take My Heart” (Emmett, Levine, Moore)

Yes! or: Wakeman Up Funny

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Salutations™!!

I’ve expanded my musical horizons this week. I have always loved the radio-friendly tunes that the band Yes put out, but not much on the long, drawn-out prog stuff. And, that really hasn’t changed, but what has changed is my want of the album. 90125 and Fragile are great but I’d never listened to the album, just the tunes I wanted to hear. As big a proponent of albums as I made myself out to be on the RS Top 500 list I will admit to (prior to that project) that I wasn’t much on listening to full albums. My ADD just wasn’t having it. I will also add (all lowercase) that it is still a struggle for me to listen all the way through stuff, but I pull it off. Since I’ve gotten (back) into vinyl, it has gotten easier and I’ll admit, fun. But, I still struggle with it. But, a friend of mine posted this on his wall today and I thought I’d share it. I never knew how funny Rick Wakeman (keyboards) was but he is hilarious. The whole thing is worth the watch, but Wakeman comes in around the seven-minute mark. It’s their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Enjoy.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Change changing places. Root yourself to the ground. Capitalize on this good fortune. One word can bring you round: Changes.” – “Changes” (Rabin, Anderson, White)

Bonus Record Day or: Just Because

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Salutations™!!

I didn’t record The Man Who Ate the Town podcast today because it was a slow day and I would have just talked about Thanksgiving food. I don’t think forcing topics is good for the podcast, so I didn’t. I mean, if you want to read about what I made, check out the upcoming blog post over there about what I did. It should be interesting. R-6033566-1409343720-3911.jpeg

No, Dear Reader, today, I want to talk about records. GASP! I know, right? It seemed like I had a lot of discussion on Facebook today about it and wanted to talk about what I listened to for a sec. First, I was doing some cooking today and usually, I listen to Amazon Prime when I cook (again… GASP…) but I’m trying to get through some of the piled up “to be listened to” stack that is amassing at an alarming rate.

We purchased a new four-cubed shelf for those as to separate them from the main collection. They’re not in any real order and some of them are The BCPF’s and some are mine. So, I did the random grab method with a little prejudice. If it was something that was The BCPF’s, then I put it back and tried again.

The first one up was Tales From Topographic Oceans from Yes. It’s a 2xLP that has four songs on it. Yes, one per side. I really enjoyed listening to 90125 last night and figured I’d go for the older, more proggy Yes for a bit. I can say that it was well done. It was a bit too deep for me, I think. As you may recall from my RS Top 500 list, I am not always a fan of long, drawn-out, tunes. I think that’s why I like pop music so much, four minutes and next. My ADD gets in my way. I didn’t really care for it.

A few weeks ago, I had to admit that I knew nothing from King Crimson. In my “bonus-stack-I-didn’t-know-I-had,” there was the greatest hits comp, The Young Persons’ Guide To King Crimson. So, okay, let’s do that one next. I don’t know if the production was wonky or what, but it was extra quiet in spots and, yes, I know with that kind of music dynamics are important and the breadth is vast, but I don’t know that this is what that was. Anywhat! It was basically “more of the same” as it was with Yes. It was good. Well done, even. I just didn’t get into it. I will admit that I didn’t listen to the second disc. Why? It wasn’t because I was ditching it. A package arrived at my door and it was one that I’ve waited a long time for. Which brings me to the next:

All That Jazz from Breathe. Yes, it’s some very sugary pop music but it’s well written and it’s from my junior-senior years in high school. I sang the songs to an ex-girlfriend. It has eluded me since I started my vinyl journey and was one of my most coveted. I found it in VG+ condition on the Discogs Marketplace (where, like the name suggests, you buy and sell albums to and from all over the world). That and another album showed up together. I sang several of the songs quite disjointedly as I don’t hear them often. I love that album and was so excited to have it.

The next was Hi Infidelity from REO Speedwagon. I had never given it a fair shake and it was cheap from the same seller on Discogs and shipping was free. I sang a good bit of those tunes whilst cooking, as well.

Next was a twofer that is unusual I found out. It’s Nursery Cryme and Foxtrot in the same 2xLP set from Genesis. I love me some Peter Gabriel and I really like Genesis but I don’t like them together, mostly. Nursery Cryme was their third studio album and it was pretty good. I didn’t know what to expect, but I did know I was going to get long songs like the Yes and King Crimson. I wasn’t wrong about that, but I did actually enjoy listening to it. Foxtrot, its follow-up, was good but I didn’t like it as well as I did Nursery Cryme.

I finished off the listening (to this point) with Midnight Madness from Night Ranger. Yes, “Sister Christian.” I love a lot of stuff on this album and that song, in particular, has a special place in my heart. I probably wouldn’t be either the musician I am today or at all if it weren’t for that song. I performed that as an audition to get into this “contemporary music class” in ninth grade. That’s where I was pushed to learn bass guitar and piano. It pushed me to be a good musician. Whether or not I ever accomplished that? I can’t say, but I wouldn’t be anything musical without that, at least not until much later.

That’s my day’s playlist so far, but the reason I wanted to talk about them was the fact that they garnered a lot of talk on Facebook and Instagram. See, I post every album I listen to, twice. Once in the #nowspinning Facebook group from Underdog Records that The BCPF and I, along with many of our friends are part of and then on Instagram copying to Facebook and Twitter. The group is private so only members see that and I’m not necessarily Facebook friends with all the members, but we get good conversations from it. The IG post carries to anyone who is friends with me and follows me.

I know I’m in a good spot when I get Doug Davis, Ed Bumgardner, Lee Wallace, Clay Howard and others in the music community, all of whom I respect as far as their tastes and opinions, to comment and start an hours-long thread about what is “good” or not, or what is a better album or why this may be overrated or this may be underrated. I love musical conversations and when my playlist is at the core of it, I feel all gooey. Okay, that’s probably pushing it, but I really enjoy it. I enjoyed my listening today for all those reasons.

Do you have any comments on any of those albums, or any albums, Dear Reader? Surely, Superfan Damien has some to recommend. I want to hear from any of you, your thoughts or recommendations for albums to listen to. They don’t have to be on vinyl but I prefer them to be. That’s what we’re doing right now. Thanks for indulging me in this long-winded post!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“So raise your hands to heaven and pray that we’ll be back together someday. Tonight, I need your sweet caress. Hold me in the darkness. Tonight, you calm my restlessness. You relieve my sadness.” – “Hands to Heaven” (Glasper/Spice/Delahunty/Lillington)

The Last Train? or: Heartbreak Station (Eugeology Entry 46)

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Salutations™!!

The last entry was something that I was familiar with and I really enjoyed it. Eugene and Jon are behind but Eug is trying to catch up. I was late with this one because Thursday was Thanksgiving and I hadn’t had time to give it a fair shake. But, let’s hit it…R-5700976-1400324217-3906.jpeg

#46 – Heartbreak Station by Cinderella.

I loved Cinderella’s first two albums. They were raw, yes, but still glammy and glittery. They were gutter rock and that was great. “Nobody’s Fool,” “Somebody Save Me,” “Nothin’ for Nothin’,” “Shake Me,” “Bad Seamstress Blues/Fallin’ Apart at the Seams,” “Gypsy Road,” “The Last Mile,” “Coming Home” and the list goes on. Night Songs and Long Cold Winter had those. And, then, this album came along. This was Rolling Stones. This was Aerosmith. Both of those by which I picked out as soon as I heard it. I will say that Tom Keifer and company did Stones and Aerosmith better than the originals but I don’t really care for either way for the Stones, I can’t stand Aerosuck, and I don’t care for Cinderella doing them.

One way for me to switch the channel on SiriusXM’s Hair Nation channel is to let “Shelter Me” come on. I absolutely hate that song. From the first time in 1990 until the fourth time hearing it during this project, I have completely hated it. This is not the glammy and glittery gutter rock that Cinderella was to me. This was a sad excuse for a blues record, and we know how I feel about blues music. Not, hard rock – or even pop rock – that are based in blues, but when I can hear the blues coming out. And, it reminded me of “Copperhead Road” in places and I hate that song, too.

One funny thing about this album, it came out on my 20th birthday. Okay, that’s really not funny but it is somewhat ironic that I dislike it as much as I do. And, I really do. There are moments that I like and a few of the songs, but overall, I couldn’t wait for it to be over every time I listened to it. And, I never listened to it back to back. I just needed a break. I will say, though, that while I say there are a few that I like, I really do like “Electric Love.”

Like I said, on Night Songs and Long Cold Winter, I loved what Keifer, Eric Brittingham, Fred Coury and Jeff LeBar did. On this, I find very little redeeming qualities. Sorry, Eug, but this is a dud for me. But, remember Dear Reader, this is just my opinion. I’m not right or wrong, just how I feel. Definitely, give it (and the two albums prior in their discography) a listen. You may like it. It grates me, badly. Look for Eugene’s and Jon’s reviews sometime next year on this one.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Woke up this morning on the wrong side of bed. I got this feeling like a train’s running through my head. Turned on my radio to the same old song. Some big mouth talking trying to tell us where the world went wrong.” – “The More Things Change” (Keifer)

Silent Sunday or: The Haul 11/25/17

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Salutations™!!Harvest_-_neil_young

This week’s edition is the Record Store Day-Black Friday (RSD) edition. But, it’s also the Small Business Saturday edition. Yes, The BCPF and I went to Underdog Records both days. The haul was less in terms of quantity but more in cost because it was new stuff that we were purchasing. There was one new release that hasn’t found its way onto Discogs, yet, so I’ll put it on here when it becomes available. I have three others that I have to put in myself and I’m hoping that I don’t have to do that with this one. Enough about that, let’s get on with it.

There were some really good things in there. We listened to a lot of things and, even the Stevie Wonder album was decent. Jonathan had warned us that it was awful. It wasn’t awful. Wasn’t great, either. But, we really enjoyed our listening time. We love Underdog Records. And, we love Discogs, too. It’s so easy to keep up with what we have that way.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!


“Spent the day in bed. Very happy I did, yes. I spent the day in bed as the workers stay enslaved. I spent the day in bed. I’m not my type, but I love my bed, and I recommend that you Stop watching the news! Because the news contrives to frighten you. To make you feel small and alone. To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own.” – “Spent the Day in Bed” (Manzur, Morrissey)