Archive for October, 2007

Dog Day Afternoon

October 17th, 2007 No comments

I was doing my laundry the other day in my building and it has three main elevators. Two of the elevators are for the main pedestrian traffic and the third is for laundry, dogs, and large packages, etc., however, unfortunately, there is a level of regular pedestrian traffic which will use the “Dog Elevator” as it is called to get up to their floors rather than the main elevators. 

For understanding sake, the laundry is in the basement of the building. The dog elevator works a little weird sometimes and will pick people up and go in the opporsite direction than they pushed. In this case the people that were in the elevator had come from the first floor and were heading to the basement which would then take them up to their respective floors. Anyhow, the door opens and there is an old lady as well as a woman and her dog. The old lady shouts to me, “Block the door! Block the door!” was the elevator was going up back up to the first floor. As the door opened, the people that happened to be waiting there was another woman and her boxer puppy. Knowing the puppy as the lady lives on my floor, I have always found the puppy to be one of the most sweet and endearing animals, not rough or bad with people whatsoever. The woman and her puppy decide not to attempt to ride up the elevator but instead wait. After the doors close the old woman says, “Good she didn’t get in the elevator, that is a mean dog.”  

I do not want to get mean at old ladies but my question to her is why are you going up the “Dog Elevator” if you are not doing your laundry or have a dog or care for dogs? 

This old lady has a bit of a mouth on her and well I guess you have to just let people like this go. Its as if there are some people out there that feel they own the world.  

I ended up talking to the owner about this to stay away from this woman because you do not want trouble and well the dog is really sweet. She lives on my floor and the dog always comes up running to me and always wants a good scratch under the chin. Poor misunderstood pup. 

Other Notes:  

  • I think that the new Radiohead album is a classic and could be on par with the likes of Ok Computer. I think that this is Radioheads “love” album.
  • My life feels really exciting right now. Going to Athens in a couple days to eat some southern food and watch some movies and in some cases it is just fun taking paths that I have not ever taken before. Maybe life just seems too “Routine” that we need to change the pace from time to time, do something wild and crazy for the hell of it to keep our minds fresh.
Categories: Life Tags:

Chicago Soon To Become Just An Average City

October 13th, 2007 No comments

Face the facts, based on the following facts from the CTA they are planning on cutting over 82 Bus Routes which is over half the routes that travel the city streets. I am not sure if the lawmakers are aware that some of these routes are major arteries of travel amongst the citizens of the City Of Chicago.  While this is one of the first times in history I have been pushed to write a letter to all of my representatives, I just cannot see myself voting for any of them if something is not done. For the non-Chicagoan, I do not have a car, I do not need a car and I can live with the CTA. Yes, I am from the Wilco perspective that you can “Kiss and ride on the CTA”.


What I cannot live with is the aspect that nearly every bus that I take to work is going to be terminated come January 6, 2008 unless budgetary measures are made in the Illinois Legislature.


My immediate feeling is that this issue will close the book on Chicago’s 2016 Olympic Hopes. Fact is that I will write the Olympic Committee myself.


Transportation is the key to commerce and by cutting off transportation this city will just become an average city with a very disappointed population.


When I started this site up I thought I would write more about politics and I have found myself feeling more and more cynical about everyone within government. Maybe there is part of me that wants this to happen and maybe Government will wake up, cause if the CTA is cut, nobody is safe. Not even Daley.

Categories: Life, Politics Tags:

Radiohead’s In Rainbows One of Their Best

October 12th, 2007 No comments

I hate writing reviews a day into an album. In many respects its not fair to the artist and in other respects not fair to me. I will say this, however is that there is an interesting aspect to my listening experience. This is not just testing out a new album but there is a buzz surrounding it, a buzz that was not created by the music but the marketing geniuses of Radiohead who have created an interesting way not only not only to distribute music, music that was cheap for the fans, and was distributed to fans, critics, insiders and outsiders all at the same time, without any preconceived notions of what the album was going to sound like. There was no pitchfork or NME or Rolling Stone to guide the listener through this process, the fan had to do that on their own.

While the critics will inevitably have their say in this recording, I can say that I probably gave this album more time than I would have normally given this record if it was released under normal circumstances.

That being said, the album has been growing on me and I can easily forsee this album being in my top ten list at the end of the year. Radiohead have put out a daring, yet beautiful record, maybe not at the level of some of their classics like Ok Computer or Kid A but right up there as one of their best.

What Radiohead has done with In Rainbows is prove once again they are at the forefront of both popularity and cutting edge. While you might not hearing their albums being played all over the radio, the fact is that they have pushed ahead of the grandfathers of the progressive rock, bands like R.E.M. and U2 by challenging the listener, providing something soulful, melodic and daring.

Rock music is more than just a three an a half minute song you might hear on the radio, but an experience, matching a mood, a thought, a feeling and the good albums are not just good today but tomorrow the next day, the next month, the next year, the next century.

And even as I cringed past the opening sequence of 15 Step the first time I listened to it, today I am becoming drawn into the song, as if just like a good book you need to reread the first chapter. Without reviewing each song in their entirety this is what a great album should do anyhow. Repeated listens, repeated awakenings, and feelings strewn across the floor as Thom and Co. rewrite musical history.

In my opinion Nude might be their best “Ballad” if you call it that since “Lucky”. This somber number reintroducing us to everything that makes Radiohead a class band. You see the darkness the despair, the sidewalk in front of you. Part of me feels the sadness and the other part of me sees this as the saddest love song ever written.

“Faust Arp” bekons us back to some of the acoustic classics like Elliott Smith and Nick Drake. The line in the sand can be drawn as far as copying artists but in this case, we hear a Radiohead song saluting these artists more than Xeroxing them.

Possibly the best song on the album, Reckoner, and that is hard to say at this point, builds from a steady dose of percussion into a melodic masterpiece with Thom Yorke’s voice holding everything together.

And lastly, I cannot forget the Ok Computer sounding Jigsaw Falling Into Place, that just wants you to get up on stage and dance like Thom Yorke.

It is very difficult in this age of ours as a band to continue on with the same high quality product album after album. While I have not been too impressed with Radioheads last couple albums, I have to say that they are back at the top of their game.

Categories: Music Tags:

Radiohead Backlash Makes No Sense

October 11th, 2007 No comments 

Fans, media, bloggers and whomever else making a point in ripping on Radiohead’s decision to release ‘In Rainbows’ online defies all logic and sense that this writer feels the need to clarify some things. In the age of albums being leaked to the public, what Radiohead pretty much did was leak their own album before it’s release. They said to themselves, let’s just put it out there for a small administrative fee, an amount that totals peanuts and let the fans decide if they want to go out and buy the album when it is officially released on CD.

There should not be a soul that feels ripped off by this unprecedented move. They did not force anyone to pay more than they wanted to and if someone does feel ripped off they should blame themselves and not the band. I typically look at it this way, if you have a significant other and you pass on a nude photo of yourself to them, there is a good chance that might get out to the public. Radiohead, on the other hand, just defined the terms and conditions which is something that bands and studios have been afraid to do.

Also, noone should feel as if they were duped. The commentary made by their manager of fans going out in the future to buy their CD is a no-brainer. First off, noone is forcing anyone to buy any CD and secondly, the point of a band is to make money and promote their product. They are not doing this for free. To find people almost shocked, is idiotic at best that a manager would come forward and make comments to that effect.

Now I also know that there are standards with audiofiles and that sometimes people complain if the kilobyte ratio for MP3s is too small, but again people, that is what you decided to purchase in the first place. Not wav files, not a CD.

The point was to test out their music and if you feel strongly about it then go buy the album and if not then don’t.

Categories: Music Tags:

Chicago Marathon Mishap

October 9th, 2007 No comments

Jay Mariotti Article

While I have never run in a marathon, I will say that I have run in humid weather and I was a cross country runner. Running in humid weather is crazy in itself and should never be attempted by those that are not in proper shape. I think that Mariotti has a point that this event will cost Chicago votes for the 2016 Olympics. I have run 8 – 10 mile runs and even then there were water stations set up and this was for high school stuff that we just would “Run”, not an official cross country events.

Sunday was hot and I remember feeling a bit out of it myself as I made my way through the marathon runners.  The question of course that I am wondering would be does there need to be some type of entry procedure to run or can you just run for the hell of it?

Of course the story of the Marathon is an account of a man by the name of Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens to inform Greeks that the Persians had been defeated in the battle of Marathon only to die from exhaustion moments after. No word on whether water stations were set up for this heroic feat.

Categories: Life, Sports Tags:

Music Notes

October 9th, 2007 No comments

* Come celebrate Radioheads release by going out and buying yourself a bucket of KFC and start rubbing those chicken pieces all over your body. Radiohead’s newest album In Rainbows is a Rock Opera about a Leprachaun named Seamus that is black. its going to be a hit. (Or as Derek pointed out “A Tragic Mulatto”).

* I wish I could write reviews of albums after the first 30 seconds of listening to the opening track. It would make music writing more awesome. Right now I am listening to the new Sunset Rubdown album, and I write that like I have been listening to Sunset Rubdown for years. The great thing about the internet is that you can pretend to be someone you aren’t. Since I have only listened to less than a couple minutes so far I really do not know if I can give it a positive or negative review just yet.

* However, the new PJ Harvey album White Chalk. This is a very “Somber”, melodic album than some of her previous works but at the same time, it reminds me of PJ doing Sufjan Stevens.

* This is actually pretty cool. The Japancakes are 1) Coming out with another album and 2) Covering My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’.

Categories: Music Tags:

The Joe Torre Era is Over

October 9th, 2007 No comments

Now that the Skankees and Gay-Rod have been booted from the playoffs, it’s pretty obvious from Steinbreiner’s message is that Joe Torre is gone. I am not sure if there was a better person to manage that team and only the future will see if that is the case.

The Skanks have always had an image problem. For one they have spent a lot of money on pitching and have received either very little in return or they are becoming aged. Roger Clemens, for all he has given to the game seems destined to hang up his cleats for the last time. Mike Mussina is getting old and not “Championship” worthy.

And while Alex Rodriguez will ultimately get blamed for this years failure, the offensive numbers on this team are more than his problem. A-Rod kept this team in the playoff hunt to begin with.

What is more interesting is that this year again shows how the teams that are making the playoffs tend to be the teams that you would not expect to be there. The Diamondbacks and Rockies were probably not the choices of many soothsayers at the beginning of the year. While the Indians were probably chosen by some analysts, they are also an example of a team that built from the ground up and did not rely on high priced free agent talent to get them where they are.

The Red Sox are the only team that has been able to mix the right blend of high priced free agents and youngsters and win.

* * *

Sometimes I look at the Yankees and they remind me of the White Sox. The White Sox in 2005 had a formula for success and in the offseason of 2005 they got greedy. There is a certain mix that is necessary, good pitching, speed, defense and attitude. Baseball is not about creating the best fantasy team, it is about creating the best baseball team.

I look at some of the players like A.J. Pierzynski, El Duque, Joe Crede and Juan Uribe and see players that made a difference in the playoffs when it mattered and they might not have been the best players at their positions but they are winners.

Teams need to look for that formula if they want to win in the future. It is not about how many rbis you get, or how high your batting avg. is, but are you a winner. The Yankees won with that attitude in the 90s with players like Bernie Williams, Paul O’Neill, and Tino Martinez. They were always getting big hits.

Torre will be back, maybe taking a break but he will be back somewhere.

Categories: Sports Tags:

Go Cubs Go!

October 5th, 2007 No comments

Whether hypocrisy is rearing it’s ugly head, I have to admit that I will be rooting for the Cubs come Saturday due to the fact that I have tickets to Sundays Game. I have never been to a Playoff Game, I am admittedly a huge baseball geek so that should be fun in itself. (Plus a Ron Santo Rookie Card!) which should account for something.

On the Subject of the Cubs. These videos are pretty funny. They are of Bill Murray doing play by play for the Cubs back in the mid-80s. Murray was filling in for Harry Caray was recouperating after his Heart Attack. The Cubs got people to fill in daily and I ended up watching this game in it’s entirety when it was on. Hilarious stuff.

Categories: Life, Sports Tags:

Sunday Afternoon Plans Anyone?

October 1st, 2007 No comments

Brian Griese in my opinion was not as bad as some might see in the box score. Yes, he threw three interceptions but in my opinion there just seemed to be more confidence out there. For one there were too many dropped balls by the receivers who seem to have butter fingers. Secondly, the Bears currently have no running game as slowly but surely we are realizing that Cedric Benson is not the answer at running back. Benson is more a straight ahead runner and in my opinion was better suited as a second back behind Thomas Jones. Thomas Jones was also quicker, a better pass catcher and a better blocker than Benson will ever be.

Basically he is a one-dimensional style runner. And that is fine if you mix it up. What defenses have always been able to do with either Griese or Grossman was to take chances and they kept on doing so today as Griese was sacked on many occasion. It is not as if Peyton Manning is back there.

The three interceptions were critical however in that they really accounted for 13 points in the game. The two interceptions at the goal line would have been chip shots by Gould and the third was returned for a touchdown. Thus the blame for this game is squarely on the shoulders of the Bears rather than the play of the Lions.

The late 3rd and 4th quarters were ugly for the defense which pretty much kept the Lions at bay. Too many dumb penalties kept the Lions marching and scoring and the defense looked more Cub-like.

At this point, unless the defense gets healthy I do not forsee this team getting close to the playoffs. I think we will find out by halfway through the season whether they have a shot. At this point if they go 3-1 and go into the midway part of the season at 4-4 that will be good. I think the team is going to have to start pulling into its bag of tricks with Devin Hester offering more sets than screens that the defense knows is coming. Rather than just be a decoy out there they need some reverses and even possibily in the backfield. With some of the athletes that they have it would be interesting to see them run the wishbone from time to time with Peterson, Hester and Garrett Wolfe. Devin Hester is the only offense that this team has right now as he pretty much kept the team in the game. Funny thing is that we are expecting him now to make a huge play every time that he has the ball.

Categories: Sports Tags:

Myanmar shows the benefits of Technology

October 1st, 2007 No comments

As horrifying or atrocious that we see in Myanmar, we are reminded that technology is finally making the right impact. Rather than follow our rock stars and movie stars, real pictures of the despair that is going on in this world as trumped the national news spotlight the last week or so.

The image has a way of conveying much more than words can ever portray and technology will be a constant reminder for any country, government or other entity that they are being watched.

The theme from ‘1984’ has in many respects shown a dualistic role where the public is just as wary at the government as it of the public. There are enough cases over the years of police brutality on tape, photos coming from the Iraq war (see Abu Garaib prison), and other assorted events that have made their way onto YouTube, Flickr or some other site.

We are seeing a changing of the guard where the public are the real police and it will become even more challenging in the years ahead where more and more video and photos are in the hands of Joe Nobody rather than a news organization.

What is interesting is that the Promotional Pundits at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX are following public interest rather than their own polls, that the real stories are not what they force feed us on a nightly basis but something else.

At the end of the day, we see very low approval ratings for our government as they are caught off-guard about what is expected and what the public wants.

Categories: Politics, Technology, Video Tags: