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Showing posts from May, 2017

The Upload Project #7

CD #61. 'Fun., P!nk $ Co (x2)' all repeats except for:
Fun.- Some Nights
Fun.-At Least I'm Not As Sad As I Used To Be
Pink- Feel Good Time
Pink- God Is A DJ
AC/DC- Shoot To Thrill
AC/DC- Back In Black
Rolling Stones- Brown Sugar
Eminem ft Nate Dogg- Shake That Ass
Eminem- No Love
Little Big Town- Pontoon
Little Big Town- Boondocks
OK Go- Do What You Want
OK Go- Here It Goes Again

CD #62, 'A Ho Prototype, OK Go, Kanye, Jay Z, Sex Bob-omb' all repeats except for:
OK Go- This Too Shall Pass
Kanye West- No Church In The Wild
Sex Bob-Omb- We Are Sex Bob-Omb
Trent Reznor/Karen O- Immigrant Song
Mohammed Rafi- Jaan Pehechaan Ho
Lil Wayne/The Game- Red Nation
Coldplay and Rihanna- Princess of China
Pixies- Nimrod's Son
My Chemical Romance- Na Na Na Na Na
The Notorious B.I.G.- Mo Money, Mo Problems
Arcade Fire- Half Light II (No Celebration)
Rehab- Sittin' At A Bar

CD #63, 'Super Old Mix (Meatloaf & Boots w/The fur)' all repeats except for:
Fleetwood Mac- …

Boozehound Unfiltered: Pimm's

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It's summer time and you know what that means? Time to spread the word about Britain's Greatest Summertime Treat- Pimm's!

You might have seen on the shelf in your local grocery store on liquor warehouse and if you haven't actually snagged a bottle to see what it's all about, that's totally understandable. It's not really one liquor or another- it's more of a tonic. Which, of course, makes it a very British thing indeed. Emerging n the mid-1800s, courtesy of a dude named Pimm who was a farmer's son from Kent. He made his 'No. 1 Cup' as a mix of gin and secret herbs and liqueurs and by the 1880s, Pimm had gone from one Oyster Bar to a whole franchise chain of Oyster Houses.

At it's height, Pimm's had not just the 'No 1. Cup' but five other counterparts- including No. 2 (scotch whisky based), No. 3, based on brandy (still sold as the Pimm's Winter Cup), No. 4 was rum based, No. 5 was rye whisky based, No. 6 is vodka based a…

Sir Roger Moore, 1927-2017

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As if the world wasn't gloomy enough following a barbaric terrorist attack on a teenage pop star's rock concert in Manchester, Roger Moore died Tuesday at the ripe old age of 89 following a short battle with cancer. This genuinely, really and truly, bums me out. In terms of my generation, my 'Bond' should have been Timothy Dalton or Pierce Brosnan, but thanks to my parents, the Bond that I was first introduced too and really, the Bond that I grew up with was Roger Moore.

First Bond movie I ever saw was Live and Let Die. As they began to release them on VHS back in the early 90s, we seemed to gravitate more toward Roger Moore movies than any other Bond movies. (I think Goldfinger was the only Connery movie we had on VHS. We added Octopussy, For Your Eyes Only, Moonraker and A View To A Kill to our collection.) Moore, I think, was the perfect tonic for the ulta-serious Connery-era Bond, He never took himself too seriously and invested his time in the Bond franchise with…

Bookshot Special: Some Graphic Novels, Just For Kicks

Saga (Brian Vaughn/Fiona Staples)

I had heard about this, but never actually tracked down a copy and read the first couple of volumes and it more than lives up to the hype. The story of Marko and Alana, who are the star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of an intergalactic war that never ends- they fall in love and have a baby and everyone wants them dead. All they want is to find a safe place to be a family. This might have to join Saga author Brian Vaughn's other work, Y: The Last Man on my 'must own' shelf as it grabs you from the word 'go' and sucks you right into the action.

And the action is beautiful... it's like a grand mish-mash of science fiction and fantasy and the art is beautiful and compelling and oh hell, I'm hooked. And if you haven't read this, you need to track it down and read it. It's worth it.


The Mighty Thor (Walter Simonson)

I listen to Jay and Miles X-Plain The X-Men on the regular and every time Thor comes up, they always ment…

Sportsyball: End of The Season Edition

MLS Quest
I've been bad in my quest for an MLS Team so far this season, but with the Premier League out of the way, I've got to pick up the pace and get someone eliminated off of my final four before the end of the season. Just a reminder: FC Dallas, Sporting KC, Toronto FC and Minnesota United. Minnesota has probably been the biggest surprise of the season after a less than auspicious debut to their first season in the MLS. I'm excited to get into this season more than I have and keep this quest rolling.


Adopt-A-Team
Woof! NEC Nijmegen is battling it out to stay alive in the relegation playoffs- I'm still running down the rabbit hole to see if they're good to go but the only Wikipedia page I found on the Nacompetitie was in Dutch and while I've dabbled in Dutch via Duolingo, it's not quite that good yet.

So: I think they're safe. But even if they're not, they're off to a good start- winning both legs against Dutch Second Division team FC Emmen. …

The HWIC Has Arrived

Comrades! Citizens! Iowegians!

The hour we have so long waited and prayed for has come. Our Glorious and Eternal Governor, The Moustache has accepted an appointment from Our Tangerine Regime and is set to depart our fields of opportunities after decades of engaging in the most noble of Grand American Traditions: enriching himself on the public teat, parlaying his riches into lucrative six figure jobs in the private sector before coming back to suckle on the public teat of our great state once more.

Our Glorious and Eternal Governor has finally weaned himself from the burden of decades of public service and is sailing to the east to bring the authority of Our Tangerine Regime to the Godless Heathen Sort of Kind of Communists of the People's Republic of China. Yes, Our Glorious and Eternal Governor, The Moustache shall spread the good news of high quality corn, bountiful soybeans and that sweet ambrosia of the internal combustion engine, ethanol to the people of China and they shall…

You Can't Have It Both Ways

The ongoing internet kerfuffle over the Notre Dame Commencement Walkout is starting to piss me off, so let's sit down and have a little talk. (American Right, I'm talking to you.)

First, I loved this. This is exactly how free speech is supposed to work and given the rough year the idea of free speech has been having on American campuses it was an almighty relief to see Notre Dame doing it right. They didn't boo. They didn't throw things. They didn't shout Pence down. They quietly, politely filed out of the commencement to protest Pence and his Administration's shitty policies. Good for them. This is exactly how free speech is supposed to work.

Second, you can't have it both ways.  You can't complain that college kids are too precious and sheltered to hear opposing points of view when they shut down or dis-invite speakers and then get all up and arms about it when they exercise the first amendment rights you always yell about by walking out in a peacefu…

Netflix & Chill #15: The Secret Life Of Pets

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Watched On: Netflix
Released: 2016
Starring: Louis CK, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan, Albert Brooks 
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Pick: Mine


Our Friday night movie for the kiddos, we exercised our parental veto over Little Man (who wanted to watch Big Hero Six for the 1,432,345th time) to sit down and watch The Secret Life of Pets and while it wasn't the greatest movie I've ever seen, it was an entertaining way to pass our night and I honestly enjoyed this movie. The basic premise of the movie: what do our pets get up to while we're away at work on at the grocery story or the like? Turns out, quite a bit.

Max is a Jack Russell Terrier who lives with his owner Katie in a Manhattan apartment, while she's at work, he hangs out with the other pets in the buildings- a cat named Chlore, a pug named Mel, a dachshund named Buddy and a bird named Sweatpea- it's a pretty good life that gets …

This Week In Vexillology #214

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Well, it's May.

And reaching back into the archives of 'Lost Weekends In Vexillology' I noticed that both Uruguay and Argentina are on my list, and they have one thing in common: the Sun of May.


This particular version of the sun of May comes from Argentina's flag- Uruguay's looks a little different (as we'll see in a minute.) But the Sun of May refers to the May Revolution which took place 207 years ago this week, which marked the beginning of independence from Spain for the then Viceroyalty of the Rio De La Plata. The legend goes that as the new government was formed, the sun broke through the clouds and was seen as a good omen. There have also been claims that the Sun represents the Inca Sun God Inti. (Checking Inti's wiki page, I think there's a good case to be made for that interpretation. (Side note: how cool is it that the Incan Sun God has his own Wikipedia Page?))

The reasons for the revolt are complicated (and I'm going to plug the Revolut…

The Laws of Unintended Consequences

I wasn't intending to keep writing so much about politics this month- I kept a slot open in my schedule for the expected departure of Our Glorious and Eternal Governor, The Moustache, but he's still here and the gears of bureaucracy are grinding very slowly indeed. But the President keeps doing shit that makes it impossible not to write about.

So, he fired FBI Director James Comey. (My thoughts about that hot mess, here.) But then things took a shocking and unexpected twist: a purported memo Comey wrote that claimed that the President ordered him to stop investigating former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. No one right now knows what the memo actually says and despite the media shrieking, until we know what it says it's hard to say how big of a deal this actually is- but the general consensus is that it might be a very big deal indeed.

Let's say the memo says: "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go. Flynn's a good guy." (Which is a…

Albums2010 #89: Guardians of the Galaxy- Awesome Mix Vol. 2

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I haven't done too many soundtracks on this long, strange trip of mine, but the first Guardians of the Galaxy had such an excellent, almost iconic soundtrack, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second one- and for the record: I haven't even seen the movie yet! That's how pumped I was for this thing...

The first soundtrack was packed full of songs I recognized- I knew all the artists and had heard and liked at least 10 out of 12 tracks- the second volume goes for some deeper cuts- I've heard and liked about 5 out of 13 tracks. And I recognize only nine out of thirteen bands. You'd think that the deeper cuts would make it harder for a listener to connect to a soundtrack, but once again, the minds behind Guardians of the Galaxy prove me wrong.

The fun starts with ELO's Mr. Blue Sky: awesome song- I'll have to see the movie to be sure, but for some reason ELO really works. (There was a Tennant Doctor Who ep that used 'Don't Bring Me Down' to…

Netflix & Chill #14: Gimme Danger

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Watched On: Amazon Prime
Released: 2016
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Pick: Mine

Things have been weird lately, which made this the perfect documentary to sink my teeth into. I should clarify: by weird, I mean that I keep stumbling back into bands that I had forgotten that I had gotten in pretty deep with at some point back in the day. I had my odd Rod Stewart period (from the Faces all the way through to 'Do You Think I'm Sexy'), I watched Almost Famous a few times and then suddenly I got into Yes in a big way and for awhile I was really into Iggy and the Stooges.

So, this documentary was a pleasure and a half to watch.

From the genesis of the band in the wilds of Ann Arbor of the 60s, through meeting each other and their early association with the MC5 before breaking out and falling apart in the 70s before finally coming back together again in the late 90s/early 00s, it's been a wild ride for Iggy and the Stooges and Jarmusch wisely keeps the focus on h…

This Week In Vexillology #213

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We're going back into the archives again, this time for another 'Lost Weekend In Vexillology' this time in Africa...  and if you're talking about flags of Africa, what better place to begin than with the country that started it all, Ghana:
The Pan-African colors of red, yellow and green have had a huge influence on vexillological design across the continent- so much influence, in fact, it's almost too much, in my opinion. You can only have so many variations on one theme, you know? But Ghana was the second African flag after the flag of the Ethiopian Empire to feature these colors and while Ethiopia had remained free and independent and uncolonized by Europeans, Ghana was the first colony to declare it's independence and a wave of independence followed in its wake.

Designed by Theodosia Okoh it was adopted in 1957, flown until 1962 and the reinstated in 1966. (I haven't figured out if there was a reason for that brief interruption, but they brought it back-…

Put The Tin Foil Hat Down and Back Away Slowly

I was not intending to write quite so much about politics this month, but events keep embedding themselves in my brain and leading me to write things like this:

1. Comey should have been fired months ago. Sure, the timing was lousy, but holy hell- whether you're Democrat, Republican or Independent, I think we can all agree on this: dude tanked a Presidential electionjust because he could. I was betting that had Hillary won, he would have been first out the door and it doesn't surprise me that President Trump is showing him the door now. If he's willing to tank a Presidential election for the flimsiest of reasons, then what else is he willing to do? I wouldn't trust this dude any further than I could have thrown him. (Plus, the new acting FBI Director? Democrat. Very Democrat. So it's not like the President fired Comey to make way for a new buddy immediately. Getting a new FBI Director will take time.)

2. No, the Russia investigation isn't going away. In fact, i…

Psephology Rocks: You're All Wrong About The French Election

So, it's President Macron. By a more than comfortable margin- as expected, the other parties closed ranks against the National Front and Marine Le Pen just couldn't expand her base enough to get the votes she needed to make it close or even to win. But here's the deal: all the takes I've seen so far on the French election- they're all wrong and here's why.

First: Stop projecting this country's political neuroses onto other countries- France is not like America. So, this piece of satire, while excellent misses the point. All the Tweets I've seen like this miss the point as well:
A very important point. Fillon and the French right didn't capitulate to Le Pen like DC Republicans did to Trump. https://t.co/Ey1cJOJmHK — Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) May 7, 2017
Points like this, while I'm sure of great comfort to liberals and Progressives on this side of the Atlantic miss the point about both the 2016 election as well as what happened in France. The Nationa…

Bookshot #97: Siddhartha

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Well, it's short. I'll give it that. Coming in at one hundred and fifty two pages, Siddhartha is a fast read. Initially, I assumed that they were talking about the man himself, Gautama Buddha- but Hesse is in fact, talking about another Siddhartha, his main character- the man himself does show up in the book, but as Gotama, the Enlightened One that Siddhartha encounters on his travels.  But- backing up a second:

Siddhartha is the young son of a rich Brahmin, who, feeling no satisfaction with his comfortable life decides to discard it and seek a life of contemplation, joining the Samanas and becoming an ascetic and renouncing all his personal possessions for a life of poverty- his friend Govinda joins him and Siddhartha fasts and meditates in search of spiritual enlightenment- he finds no answers and eventually he and Govinda seek out the Gotama and attempt to find wisdom from his teachings. While Govinda makes the decision to join Gotama's order, Siddhartha leaves him behi…

Netflix & Chill #13: The BFG

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Watched On: Netflix
Released: 2016
Starring: Mary Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Rafe Spall, Bill Harder
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Pick: Austin's

I've been trying to read to Austin more often (for a variety of reasons- not least of which is that I think the more you read to kids, the more they're going to want to read and the more they read, the better of they'll be) and one of the books we just finished was Roald Dahl's The BFG- now, he had already seen the movie at some point along the way, but obviously since we just finished the book*, that meant that we had to watch the movie again.

Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is a ten year old orphan, who stays away reading because of her insomnia- around 3 AM one night, or what she calls 'the witching hour' she sees a large, elderly giant outside her window- when the giant sees her, he captures her and takes back to Giant Country. Once he reaches his house, he explains to Sophie that she mu…

This Week In Vexillology #212

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This Week In Vexillology, we're looking at some municipal flags*, just so shake things up a bit: Tampa and Tulsa. Let's start off with Tampa- the flag of Tampa? Well the flag of Tampa looks like this:
Adopted on July 1st, 1930, it's meant to represent "the eras, growths and characteristics of Tampa." And it's not really a flag- it's more of a strange combination of a bunch of other flags. Yes, there are elements of the Stars and Stripes (should be obvious to the eye), the British Union Flag (I'm assuming the diagonal red lines here?), the flag of Italy (the red and the green at the tip of the flag) and the French Tricolor (red, white and blue). There's also red and gold to represent Spain- who helped to explore the area in 1528. The area also saw an influx of Spanish and Cuban immigrants.

There's an 'H' in the flag that should be obvious to the eye that stands for Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located and the blue stripe/white st…

May On Medium

This month on Medium, I'm finally reaching the end of the cycle of short stories that I began working on last year with The Great Lemonade War:

https://medium.com/@thequixoter/the-great-lemonade-war-182d5d4928e4

This one was inspired by a random sign on a local bank I saw last summer, "Ask Us About Becoming A Lemon Boss' and I sort of took it from there. I think I was sort of aiming for a vaguely Lake Wobegon type of nostalgic humor and I don't know if I quite hit the mark. In general though, I'm happy with it.

Now, I pick out the best of the bunch, find places to send them and then roll up my sleeves and get to work on my next book.

100 Days In

100 Days is a totally arbitrary and entirely stupid number to use when judging the metrics of a Presidency. Just because FDR had an amazing First 100 Days doesn't mean you need to use him a yardstick for every other President ever, all right- I mean, the dude lasted four terms, ended the Depression, won World War II and died in office. It's like comparing Michael Jordan to Reggie Miller. Reggie was a legit baller. Doesn't mean he was good as Michael Jordan was though.

But hey, every one gets all hot and bothered about the whole 100 Days Bullshit, so this modest blog of mine should be no exception, right?  So, where are we- 100 days in?

Well, we're still here. So that's a start, right?

Let's start with Foreign Policy:

Oddly enough, while I may not be crazy about some of the Trump Administration's more aggressive moves internationally, I feel okay about this administration and foreign policy now. With Michael 'Pizzagate' Flynn and Steve 'Crazy As …

Squawk Box: You Had One Job, Danny Rand

So, where to start with Iron Fist?

I think Marvel was sort of damned if they did, damned if they didn't in many ways and having seen Doctor Strange, I'm increasingly convinced of that fact. With these Netflix shows, they seem to have made the decision to go with the 'classic' version of any given character as a means of either introducing them to a wider, screen-based audience or just because they wanted to hew as close to the original source material as possible. And therein, I think lies the fundamental problem with this show.

As people were quick to point out, Danny Rand isn't the only Iron Fist. The character didn't have to be a rich white dude- and having seen the first season, there's a very good argument to be made that he shouldn't have been a rich white dude, but if you say, 'let's not have him be a rich white dude' then suddenly you have a potential problem with the source material- much of which dates from the 60s and well, is ful…