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Friday, July 29, 2011


Alright, so I enjoyed that little vacation from the F-sharp - but I feel as though its been long enough and I'm going to try and continue to update this on a daily basis.

But first....some coffee.....

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh much better.

So today has become a very troubling time in regards to the American Economy. If you haven't been paying attention, the summary of the problem is that America has become the annoying roommate of the world - borrowing money from everyone around us and not wanting to do anything that will help us pay it back. And now, no one will help us financially because we have a national debt of nearly 15 trillion dollars. By the way - if seeing 15 trillion in 0's helps, that is $15,000,000,000,000. And we thought a million dollars was a lot of money.....

In case you missed Presidents address, here it is....

Let me translate: "We are fucked, and we still haven't come up with a plan. Oh yeah....and its all the republicans fault"

I wasted 15 minutes of my life for THAT?? I mean seriously - my roommates and I were watching the hilarious artwork of Will Ferrell and John C. Riley in Step-Brothers on FX, and I made them change it because I felt that this would be one of the most important speeches for us to hear. And then - he tells us congress has gotten no where.

I had to apologize to my roommates for interrupting something that actually HAD a valid use to watch something of poor pathetic crap that I didn't really need to see.

The most disturbing thing is that everyone knows the quickest way to take care of debt. By paying taxes and cutting spending. The problem is, that EVERYONE has their own opinion on what should be cut and NO ONE wants to raise taxes higher than they are. I would be fine with paying taxes - if I could trust my government enough to know that it was going towards the right place. We've been paying taxes on medicare, education, and other services for years and they STILL suck. The fact that anyone would even CONSIDER making spending cuts in education is APPALLING.

I posted a status update stating how embarrassed I was by our Government and a comment mentioning the idea that everyone giving a little would help us get out of debate, but that it was hard to swallow that when we don't have a responsible government that uses it towards the right thing. Well, there's one in every crowd - a colleague of mine, an imbecile, decided to respond and argue that we'd have to give a whole lot of money today in order for that work. Well, the conversation between him and my brother was just TOO funny to pass up so I feel like I should post a fragment of that here.

Let's here it for THAT guy. He has valet parking experience, so I'm pretty sure he'll be parking my car some day. Paul also said that arguing with him in anything intellectual was like the Atlanta Braves playing wiffleball against a bunch of crippled kindergartners.

Other than being registered Republican so I can vote in the primaries I am pretty much considering myself independent of both politic parties.

As funny as the auto correct is, its also funny that their answer was wrong to begin with.

It's here!!! AVID has finally released Sibelius 7!! In the past, I always hated when they released a new version because all of the changes we were forced to learn never seemed to balance out with any 'positive' and 'helpful' changes they made. However, they got an A+ with Sibelius 6 so I can only imagine that Sibelius 7 is even better. I've downloaded the demo.....the layout is completely different, and set up like Microsoft Word 2010. I like it - things are more accessible. Here's an example of the change.....



My only worry is that it might be a while before the IUS department of music picks up Sibelius 7, and if thats the case I will have to remember to save under certain formats when bringing my work from home to my lessons and classes. Still - I'm happy with the changes so far.

The score editing and part extraction process for my new composition "Fantasy on an American Folk Hymn" has begun. After meeting with the associate director of the IUS Concert Band, Phil Thomas, the scheduled date for the world premier is November 6, 2011. And about this time is when the stress starts kicking in. I'm exciting, but just dreading the countless hours of work I will be putting into getting this thing ready for rehearsals. And if you are curious - the part extraction I will be doing is not as simple as hitting the 'Extract Button' on Sibelius.

What I did in order to make the score readable by the director was combined a lot of the parts on the same staff. For example, the 2nd and 3rd trombone parts are on the same staff but divided throughout most of the piece. Well, in my experience trying to read divided parts on the same page of music can sometimes be confusing and I would guarantee a better performance by giving every part its own music. So, in order to do this I have to create a dummy score in which I plan on creating a staff under each divided part and copy each note on the bottom of the divided part to the new staff. And I have to do that for the flutes, oboes, alto saxophones, bassoons, horns, trumpets, and trombones. I said, not really looking forward to this process.

That is as annoying as it looks. And that's just manual manuscript editing. I still have to go back and punch everything into the computer. Lucky for me, I chose a career in which I will have to do this every time I plan on premiering a new piece. And if I start a publishing company, it won't necessarily be just MY works I will have to edit and print.

Well, that does it for today. Sorry for the delay, but expect more blog posts in the future!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Great Film Score Composer Debate

The Great Film Score Composer Debate

Have you ever watched a movie and wondered what it would be like without any music? Do you think it would have the same emotional impact without musical themes of sadness, happiness, terror, or excitement? Most likely, films would not be capture the viewers imaginations nearly as well without the expressions of different tones and chord structures that make the film music. And of course, we all know there are masters behind these works of arts that enhance the film.

As someone who is potentially pursuing a career in film score, I've been heavily interested in this debate, and despite that I have chosen MY favorite, I maintain a great deal of respect for these men and women of film music. But now, I want to know what YOU think. Below you will find a list of film score composers and some notable works. Please choose who YOUR favorite is and why. You may also reply in the facebook thread, and tomorrow I will post the results!

If one of your favorites is NOT listed below, please list their name and I'll ensure that they go into the count!

Here they are:

John Powell - X-MEN: The last Stand, SHREK, The Bourne Identity, The Italian Job
David Arnold - Independence Day, Godzilla, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solstace
David Newman - Ice Age, The Nutty Professor, The Sandlot, Critters
Danny Elfman - Big Fish, Sleepy Hollow, Spider Man, Charlotte's Webb
Michael Kamen - Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, X-Men, Mr. Holland's Opus, Die Hard
Basil Pouledouris - Starship Troopers, Robocop, Conan the Barbarian, Free Willy
Hans Zimmer - Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight, The Lion King, Inception, Gladiator
Thomas Newman - Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, WALL-E, Pay it Forward
John Ottman - X2, Superman Returns, The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie
James Horner - Tombstone, Avatar, Titanic, Braveheart, Willow
Nino Rota - The Godfather, Romeo and Juliet, Waterloo,
Howard Shore - The Lord of the Rings, The Aviator, Dogma, Ed Wood, Mrs. Doubtfire
Henry Mancini - The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Exodus, Peter Gunn
Ennio Morricone - The Untouchables, The Good The Bad and the Ugly
John Williams - Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan
James Newton Howard - Signs, Waterworld, The Fugitive, Unbreakable
Alan Silvestri - Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Castaway, The A-Team
Jerry Goldsmith - Star Trek: First Contact, Hollow Man, The Mummy, Air Force One
Max Steiner - Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, Top Hat, Night and Day
John Barry - James Bond Theme, King Kong, Midnight Cowboy, Out of Africa
Elmer Bernstein - Ghostbusters, The Three Amigos, Airplane!, Stripes
Bernard Herrmann - Psycho, Taxi Driver, Cape Fear, Citizen Kane
Christopher Young - Spider-man 3, Swordfish, Hush, The Hurricane
Lalo Schifrin - Rush Hour, The Beverly Hillbillies, Enter the Dragon
Michael Giacchino - Star Trek, UP, The Incredibles, LOST (Tv series)
Steve Jablonsky - Transformers, The Island, Desperate Housewives (TV series)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Heat

It's flipping freezing in my room. I know what you are thinking. "Well its a zillion degrees outside so you should be happy you have A/C!" But really - I feel like they keep the A/C really freakin low to balance out the heat outside. It's so bad that every time I step outside my glasses fog up. I'm honestly not really pissed off enough for anyone to consider this 'bitching', but I just find it funny. It's almost an "I can't win!" moment.

Because for some reason I don't get my Horoscopes till late afternoon, I had to steal this from my brother's facebook page. Luckily he happens to be a Leo as well.

And to think....I thought using the cell and the computer WAS playing.

Rarely do I get a good laugh out of a facebook status, but this one made me chuckle. Particularly because I was saying the same thing back in December.

Let's face is pretty hot outside, but I don't think we've hit record temperatures yet and its pretty much like this every year. It gets really hot and people bitch. Tell you to Death Valley, CA for a day and then drive back here.

Yeah, no thanks.

They say in Death Valley if your car breaks down you have a better chance of surviving if you stay by your car and hope someone picks you up then trying to walk and find a civilization. Personally, I'd rather not have my car break down in Death Valley at all. In fact, I don't ever intend to drive through there....especially in the Summer time.

So anyway, if you think its hot here its always hot somewhere else. Only place that's been hotter than Death Valley is Al'aziziyah, Libya where it was once 136 degrees Fahrenheit . Ouch.

It actually wouldn't be that bad in Libya. Keep in mind, this was reported at 10:50 AM in LIBYA. Not sure how hot it would be right now because apparently the weather channel doesn't have a current temperature for Al 'Aziziyah.

Libya isn't even the hottest place in Africa. I wouldn't want to live in Algeria. Yikes!

All this Africa talk makes me want to share this video with you. It's pretty nifty....

I think this would be a pretty fun group to see live. They have a FACEBOOK PAGE too. Check em out.

Another cool video is the one of Eric Whitacre's virtual choir in which he took 185 people from across the world and hooked them all up to live stream and conducted them in his composition Lux Arumque. The traditional composers (or old farts) criticize this and consider it to be overrated. I disagree.....I think it's a pretty incredible idea and must have been very challenging to pull off especially with people having different delay times.

Eric Whitacre looks more like the poster boy for Supercuts then he does a composer.

If you are doubting the legitimacy of this video, do some research. You can start by going to Eric Whitacre's Wikipedia page. My only drawback with this project is that the obsession over virtual music overlaps his wondrous and unique use of dissonance which has become his signature in composition. We played the Concert Band version in the IUS Band - all I can say is it doesn't come close to comparing to the original vocals.

Now THAT's just badass. No other way to describe it.

Well, that does it for today. Thanks for reading. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Some truth, Some Humor, and Some Sadness

Apparently, there were quite a few visitors from New York in Louisville the other day and I came to this conclusion after nearly getting hit by about three of them at different times. I know a lot of people from New York, and perhaps its because I've developed friendships with many of them because most of them seem pretty cool. But MAN do they suck at driving. I mean....its as if every car on the road EXCEPT their doesn't exist. Which really doesn't make sense, because if you've ever been to any major city like Chicago, New York, and Atlanta you know that generally you spend most of your time boxed in with cars on every side of you and moving slower than a guy on a walker. Yes...that was an Office Space reference.

Well, I guess bad driver's aren't ALWAYS a bad thing. But seriously....I sometimes wonder if its too easy to get your driver's license. Well, not too easy but if they don't test the way they should. I know people who have gotten 100% on their driver's test but have had two accidents in a week, both ruled their fault. Whereas I failed the driver's test TWICE and in an 11 year history have had one accident (ruled my fault despite the idiot was on her cell phone and failed to signal), two accidents completely NOT my fault and ruled that way, and two speeding tickets. Not a perfect record, but not that bad either - especially coming from a guy from Lexington, Ky....the bee hive of bad drivers.

Although, realistically their are two types of 'bad drivers'. There are assholes - the ones full equipped with a 'me first' attitude who have a blatant disregard for others on the road. These are the kinds that speed up past you and then cut you off when you already have only two car spaces between the car in front of you. Or the ones that ride your ass when you are already going 10 over the speed limit. These are the kinds you find in major cities like New York, Chicago, and Atlanta....hell, even in Louisville sometimes though thanks to its relative bond to Indiana you find more of the 2nd type of driver: The Idiots.

The idiots, which I sometimes believe originated in Lexington, are the ones that CAN'T drive. The ones that don't check their blind spots, and try to make quick right exits from the LEFT lane, crossing lanes of traffic and risking their lives. And we've all seen them so many times.
Personally, I think people should find it very embarrassing that their are nearly a thousand automobile deaths on Kentucky highways every year. Most of these probably could have been prevented.

Come on. Anyone who has ever changed one of these stupid things before has ALWAYS thought of doing this. Thanks to Cory Dixon for e-mailing me this gem.

Just for kicks, I e-mailed my boss asking how much trouble I would get in with the Ogle Center if I pulled off this stunt. He e-mailed me back and said "I'll give you a dollar if you do it." I'm guessing this means either one of two things. Either they have a HUGE sense of humor and wouldn't care - or my boss hates me and would love to see my ass fired.

I always hate to follow a funny idea with a sad story, but my heart sank when I heard the story about a 39 year old man who fell to his death in front of his six year old son while trying to catch a baseball that was tossed to him by Josh Hamilton. The worst part is that this is a whole triangle of people suffering from this incident that you aren't quite sure who you should feel more sympathy for. The kid who watched his dad fall, the man who lost his life, or Josh Hamilton having to live with the fact that it could be argued that he was the ultimate cause of the man's death. And before anyone can throw out the whole "he makes a lot of money, he'll be fine" argument - perhaps you should read THIS STORY before judging Josh Hamilton.

This is one of the terrible things that no one wants to ever hear. I get choked up just thinking about it, but it also helps my understanding of how precious life is. All I can do now is pray for the little boy and his family to get through this tragedy, and for Josh Hamilton to find the courage to reach out to the family and realize that this was an innocent mistake and he shouldn't blame himself for practicing a game tradition.

RIP Shannon Stone

So it's been ridiculously hot outside lately, well for New Albany, In. I'm sure in Arizona this is a cold front. But in the midwest, when it starts getting to the mid 90's people go crazy. I suffered through a 2 and half hour tennis match in the heat yesterday, and got my but whooped. I think the heat brought some of my more intense emotions out a bit too because I went all John McEnroe on my tennis racket. Luckily, it's not broken but I did scrape it up pretty well. The good news is I didn't take my frustrations out on my opponent, and was able to laugh about it afterwards. It was pretty freakin hot, though.

This would probably be considered animal cruelty if it wasn't so damn funny.

I've taken a little break from all things music, which I feel has been good for me. Don't get me wrong - those who know me know how far my passion goes, but sometimes too much of a good thing can backfire. This has happened before, and at one point lead to me nearly giving up on my dreams as an established composer entirely. Some of the projects I will be working on are a piece for Sax, Tuba and percussion (which will be an interesting combination to work with), a piece for brass band, and a piece for orchestra. I'm also intending to enter in the Brass Chamber competition again. This was the competition I entered two years ago and got an honorable mention (or 4th place). I didn't enter it this past year, but am planning on opening time up for this year. I guess its just good that I'm taking a break before the storm hits.

That was my attempt at throwing something 'Musical' into my 'musical blog'. Sometimes I forget that I originally created this blog to talk about music, and I have not done a whole lot of that lately. Oh well.....I think what I write about are some very important issues and things that can relate to everyone. This helps keep the flow of readers high and doesn't limit to a particular group, which I think is important as a blogger. Take John Mackey's blog for example. He spends a lot of time talking about his life experiences around the nation, not always music related. When he's not talking about 'moving' of course, because he seems to do that quite a bit. Not sure how he does it....but I guess when you are as good and famous as he is, then you can move as many times as you want.

Anyway, that's my blog for today. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Axl Rose, Religion, and the New Penny

In yesterday's "World Famous Mokracy Blog" post, Paul had this to say....

"You're arguing the wrong thing, see. It's not STP versus Velvet Revolver, it's STP versus Guns 'n Roses. Musically, GnR is what you're hearing with Velvet Revolver; this is what they'd have evolved into if Axl wasn't a no-talent egomaniac. Yeah, I said it. Now Slash will kick my ass because he's the only one who's allowed to talk smack about Axl.

Sorry, but Axl sucked. He had a cool sound that was unique, but he was a one-trick pony on-stage. Now, in the studio, that's a whole 'nuther thing. He did the entire orchestra track to "November Rain" on synth. I would never have guessed it wasn't hybrid with a live ensemble if I hadn't read it in Slash's book. That's a tough thing to pull of today, much less when they recorded it in 1991. Gotta give the man props for that."

n Let me stop you right there, Paul, and disagree that Axl actually did have a lot of vocals. Yes his sound was cool and unique but it was also comprised of very powerful vocals, that have not been matched very often. One of the reasons I loved GNR so much was BECAUSE of Axl's vocals, so I can not agree that we was overrated. But perhaps one thing we can both agree on is that he is a douchebag and ultimately the reason that most of GNR's members left and the new GNR sucks.

But then again, who am I to argue with someone who has 20 years of experience in the business. I'll let Paul keep his rock-star dictionary and I'll go back to plugging in notes on Sibelius.

The war has officially begun, Paul......

So the Church of Nazarene Convention is in town and making home to the KFC Yum! Center. I worked the event last night, and as annoying as the loud chants through the foyer were it reminded me of the National Youth Gatherings for ELCA that I attended in New Orleans and St. Louis. I decided to do some research on the Church of Nazarene because I had never heard of them before and it seems that their mission is to 'make disciples of Christ of all the nations.' So in other words, their mission is to turn everyone into a Christian. Good luck to them....

I know I've had this discussion on religious belief systems with friends on numerous occasions, but it often concerns me when I see all of these 'in-your-face' denominations that make it a point to judge your actions and warn you that if you don't 'cease' you will spend an eternal life burning in the fires of hell. Ok, well I am a Christian and do believe that there is a hell, however I also believe that God is a loving God who accepts the fact that because he gave us free will he also gave us the ability to make choices and sin. And everyone sins, and if God did not expect that of us he WOULDN'T have given us free will.

I guess that's why I am a Lutheran. Luther condemned those that rely on doctrine as the righteous path to Heaven, and prided himself on his belief that God is everywhere, could be talked to at all times, and loves all of his children. It's too bad that towards the end of his life he became very anti-Semitic.

I'm not saying that as Christians we shouldn't go out and spread the word. I think its great to get our beliefs out there! But when we use pointless threats like "You will go to hell!" that defies the teachings of Christ. We should be focusing on his love more than his supposed vengeful nature. No one should use 'fear' as the reason to worship God. And really...why would you tell someone who doesn't believe in a certain place that they are going to go there. You really think they are going to be worried?

Thank you, westboro church. I think they need to brush up on their bible because I don't think it says anywhere that God hates anything. If anything, God is the absence of hate - so why falsify our Lord like this? Perhaps it is actually an atheist agenda to turn people away from Christianity. My roommate, an atheist, said that he was HAPPY to see these protests going on because it WAS turning people away from believing. That was pretty disturbing. Regardless, Fred Phelps is an idiot and he is someone that I won't miss when he's gone.

I'd like to say that I'm not perfect, but am confident to know that I have lived a good enough life that if I were to die tomorrow I would find myself a place in Heaven. And if I'm wrong and Heaven doesn't exist, nor does God....well I still don't have anything to worry about, do I?

So today I just noticed that there is a new Penny design...perhaps there are others? This just happened to be the one that I saw.

Not really much to discuss about this....just thought it was kinda neat. I'm rarely in support of manufacturing more money if its done as a solution to economic problems because it stimulates inflation, but I'm often fascinated by new designs.

Well, another short blog today but I'm needing to get ready for a twelve-hour shift at work. Till tomorrow....


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Master of the Custodial Arts

I had an interview today for a custodian at IUS. It would be interesting for me to take the job if it is offered to me because it would say a lot about my pride (or lack thereof). Not that there is anything wrong with being a custodian - its an honest job and someone has to do it -but more for the fact that I have all of this management experience that it would be crazy for me to take a bottom of the barrel $8.50/hr job right? But I guess....when you are desperate for funds, you have to let go of your pride and take a few steps back.Maybe I can just tell people I'm a 'Master of the Custodial Arts'. Movie reference....anyone? Anyone?

I feel a discussion is potentially brewing on someone's status about Transformers 3. So this brings up a good question......particularly for people that were actually alive and able to watch the 80's Transformers Animated series.

Which one do you prefer? YOU know what I'm talking about....


I guess presented THAT way it's kind of a no brainer. I mean, one looks like one badass car that anyone with the right mind would want to own and the other looks like Herbie's Grandmother. Oh well.....I guess times are changing so I'll have to let go of that little piece of nostalgia.

So wrong....and yet, so funny.

So something just occurred to me last night, and I was frightfully disappointed. I have spend so much time defending the mainstream employment when I realized that a lot of them really are the garbage that corporate treats them like. I guess its safe to say that all of the good hard-working employees are managers by now and there aren't a whole lot left. It's sickening to think how horrible employees are these days.

Last night (and I'm not so sure I should be blogging abou
t a work incident, but half those people don't even have facebooks so who cares!), I saw two employees standing in their stand (ha, thats kinda funny) not doing a damn thing. Given the task at arranging a team that would assist the kitchen, I said to one of my co-Supervisors 'how bout them, they aren't doing anything.' Instantly, one of them flips out and starts complaining to me "I've been workin all week and I'm tired and my works done - blah blah blah" I said to him, " get a paycheck right? You get paid to work..correct?" And he looks at me and says "Yeah, you do too right? I don't see you working!"

In my REAL world, that employee wouldn't have set foot in that place again for talking to a Supervisor like that. And ten years ago, his ass would have been gone in a heartbeat. But sadly, this isn't the first time this has happened and wouldn't have been the first time I attempted to terminate an employee and got overturned because of some 'legal bullshit' And we wonder where customer service is going?

With as many good people out there looking for jobs and as many shitty employees there are behind the counters its confusing to think that companies are so afraid to take care of business. They'd rather get rid of the higher paid full-time staff that actually do a lot of hard-work for the company than people that are a danger to themselves and everyone they work around. I don't think I'll ever understand it, but the truth be told that is the main reason I'm burnt out on Management jobs and trying to get a degree in something I will enjoy doing for the rest of my life.

Anyway, that's my rant for the day.

And just because I love stealing Paul's ideas......

I wonder how many people have had that conversation where that WASN'T an autocorrect snafu....

Well, that's it for today. Short blog....I know. I really have no excuse. Oh well.

Till next time.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Chuck Norris Approved This Blog

Every great blog deserves a picture of Chuck Norris.

Because I know you all LOVE hearing about it I'll be sure to start off today's blog talking about the Casey Anthony murder trial and the verdict of 'Not Guilty'. (Story)

I was as shocked as everyone when they announced that she was found not guilty, however it is understanding if they feel that their evidence does not prove that a person is guilty of murder. Since they were seeking the death penalty, it was crucial that they got it right and the slightest 'hole' in the evidence would have maintained her image as innocent in the matter. It's unfortunate, because many people believe there is enough pointing in her direction - and the fact that she was found guilty of lying really makes you wonder how trustworthy she really is - to convict her of the murder charges, and sadly Caylee Anthony has yet to receive justice for this tragedy.

The most troubling for me is seeing the numerous people on facebook pouring out there hearts to a girl they never knew, and only knew of her existence through the media. Children are abused and murdered every day but I wonder how many people that are posting their 'support' for the Anthony family have ever donated money or publicly supported a cause to stop child abuse. Sometimes I really feel like people use these events to brighten their own image, and sometimes that can be bothersome.

On a lighter note, I was rather amused by this picture posted on facebook following the trial verdict.

My bank account is dangerously low right now. And yes....I mean Housefly emerging from wallet low. I would attest it to my poor handling of finances, but I think its more due to the fact that I haven't been working the hours I've needed to ensure I can pay my monthly bills and afford to eat every day. Part of the problem is the Community Advisor Job. I'm on call three to four days a week and don't get paid anything extra in terms of weekly pay. Sure, I get the free housing...but at the same time if I didn't have the CA job I could be working 40+ hours a week and living in apartment in which I'd be making enough to pay rent and my bills. Aside from the three or four days on call, I have events and meetings that sometimes get in the way of my work hours as well. So yes, as much as I enjoy the free housing sometimes this CA job can really be a bother.

That being said, if you would like to donate to the "Save Peter from Going Broke" fund, feel free to go to my paypal account at :)

I don't need a pat on the back. I need a friggin bonus!!! That's one of the biggest problems I have with the job market. Corporate America prides themselves on written compliments and stupid rewards because they are cheap and sometimes free. But you really wanna motivate your team? Make sure they have what they NEED to get the job done. Make sure you are always available to help and aren't hiding in an office somewhere waiting for t
he day to end.

A good friend and co-worker from my Six Flags days once said that we should spend LESS money on stupid rewards that will sit in a closet and collect dust and spend more on buying umbrellas and water bottles for our hard-working employees that spend their day in the hot smoldering sun to ensure our Guests were enjoying themselves. What a GREAT idea. It's a shame some drama happened while I was in northern Indiana and now none of my friends from that place talk to him.

If mainstream workers really are the 'backbone' (ever tried living without a backbone?) of a corporation, then why the hell would you treat them like garbage? People seem to forget it isn't just PRODUCT that businesses compete for these days.

I sure am glad that was an autocorrect snafu but then again there are sicker people in the world.

So I am off of my nightly routine of running and exercise but I feel its because I wore myself out playing volleyball and tennis over the holiday weekend. I was pretty sore yesterday, but feeling better today so when I leave work I'll probably plan on running a few miles. I've been on this kick every since my grandfather went into the hospital, but it makes no logical sense. My grandfather is 83.....I would not exactly consider that a young age to be hospitalized and potentially nursery home bound. Plus, if you know my dad you know that he is 61 and in the shape of a 35 year old. So really what it boils down to is that I am dissatisfied with the sloth lifestyle I am used to living and wanting to get myself back in shape. Only problem is, sometimes I feel as though its too late. Oh well...keep truckin I guess.

After jumping up around 20 cents over the weekend, which we all assumed was because it was a holiday weekend, gas jumped 20 cents again and is now back to living on the heels of the $4 mark. I laugh about the above picture, but in southern Indiana this is especially true. My last gallon of gas I spent $35. For $35 I can buy 11 of the tall 23 oz beers at applebees. But I don't need beer as much as I need gas, so you can see where all the frustration comes from.

Maybe we should go back to getting every where by 'Oregon Trail' wagons. That reminds me of a pretty funny video with Louis CK.....

I made the mistake of showing this to a bunch of 19 and 20 year olds in my lodge. Their 'meh' attitude towards the video made me realize how old I really am. But the best line ever should be the motto of Generation Y. "How quickly the world owed him something he only knew existed ten minutes ago."

I'm eating a bowl of oatmeal for the first time in 12 years. I just thought you all would enjoy hearing this.

And on that note, I am done with the blog writing today. Thanks for reading, but please please please comment.....I love comments because they make me feel as though my hour that I spend writing this damn thing has been worth it! Till next time.....peace!

(wait...does that mean there WON'T be peace when next time gets here?)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence Day

So another Independence Day has come and gone, and yet again the Aliens missed the key date for an attack on the planet earth. It's fine though.....the prophecy of Roland Emmerich says we would have kicked their asses anyway. I managed to watch that movie last night, and interestingly enough I had a dream following the movie that I was living the movie and discovered that the Aliens were actually evolved versions of humans that had once destroyed their home planet 'earth' but then traveled through time using black holes and were attempting to reclaim their planet and start up their own civilization on the new planet earth again. Weird, huh? Especially because the Aliens in Independence Day look absolutely NOTHING like humans. Still, it might make a good book some day.

Independence Day, while it may have some writing flaws, is a really good flick and a feel-good movie. I mean, when Bill Pullman get's up there and gives his "Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!" speech, you can't help but stand up and cheer. I really love the musical score, as well. Not a lot of people know who David Arnold is when he's surrounded by greats such as Hans Zimmer and John Williams, but he really completed an awesome masterpiece.

Here is a piece of his music from the movie, the end battle scene to be specific......

And just because its so awesome, Bill Pullman's speech....

Well,'s a great movie and if you haven't checked it out, take the time and watch it.

In other news, Charles L. Baker of Louisville sent in a letter to the Courier-Journal having to do with the current struggles of the Louisville. As little of an effect this may actually have, it is still a good read and nice to know that people are still fighting to keep the arts alive in America.

Let the arts grow

I find myself asking the question, “What is the role of arts and human service organizations in today's perilous economic times?” The Louisville Orchestra is one example. There is certainly a case to be made for cutting budgets and trimming the number of players. Private business and government have chosen this “fiscally prudent” route.

However, I find myself thinking about another option. The Louisville Orchestra has the potential to be part of a new, vibrant Louisville. We must believe in the power of music to raise the spirits of the city. This “lock out” of the musicians only adds to the negativity that's already all around us.

The board of the orchestra has a higher calling than the “bottom line.” A commitment to the “top line” is part of what we all need to begin to climb out of this despondent mood brought on by the current recession. By choosing a path of growth — rather than reduction — the Louisville Orchestra could set an example to inspire the business community and government to invest in every sector of this great city.

The Louisville Orchestra has a great history, and what we need now is a vision of a great future. A belief in that vision can generate the gift support to make that dream a reality. I've had the opportunity to work closely with some great board members. Once at the Children's Center, when faced with a dire economic situation, we were choosing between cutting services or dipping into the principle of our modest endowment. One courageous board member rose to his feet with a challenge. He said, “I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd rather spend every penny of our endowment and then close our doors, than not have the kind of quality I can be proud of.” He turned around the organization that day. With his vision, we were transformed from followers into leaders.


Louisville 40208

Unfortunately, people that are not involved in the arts in the ways that we are will never understand the need for it and it will continue to take a back seat to things such as athletics programs and corporate businesses. It makes sense, because this world has such a high dependency for currency that its the dollar amounts that dictate society. Oh well.....

It is possible that the search for Indiana University student Lauren Spierer that has been going on for over a month now may come to a tragic end if it is revealed that the body recovered just outside of Indianapolis is that of Miss Spierer's. (Story) I can't even begin to imagine what her parents must be going through right now, and one can't help but wonder if this could have been avoided. The parents and police force have received very few tips on her disappearance, which seems odd because you'd think that someone would know at least something that may be helpful. But who knows what happened.....our only hope at this point is that justice for Lauren and her family is served.

I heard on the news that Obama's national debt increase since he took office is at 54%. This made little sense to me, so I decided to do some investigation on my own when I stumbled across the fact that Obama had increased the national debt by 3 trillion dollars in just his first two years as our president. Increase our national debt at ALL is rarely a good thing, but according to CBS (ha...its not Fox news this time!) Bush increased the national debt by 4.9 trillion dollars in his entire two year term, and none of us were thrilled with that. Hmmmm Mr. O, I'm not sure that was the kind of 'change' people were looking for when they voted you in office.

Lucky for him, being a Chicago boy Obama knows how to pull strings and manipulate votes legally to ensure he will be re-elected in the fall so it would be no surprise if we got him as our president for four more years (if the Mayans happen to be wrong that is).

But I am not as versed in politics as my brother Matt is, so you should definitely check out his blog written straight out of Miami Florida: The Miami Political Philosophy.

Speaking of politics, I didn't feel nearly as overwhelmed with political floats watching Lexington's Independence Day parade yesterday. But one of the things that I did notice was that they had an outstanding Gay and Lesbian Rainbow colored float. I of course had mixed feelings about this. I admire that they accept that they are humans and should be treated like humans but I disagreed with their use of the word 'fairness' because when talking about fairness I think they aren't using the word correctly and that it isn't pertaining to equal rights. Perhaps acceptance is a better term to use. I'm just not so sure the need to get out there and flaunt the fact that you are gay - it's almost as if you are suggesting that people SHOULD be gay, and that I can NOT agree with because its a contradiction to the idea that people should be allowed to live their lifestyle how they want (within the framework of the law, of course). If anything, all that parading your sexual lifestyle does is add fuel to the fire.

I used to get heckled and treated poorly for being significantly shorter than others, and guess what - that WASN'T a personal choice. And I'm not talking about a little name-calling, I'm talking about being threatened at knife point and punched and bruised. But I don't go out there parading the fact that I'm short.

I'm sure I will get attacked for this and called a homophobe....and if anyone does call me that clearly they aren't getting my point. My point being equal rights should be EQUAL rights, not shifted the other way to make the 'majority' start to feel uncomfortable, and I feel like that's the direction we are headed.

That being said, I do firmly believe that PEOPLE should not be judged negatively for being a homosexual.

But anyway, it's whatever......More from the parade.

Dad, Mario, and I drinkin some beers before the parade. Not a huge fan of budlight but at least they were serving it cold for a change. Besides, my old man and I went and had some Kentucky Ale a little bit later - and that's a good beer!

Good to know that Lexington actually prides itself in being the nations most "Sedentary City". I had to laugh at this.....

I'm going to end the blog here before I piss off any more people that disagree with me, but hey.....if you judge me for my beliefs then you are no better than people that judge people for their race, sexual preference, or gender. And I did warn people that my blogs got somewhat political at times!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bringing the Sports Rants Back!

Good morning, ladies and gents! It's a beautiful day out and one day until the 235th anniversary of our Nation's independence, and already people are out celebrating like we just won the war. If you can get past the loud pops and redneck cheers in the streets, this is a GOOD thing. In a previous blog, I mentioned the need for some good ol' fashioned patriotism and what better way to celebrate our freedom by replicating the 'bombs bursting in air' part of our National Anthem?

Unfortunately, the 4th of July weekend didn't go quite so perfectly for many people in Louisville. Taylor Swift, country pop singer sensation, had to cancel her show in Louisville due to an illness that was affecting her singing. (Story).

Taylor sincerely apologized for cancelling the show on her Twitter page, and it seems that most fans have been supporting her rather than being angered by this. It makes sense, as a singer catching the bug is one of the worst things to happen to you and this is the first show Taylor has had to cancel. She will be making the concert up on October 11, and all tickets will be honored - but bless her heart because she will have been in Austin three days prior to this concert. Although I'm not a huge fan of Taylor Swift's songwriting, I have to respect the girl because she really does have a strong passion for song and is a good role models for kids. I'd rather my kids be fans of Taylor Swift than Miley Cyrus.

See you in October, Taylor.

Apparently Officials in Louisville are still having problems keeping parents from leaving their children alone in hot cars for extended periods of time (Story)

Wait for it......wait for it......


But seriously. How stupid can you be? And the most disturbing case is the ONE YEAR OLD found in a car in the parking lot of a STRIP CLUB. Are you SERIOUS???? Mark one for CPS, cause I hope they were all over this one. It really bugs me that this keeps happening, and I wonder if it would be feasible to require 'parenting' permits. Lord knows a lot of people need them. I think when a parent leaves a child in a hot car the punishment should be to lock them in a location significantly hotter to let them know how it feels.

So let me be clear on one thing. With the tragic story of the Costellos featured in the video, that can be penciled in as a foolish but honest mistake. When you work a stressful job, and your routine changes in that fashion it can be easy to forget something like this and unfortunately this time it ended up in tragedy. I don't consider this to be child negligence per say as much as leaving your 1 year old in a hot car while you go into a freakin STRIP CLUB.

When I worked at Six Flags, it was very common for children to be left unattended while their parents go ride rides. And the most common defense was when the parents would say "It's ok, I told them to stay there till we got back." Really? You told your five year old to stay there in a crowded, loud place with crazy characters walking all over the place? Great thinking mom and dad.

In other news, Elizabeth Kramer, a journalist for the Courier-Journal, has written a very nice article about majoring in the arts. It is definitely worth a read (Story).

I wish there was more of a verbal push that included music as the 'Arts', but I'm happy that there are people defending passion over financial security. Don't get me wrong, its great to ensure that you can put food on the table but the argument "I'm not continuing with the arts because there's NO money in it" is ridiculous because there are plenty of ways to make money if you are talented in the arts. Props to Mrs. Kramer on posting this gem!

WARNING: The following pictures contains offensive language.

"Do you hate all Jews or just Fox Jews?" HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I really love that site. Thanks to my brother Paul for first introducing it to me. He posts one every day on his daily blog.

In the sports world, apparent Kentucky's football program is switching back to the white helmets in attempt to catch the eyes of recruits.

Seriously? Aside from Kentucky taking a back seat from the other SEC programs, it seems like money would be better spent on updating the seriously dilapidated athletics facilities that school has. The nickle and dime method rarely works, and sooner or later the Kentucky Athletics board will need to realize that they should cut back just slightly on their basketball scholarship and recruiting money and try and fix problems within the entire program. Kentucky would do just fine with a top 10 recruiting class, but for some strange reason they feel like they always have to have the top. Still waiting for that top recruiting class to bring home a national championship......

This is not simple cardinal bitterness, because first of all - Louisville's athletics facilities are FAR superior to Kentucky's. Our football stadium and basketball arena's are both newer, and the Louisville athletic board had to fight to state on numerous occasions in order allow for the football expansion and building of the KFC Yum! Center.

Flashy uniforms don't help with recruiting as much as nice facilities do. Well established programs help, and lets' face it.....whereas Kentucky may have won the last four meetings against the Cardinals, since the 1970's the Cards have been the superior football program, with many more bowl seasons and Fiesta and Orange Bowl wins. Even after the current losing streak, the cards are still 9-8 over the cats since the 1970's.

Cats fans can have basketball. Regardless of what I think of Calipari's ethics of basketball, the Cats have five more national championships than the cards and are the more stories program. That has to be respected. But football? Seriously? Get real, Kentucky. Being in the SEC doesn't make your program great when you land near the bottom every year. The cards are in a tough basketball conference with a lot of teams, but they still manage to make it the top 5 consistently.

Well, that's my sports rant for the day. I know you all have MISSED that, but football season is quickly approaching! And when it does, this blog will heavily weighted on sports discussions!

Thanks again for reading, and I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Comic Book/Animated Heroes in Film

Saturday blog! Always a good time, especially because my counterpart Paul Felice doesn't update his blog - so perhaps his followers will flock their way over to my facebook page to satisfy their cravings for some good reads.

Probably not, but can hope.

I saw Transformers: The Dark of the Moon last night and if you can get past some of the typical cheesy Michael Bay comedy and mediocre acting it was a pretty awesome movie. The story line itself was a whole lot better than the 2nd one, so I was pretty relieved. A lot of the critics ripped the movie to shreds, which always confuses me because I thought the whole purpose of movies was to entertain. And believe me, it was a VERY entertaining movie with a whole lot of Robot vs. Robot action. I could write a review for this movie in two words: BAD ASS.

That's what SHE said.

Interesting fact about Michael Bay. Apparently in the first film he was the human that gets flicked by Megatron. You learn something new every day.

And in case you were unaware,


Got replaced by this.........
Thoughts? I still preferred Megan Fox, but it's pretty hard to resist the accent.....

So the next movie I am planning on seeing is Captain America, which comes out July 22. I never got into Captain America but the movie looks pretty awesome and I feel I need to watch it to prepare for the Avengers film. If there is one thing that the past decade and this decade will be remembered for it will be for the ridiculous wave of Superhero films. Let's face it, the Comic Book Industry was dying until X-men came along. I know X-men pretty much pulled Marvel out of a financial hellhole they thought they'd never recover from.

And if you saw X-men: First Class, you know they are still standing strong. That was probably the best Marvel film I have seen.

It should also be mentioned that Marvel also teamed up with Hasbro to bring us a comic book series surrounding the beloved Transformers. So if you wanted to live every child's fantasy of seeing Spider-man battle Decepticons, you have a chance.

You thought I was kidding about Spidey and Megatron, didn't you?

Ah, what would the world be like without comic book or cartoon heroes? I grew up on Transformers, Thundercats, G.I.Joe, and a little bit later Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The first three were my after school line-up. Who knew at age 7 I had my very own daily routine?

But the thing about Transformers, Thundercats, and G.I. Joe is that by today's standards these cartoons are total garbage. However, I still go back and watch them for the nostalgic value - and in their time they were EPIC. I'm ok with live action film adaptations (although, Thundercats would be a little tough to pull off) but what I can't stand is the new releases of animated series. Some things should be left as antiques and should not be

Eeek. Ok yeah let's just can the whole Thundercats Live Action idea all together. In fact, forget I even mentioned this as a possibility.

Anyway, I pretty much share a common belief with everyone else I know between the ages of 28-36. The kids of today - they love that shit. And I guess I'd rather them be watching those shows than Hannah Montana or ICarly.

But rebirths of nostalgic fads is nothing new to Hollywood. But what is becoming ridiculously more common is rebooting of franchises. The most recent and popular occurence of this was the Batman Franchise. A part of every human died when Batman and Robin was released, yet Christopher Nolan swooped in and saved the day. This is what we call a successful reboot.

I am expecting the same treatment when Mark Webb takes the Spider-man driver's seat, although that franchise was really going in the right direction......till Spider-man 3. Way to fumble on the one yard line, Raimi. The difference between Spider-man and Batman is that the Batman franchise was inevitable because the Cast AND the Crew changed between the 2nd and 3rd movies. With the reboot, Nolan highlighted Burton's original depiction of what the Dark Knight was supposed to be and completely obliterated the Joel Shumacher bright lights and glamor version of the Caped Crusader. I could not have been happier.

The best part about the new Batman film series is that they don't kill off the villains. Yes, if you have been reading up on your batman you will know that NONE of the villains have died because the third film marks the return of.....

If you want to stay true to the comic books, you don't kill off the villains. Then there would be no need for Arkham Asylum, and there'd be no need for powerful reoccurring villains such as Lex Luthor and Magneto. Props to Mr Nolan on maintaining this philosophy of Comic Book film making.

But alas, what doesn't work for me works for others. I guess I can understand that with all of the directors and producers there are, chances are I will not be satisfied with every film depiction of a childhood fantasy world. Then again, perhaps I should have more of an appreciation for the art that goes into each and every film and applaud their attempts to resurrect things we once loved as kids but were lost in the 'New Age'. With the technological possibilities seeming to be endless, they can pretty much recreate anything these days. Thank God for technology.

Well, that is my blog for today folks. Thanks again for reading, and keep checking it daily!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Indiana Law and Patriotism

It's really tough to keep a daily blog. I have to admire Paul for that because he updates his World Famous Mokracy Blog every day without missing a beat. It must be because his life is far more exciting than mine currently. I mean, let's face it - so far this summer hasn't exactly been filled with thrill upon thrill. I work about one or two days of the week and the rest is spent either watching TV or playing sports. Real exciting life there....I do spend a lot of time at Applebee's, which is weird. I used to work at that place, but its honestly the cheapest casual dining restaurant in the area. No where else can you get a 23 oz beer at any time of the day for under three dollars. Add that to their half-price appetizers and you can have a meal and three or four dreams for under $15. That's spectacular.

But then again when you are THAT guy, you really probably shouldn't be spending $15 every night. Oh well, at least I haven't quite gotten to the point of being THIS guy yet:

So, while at Applebee's with friends last night the discussion of whether or not it is a LAW that you have to card people under a certain age came up and while I did not think it was a law, apparently it Indiana. Because I'm pretty sure in Kentucky it's not. And I will go ahead and say I'm not particularly fond of the state trying to mandate carding if they LOOK under a certain age, particularly because as we know visual age is very arguable. For example: Let's say an older man walks in with a scruffy beard, and its pretty obvious he's hovering around the middle age area. If you don't card him (even if he IS over 40) and someone were to think that he LOOKS under 40 then technically you are breaking the law. Because the law doesn't say you must card everyone that IS under 40, primarily because the only way to know this is to card them anyway. See where this law is flawed?

In Kentucky, the law doesn't care if you card or not...all they care about is that your business takes the necessary precautions to avoid serving someone under 21 alcohol. They leave it to the businesses to determine at what age they want to require carding. At Applebee's, it's usually 30. At Wal-mart, 40. At Centerplate (Venue Concessions company I work for), a wrinkly old man with a cane will get carded - yes, that's a bit overboard.

Another interesting Indiana Law blunder. Apparently, in Indiana you can't text and drive but it is ok to surf the web or check e-mail on your mobile phone. (Story)

(Yay, I found my Kitty WTF picture!)

Indiana - What a screwed up state.

So, once again I posted another status update that stirred another debate. This is what I said:

It really should not have been a debate, but of course there's one in every family so a friend of mine posted saying I was overreacting because it is 'just a flag'. Luckily, the majority of the group disagreed with him and agreed that the American Flag is MUCH more than 'just a flag'. It represents our freedom and liberty, the thousands of men and w
omen dying every year to protect our country, hard-working people doing there best to make sure things run right in this country - yes, its MUCH more than just a flag.

The reason for my rant is because Independence day is coming up and people will be sporting the red white and blue on that day, which is great. But a few months ago, I was wearing a shirt sporting the American Flag and someone asked "Why are you wearing that, are you actually proud to be an American right now?" Why wouldn't I be? Again, our Government will never be perfect and gets it WRONG just as much as they get it right - but is that any reason to disrespect those that sacrificed their lives for my right to live? YES. I'M DAMN PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN. So why only wear the red white and blue on an American holiday?

You may remember the story that broke out last year when three California high school students chose to wear American flag Shirts on Cinco de Mayo and were sent home for being 'disrespectful' to Mexican heritage. So.....wearing an American flag is disrespectful to other countries heritage? Who knew. Again - I want to post the Kitty WTF picture, but only once per blog is enough....

The moral of the story - be proud of what it means to be an American and in case you forgot what we are fight for, hopefully this will refresh your memory.....

RIP: The Brave Men and Women that were lost on 9/11/01

Well, once again another relatively short blog....but it has lots of pictures, and everyone loves pictures. Thank you all once again for reading!