Monday, December 31, 2012

Never Gonna Give You Up, Just Dance 4... Er, on second thought...

One Direction goin on here

Final Countdown... Final should be the operative word here...

Jailhouse Rockin' on JD4!

Need for Speed: Most Wanted - I am still playing

Back in early November, I wrote about NSF:MW and how it was the nail in the coffin for the NFS franchise.  Yet, over a month (almost TWO months, in fact) later, I am still playing the game. Why? Because at its core, driving around in different cars in different races to meet various goals is actually pretty fun.  Of course, the things I didn't like I still don't like: landing perfectly in grass but being told I "crashed" because it was in a "closed" area of the game, multiplayer, etc.

I have been systematically riding in each of the available cars, completing all the races for each car, trying to have gold medals for every car and every race in the game. It's an upgrade thing, I think. It is the challenge and satisfaction of meeting the goals set.  It is crashing into cop cars in order to start an all-out blitz against me. It is racing through traffic at 190+ mph trying not to hit anyone. It is making killer jumps.

I think the reason I keep playing is because I understand the game much better as an arcade racer than as the game I *thought* it was going to be. I do not often participate in DLC add-ons, but for less than the price a lot of iOS apps, I bought the Speed Pack. I am now zipping around the city at 200+ in several vehicles, and it is a fun game.

I still don't play multiplayer. I still hate the sorta-open world. But, I have to admit I do enjoy the game for what it is more than I don't like it for what it isn't.



Original article appears here:
http://www.poppedinmyhead.com/2012/11/nfs-most-wanted-2012-nail-in-coffin.html

Friday, December 21, 2012

The world didn't end. And, it's my fault.

Happy Winter Solstice, folks!  Yeap, you heard me: Happy December 21, 2012.  Wait, wasn't the world supposed to end today? Sure, sure, I know, I know. It didn't though, did it? Sorry all you doomsdayers, but the world not ending is all my fault.

You see, for months, I had been promising myself that I would write a "farewell, world" post, explaining different aspects of human life to the next lifeforms to inhabit the Earth (always presuming there would be more to come).  I had planned to talk of love and hate, war and peace (not the book), War and Peace (the book), men and women, deep space and deep seas.  I was going to cover oral communication, the written word, radio and television. Ancient tools and modern day technologies would fill screens and screens of my electronic aria.

Oh yes, it was to be an aria. Music and vocals would have risen and fallen in wondrous ebbs and flows as I bestowed upon the soon-to-have-been destroyed world the grand knowledge of, well, everything.  Don't get wrong, I am not saying that I know everything. Far from it, but I would have cross-referenced my article with the sites and sources that would make any of my past teachers proud.

But, I didn't do any of it. Heck, I didn't even start it. And so, because of that, the world was not allowed to come to the demise that so many eagerly awaited.

I do wish, however, I would have been smart enough to sell doomsday-related tools, books, etc that would have made me as rich as the charlatans that bilked billions from those that bought into the whole mess. That would have been righteous, dude.

Of course, the Mayans never actually predicted the end of the world. Their calendar (and just ONE of their calendars, at that) just ran out. Evidently, there are a LOT of people in this world who do not realize that the modern-day calendar runs out, too: every December 31. Here's the funny thing, though: Every year, it starts over. Ouch. Didn't see that one, doomsdayers, did ya?

Will the world come to some cataclysmic end? Science says so. Religion says so. But, will it really? The real question is this: So what if it does? The true end of the world would be catastrophic beyond any human ability to do anything about it. Live your lives, share your love, make the most of the days you are here on Earth.  And, before you pass on from this planet (in whatever form that takes), do something nice for someone else - at least once.

For all you expecting the world to end, I apologize. Maybe next time I'll get around to writing the "History of Everything."

Sunday, November 04, 2012

NFS: Most Wanted 2012 - The nail in the coffin






I've been playing the latest Need for Speed game since it was released. I bought the pre-load download (which seems to be missing the promised bonus content for pre-ordering). Of course, George Carlin would have had a field day with all these "pre" prefixes, but that's a tale for another day.

Let's start with what I like about the game: Open-world driving. I can go (almost) anywhere I want, any time I want. I just drive.  I like the "Jack Spot" feature.  You drive around and find locations where cars happen to be parked that you can "Jack" to add to your garage. Very cool idea, a la GTA. Once you get used to it, the menu system is also a handy feature.  Bring up the menu anytime you want, then hunt down races, Most Wanted cars, and more.  The multiplayer (remember, I am talk about things I like here) is a weird combination of demolition derby and team-based task accomplishments. You may have to run a flat-out race, or perform a certain number of jumps, or take down opponents until you are the last car standing, as it were.  In some respects, it is a lot of fun.  But, in other ways, this is yet another disappointing nail in the coffin that has become the home of the NFS franchise.

What don't I like? A lot. As in every other "open-world" game of the NFS franchise, the openness is limited by mountainsides, guardrails, etc. It's not truly open world. You can go a lot of places, but not everywhere.  I find myself careening off a cliff only to land inside an enclosed area to be told I "CRASHED."  Baloney. Likewise, cement barriers, guardrails, etc block your path, forcing you to drive in the pseudo-open world.  Let's move on. The single player game consists of driving around aimlessly as you look for cars to Jack, cops to run into, etc. Basically, you drive around doing a lot of nothing. So, you bring up the menu. Navigating the menu at first was a royal pain. I could not figure out how to move my selection. Once I did, I selected "Set Destination" but nowhere did the game say, "Oh, hey, now you have to get OUT of the menu so your destination path shows on the screen.  To that end, I have played several times when there was NOTHING on the screen except for my car and the environment. I had no HUD, no menu, nothing. And, no key press or crash or anything except ALT-F4 to close the game would "fix" it. This happened in both single player and multiplayer modes.

Let's talk multiplayer. For the most part, I hate it. I think it is stupid. You join a random group of other cars (unless you set up a friends-only game) and spend your time simply bashing into each other. The game is plagued by the same issues as the other PC-based NFS games: cheaters win. If you have a trainer/cheat enabled, you can take out every single other car just by touching them with your car. Of, in my case, I always get taken out by cheaters even when all they do is bump my side or tail. How do I know they are cheating? Because non-cheaters can't even com close to replicating that move.  Even in a room of non-cheaters, the multiplayer experience sucks. The system will give you a "Meet-Up" point and everyone races to it.  Once there, for 3-5 minutes, everyone drives around, smashing each other in a dodge-em cars free-for-all.  Boring. When the system says "GO," everyone follows the designated path to whatever task is assigned.  Once everyone reaches THAT destination, you lather, rinse, repeat for about 5-6 more events. Yawn. Oh, did I mention that you CANNOT play as the cops in Most Wanted!? Say what!? That was the best part of NFS Hot Pursuit, or any other NFS game where cops are involved. Let the players who want to be cops be the cops.

NFS Most Wanted 2012 is basically Need for Speed World made over such that people have to buy the game. I guess since no one was playing NFS World for free, they thought, "Hey, let's re-market it as a new game and make people pay."

Well, I'm done with the NFS franchise. I realize that I am just one guy and my little bits of money don't amount to much in the scope of EA's revenues, but maybe others will join the bandwagon and EA will take a hint.  The NFS games used to be fun games worth playing over and over. Now, they are just huge resource hogs worth half a play-through. I'll finish out the single player game because I paid for the game. I won't be joining the multiplayer again at all.

EA used a tag line, "Challenge Everything" for a while. Maybe, they should challenge their developer partners to make better games.

Goodbye, my friend, NFS. We had some good times, but I'll be looking for another PC driving game to fill the void you've been digging for several iterations now.  To borrow from a song, "So, the next time you want get me to buy.. Why don't you stay... You can't give me what I need."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pre-Loading a Pre-Order

A while ago, I pre-ordered the new Need for Speed game: Most Wanted.  I received the following email recently:


My pre-order is available for pre-loading. Pre-loading!? Is this like pre-boarding a plane? Am I being Punk'd?  Sorta.  Basically, "pre-loading" means that you can download the software and have it ready to run on the official release date.  The software is locked until the publisher releases the software for you to use.

Really?? In today's world of electronic delivery, why do we even have specified release dates anymore? If I can download the software, then it's ready. Why put some artificial "hold" on it in the first place? Oh, because people buying it in the store will have a disadvantage? Well, duh.  Here's the problem I have with in-store purchasing these days: It doesn't matter.

That's right, if you buy software in the store, there is a VERY good chance that you will have to download a full-length update to the game anyway. So, why bother buying it? When I got Battlefield 3 as a gift, I loaded all 8 Gigs of it, then had to wait as the game was updated from the 'Net anyway. The physical media provided me NOTHING.  Don't get me wrong: I absolutely **HATE** this change in software delivery. If I choose to buy the media, I should be able to use it right out of the box.  For several years that was how things worked. Not anymore. So, why bother?

And, because electronic delivery is essentially the only way to get software now, then why bother with "pre-loading?" Once I download it, let me play it. All the hype and hoopla over release dates is manufactured. It is time to put it to bed. Release the game. If someone pre-orders and they can download it, then they've got it. Period. If there are hard-copy versions available to buy in the store, then let people buy it, install it, and run it. Since they will have to download a full-version update anyway, there is no benefit to making the electronic-delivery purchasers wait for some made-up "release date."

Now that I've had my chance to rant, I'll go pre-load my pre-order. Should take about 8 hours on our CenturyStinks 1.5mb DSL... Yeah, that's right. The fastest speed we have here is 1.5mb. Welcome to the reality of "broadband" in rural America.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

IPad Air...ball

At one point, the iPad Mini was rumored to have the name "iPad Air." At a $329 starting price point, they should have kept the name and added "ball" to the end of it. They completely missed the mark. Sure, die-hard fandomites will suck these up just because they are Apple. But, why would anyone in their right mind want one? Other 7-inch tablets are $199-$250. Meanwhile, the big brother is now on its fourth generation, thrown in as an aside to today's Mini launch.

I cannot possibly recommend the Mini to anyone: school or otherwise. Common Core specs aside, the Mini is an absolute waste of money. Want a smaller form factor? Get the new Touch. Want iPad functionality, get a real iPad for $70 more (even an iPad2 is a better device than the mini - and, since the 4 is out, the 3 will most likely drop in price). Apple could have absolutely walked away with the entire tablet market had the Mini been better-spec'd and lower-priced. Finally, Apple throws out a junk ball not seen since Newton. They shoot and miss.

The only saving grace for Apple: Windows 8 will surpass the Mini in absolute fail-ability. Two disastrous tech releases in one week. That's got to be some kind of record.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Zoom the Desktop on Mountain Lion

Apple, in its infinite wisdom, disabled the CTRL-SWIPE for zooming your desktop in Mountain Lion.  Why? Who knows!  The upside is that you can easily fix this:

System Preferences
Accessibility
Zoom

Once there, uncheck the first option. Select the second one (leaving Control, if you want or change it to whatever you want).

Here's a screenshot:


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Eden's Edge 2007 Program #EdensEdge

Back in 2007, I took my family to see Hannah Blaylock and Eden's Edge (how they were known back then).  I had been following them for a couple years by that point, and the group was coming to Hope to perform one of their last concerts as HBEE (the shortcut for their band then).

I'm not sure how, but the program for that night was sitting on my desk in the home office. I thought I would scan it in and share it. Well, okay, I am sharing the cover and the bio. The rest of the program was actually a "thank you" list for the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council.  I figured I would spare you that part.

During the show, Hannah asked if there were any songs in particular the audience wanted hear.  It was actually a planned thing so that she could sing with her mother on stage.  I, not being smart enough to "get it" yelled out the title of one my all-time favorite HBEE songs: Jesus Saves.  They graciously obliged.  Frankly, I think they were surprised anyone would actually yell something out of the small (roughly 150-200 people) crowd.

Of course, these days, Eden's Edge sits on the brink of mega stardom.  Their debut major label album (EP, actually) includes hits such as "Amen," "Cherry Pie," and their amazing rendition of "Christ Alone."  I wholeheartedly recommend looking up HBEE's previous works to get the full range and scope of what this talented trio from Arkansas can really do!

Click on the images below to see larger versions.


 

I posted another article about this, right after we had seen them:
http://www.poppedinmyhead.com/2007/09/random-thoughts.html

Monday, September 03, 2012

Fun with homonym triplicates

This all started with Brian Regan's "Reservation reservation reservation" bit.  From there, I decided to jot a few down off the top of my head:

If three apples were tied together and could produce sound only after being eaten, the string would be called a cored chord cord.

If the King of the land decreed that horse tack should be launched at his subjects during the entire term of his rule, it would be the Rein Rain Reign.

If a teenager was really bad at applying acne medicine, you could say he was a poor pore pour.

And, of course, if you addressed several envelopes to multiple twins, they'd be To Two, Too.

If a rich man could buy his dream vacation at the store, it would be found in the "I'll Isle" Aisle.

Yeah, I'm on roll here folks: Naturally, a group of guys headed for a game of golf: Four For Fore!
Gift shop located next to the airport: Buy By Bye. Of course, they only sell NSync CDs...

When the prince has flatulence and it escapes during a dinner party?  That's an Heir Air Ere...

If Orville and Wilbur always took notes on their success and never their failures, it would be a Right Wright write rite... or even a Wright right write rite.... Heck, even a Write right Wright rite.  Or if you asked them about it: Wright write rite, right?

If a beaver chomped down on a live data connection near the bend in the road, it would be a bight byte bite!

A particular method to measure the weight of Miss Tuffett's preferred treat is the Whey Weigh Way.

--Okay, I'm done... for now. :-)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

YooHoo Mix-ins - Don't. Even. Go. There. YUCK!


Let me start by saying I love Yoohoo. Not the strawberry junk. The original chocolate flavor. It's been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.

Yoohoo came up with "Singles to Go."  I bought some. The premise is that you pour the powder into 8oz of milk, stir or shake it up and POW, instant Yoohoo.  Not. Even. Close.  The powder does not fully dissolve.  The taste is something that wants to be Yoohoo, but comes out like a bad batch of the good stuff. I don't know what happened between the bottled stuff and the powdered mix, but whatever it is, the magic disappears.

If you want to drink YooHoo on the go, buy a bottle at the gas station on your way out...



Thursday, August 23, 2012

What did I do on July 4, 2012?


According to the window that popped up on my computer today, I updated my AMD Catalyst Drivers on the 4th of July. Do I know how to start off the holiday or what? Don't answer that, it's reciprocal.*



*Yeah, I know it is supposed to be "rhetorical."

Friday, August 17, 2012

So Long, Cinch.fm. It was fun while it lasted.

I received the following message in my email today. For those of us that loved playing with this on-demand podcasting site/app, this is very sad news indeed:


Dear Cinch.FM users,
It is with great sadness that I announce that we are shutting down the Cinch.FM service. While we continue to believe that easily creating audio content has an important place in the digital world, we just do not have the engineering and product resources to maintain the service while continuing to invest in our main property, BlogTalkRadio. We’d like to make the transition off of Cinch.FM as smooth as possible for you by providing the steps necessary for preserving your content.
Effective August 20th, 2012, no new accounts can be created on Cinch.FM and for those of you with an existing Cinch.FM account, you will no longer be able to create new audio recordings.
Your existing content will remain online and available until October 20, 2012 – two months from the shut down date. Cinch.FM players that have been published on your blog or any other website will continue to function until that date. In addition, the RSS feed for your account will remain available for the same period.
If you would like to save any of your recordings, please log in to the Cinch.FM web site immediately and download your audio content. To download your content, you may login here. If you have a large volume of content that you would like to download, we recommend that you use the RSS feeds available in your account and a podcast client.
After October 20, 2012, your content will be permanently deleted, and we will not be able to retrieve it.
I know that many of you actively use the Cinch.FM service, but please know that this turn of events saddens us as well and we are truly sorry. We’re incredibly thankful for our Cinch.FM community of users.
Again thank you for being a Cinch.FM user.
Sincerely,
Bob Charish, COO Cinch.FM

Friday, August 10, 2012

Inception: Interesting idea, stupid premise

*Spoiler alert. If you have not seen Inception, and don't want to know anything about it before you do see it, don't read this.

Yeah, I'm late to this party. I finally watched "Inception" for the first time last night.  If you haven't seen it, or like me know nothing about it, then here is a quick plot summary:

People can extract information from people's dreams through "dream sharing." In a twist, Leonardo DiCaprio's character must instead PLANT information (the seed of an idea, really).

I loved the multi-level depth of the movie - that is, we see the movie through at least three, er four, levels of dreaming. I've heard/read several folks talk about being confused and getting lost while watching. Maybe I've seen too many of these kinds of movies, but it was pretty clear to me which level was being portrayed on the screen at any given time.  This was mainly because each environment was so different than the others.  Had they made everything just a little different between levels, it would have been harder for me to follow.

Since Leo's character is just trying to get "back home," it never made sense to me that this one guy in the whole world (the 'client') was the only person who could make Leo's trouble disappear. And, it never made sense that all of this was just industrial espionage. Oh well. I suppose that was part of the idea, though. Since the movie ends just as I would expect, we will learn more should there be a sequel.  Let me cut to the chase: the ending was stupid and totally predictable.  Of course the spinning top will keep on spinning. For me, the top should have fallen over just before the cut to credits. But, then, I'm not out trying to make a billion bucks on movie sequels.

I enjoyed watching the van scenes cut to the hotel cut to the central winter outpost cut to the 'private world' and back again. The movie had to spend a lot of energy explaining how 'time' works between the dream levels. I do wish they would would have had some turbulence on the plane or something. We never cut back to the plane until the 'end.' Of course, I suppose they wanted the viewer to forget these folks were all asleep on the airplane in the first place.  To that end, I fully expected to see Leo's wife show up in the airport.  Glad they didn't go that route, but it didn't matter. As I said, the end was predictable enough.

Inception is a nice one-time flick. It is like Matrix in a way. It is like Brainstorm in a way. The film makes us examine our own reality and question just what *IS* reality.  Human are kind of obsessed with that.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Does God help those that help themselves?

"God helps those that help themselves" is a phrase that is found in exactly ZERO verses of the Bible. It is often used as the rallying cry against welfare programs, social security, etc.

We are to help others while working to sustain ourselves and our faith.

"He who is not willing to work, does not eat."- 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Notice the word WILLING. The Bible does not say those who do not work. It says those who are not willing. Many are willing, but cannot (physical reasons, unemployment reasons, etc).

Of course, the main argument is one of semantics: "help themselves." How does one define such a thing? If I need to improve my financial situation and I am a hard worker who asks the boss for a raise, is that helping myself? In a way, of course. If a single person seeks companionship and they go out looking for someone, is that helping themselves find mate? Again, in a way, yes.

The Bible mentions that if draw closer to God, He will draw closer to us. This is often seen as a "meeting halfway" kind of thing, and often serves as the "biblical basis" for perpetuating the phrase and concept.  The Bible also says "Faith without works is dead (faith)."

I believe we are not to sit around and be lazy about things. And, in a way, that is helping ourselves. But, I think the bigger picture is that we are not to help ourselves in the sense of a "name-and-claim-it" mentality nor a "snatch and grab" one. I also believe that the Lord helps plenty of people who CANNOT help themselves. Heck, the Bible is full of examples - healings, miracles, etc - where the people could not help themselves. Ah, but they were WILLING.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible comes from Isaiah: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." They that wait... I have always seen this as a double meaning. On one hand, we are to wait, as in pray and listen and allow God to help us in our needs, our desires.  On the other hand, we are to wait on the Lord, as in a waiter/waitress.  That is, we are to work for God.

God's Grace is unwarranted, unmerited, undeserved. We get it not because we "help ourselves" and so He gives us some kind of reward. Rather, He gives it to us despite anything we try to do, and often in spite of the mess we often make of thing BECAUSE we try to help ourselves.

If we are only out to help ourselves for selfish reasons, the Lord is not going to help us.

The best way to find this out for yourself? Read the book.

As a side thought: one of my favorite (and most difficult) courses in college was Western Civ to 1650. In that class, the professor showed the historical ties between many events in the Bible and those documented in other forms. It was the first time I was shown the Bible as a historical text (as opposed to a purely spiritual one).

Another side note: The phrase is all-too-often misattributed to Ben Franklin's coinage. While he did USE the phrase, he did not COIN it. It's been around a lot longer than that. Look it up - that's a pretty good story, too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Remember when superlatives were ... super?

I am guilty. I use superlatives the way some people use the "Like" button on Facebook. I need to stop. We all need to stop. Is EVERYTHING "incredible," "amazing," or "absolutely the best ever?" No. But, because we throw those words around, we have actually deflated the meanings of those words to the point that they are sometimes just words. Heck, we might not even "see" them when we read something - we have become so accustomed to having them thrown into our everyday language that we simply ignore them.

I don't even remember how I found the page I am about to share with you, but the entire reason I clicked on it was because I knew I disagreed with the headline even before I read the story. The story? "40 of the Most Powerful Photographs Ever Taken."

Now, much like I do myself, at least the author had the good sense to off-handedly qualify the article.  "Of the" has become the universal cop-out. A helper phrase, if you will.  Even I recently shared a link in which I said, "This is one of the funniest... I have ever read." I actually used two qualifiers there: "of the" and "that I."  "Of the" gets me off the hook period. There could be billions of funny things (or in the care of the article I am going to share, photographs) out there, but with a little "of the" thrown in, you can agree or not - but really, how could you disagree? It says that out of all the (whatevers), here is a selection, a handful, ONE of the (superlative) of those.

My other out, and one I actually condone, is the use of "that I."  That phrase communicates my OPINION. Without it, I thrust myself out there like some authority figure on a particular subject and immediately people are going to raise up their shields.  With out "that I," an article offers an immediate challenge to potential readers. The challenge? Or the response? The same I one had regarding the photographs: "Oh yeah, I bet I don't think so." Or, perhaps a softer, "Well, maybe they are SOME of those (whatevers) but I know of others..."

Think about it: 40 of the BEST love songs. 22 of the greatest quotes.

The real downfall to superlative overuse/misuse comes with words like "EVER!" Ever? Really? In the history of time, these are the (superlative) (whatevers) EVER?! I doubt it. And, yes, I am fully aware that I used the word when I shared a link adding "funniest..I have ever read." I told you I'm guilty.

But, change is not easy. We must first recognize the fact we are doing something that needs to be changed. Then, we take little steps to correct the action. Finally, we wean ourselves from it.

So, the article that started this whole train of thought? 40 photographs. Are they the MOST POWERFUL EVER taken? Sure, most of them are likely to evoke some kind of emotion, but are they the top 40? I don't think so.  Of course, the author made sure *NOT* to use the word "THE" in the headline. These aren't THE 40 Most Powerful, they are just 40 of the most powerful.  And what about "powerful?" What does that mean? How I define a photograph to represent something powerful will surely be different than what you use as the benchmark of a "powerful" photograph.  Just like my own use of "funniest" - you may have a completely different sense of humor than I do (and, most likely you do, since mine is pretty warped).

In any case, enjoy the photos and decide for yourself just how superlative they are:
http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/most-powerful-photographs-ever-taken

And "one of the funniest posts I have ever read?" It's right here:
http://cartbeforethehorse.blogspot.com/2012/07/calculated-fun.html

Feel free to comment. If the goofy comment gadget is working.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A matter of respect

As we get closer and closer to election time, more and more people are going to bad mouth the folks they want out of office. I don't see anything inherently wrong with that. Where I see things going too far is when people attack the individual(s) on a personal level.  And, worse comes when folks just make things up to sling mud.

I disagree with a lot of things our President does. I disagree with a lot of things our national, state, and local officials do. I am very proud that, for the most part, we can freely express our dislikes (and our likes for that matter) in America.  But, whether I like someone or not, I always respect the POSITION they hold.

I hope I would never disrespect the President should I ever get to meet him face-to-face and shake his hand. He is the President of the United States. No, I didn't vote for him. No, I don't care for automotive "too big to fail" loans. No, I don't think Obamacare is the answer. But, if I had the opportunity to meet the leader of our country, you can bet I would be there. I would smile, shake his hand, and have all the butterflies in my stomach as I would meeting a superstar singer, movie star, or athlete. It is the respect he deserves for the position he holds.

I have known Congressman Mike Ross for about as long as I have lived in Arkansas.  I consider him an acquaintance and family friend. My mother-in-law used to work for him for many years and I've done computer/networking work for him in the past.  When my family took a vacation to Washington DC and he met us to escort us up to the White House and then later we met in his office, it was like being backstage with a favorite group. Through it all, I respected the position he holds.

I grew up where were were taught the President should be addressed as "Mr. President." Elected officials at state and national levels should be addressed by their title and last name: Congressman Ross.

Respect is not always about the individual in a particular position, but about the position despite who holds it.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Best Michael Jackson songs radio forgot?



While trolling the interwebs, I came across an article listing the top 10 Michael songs radio rarely (if ever) plays (link at end of this post).  Here's my take on their list:

"Maybe Tomorrow" - I can see why radio forgot it. Sorry, not a fan of this one.

"I wanna be where you are" - I hear this every once in a while. It would be nice to hear more, but when you have an artist with the sheer volume of Jackson's output, some songs are going to take a back seat.

"She's out of my life" - Here, I agree fully. I love this song and wish it would be played more on the air.

"Can you feel it" - UGH. Sorry, but I think the Jacksons as a group got stuck in the 70's and never let go. I hate this song.

"Say, say, say" - Again, I agree. Why is this not played more on the air? I love it, and have several remix versions to keep me singing along.

"I just can't stop loving you" - Agreed. More airtime deserved for this one. This is one of his best ballad-esque songs ever.

"In the closet" - While I would like to hear it on the air more, it is not "safe" for radio to play this one. Then again, what is "safe" anymore? Alas, like George Michael's "I want your sex," "closet" will have to remain, er, in the closet.

"Who is it" - This is one catchy tune. I'd like to see more airplay here, too. Granted, most folks won't catch the lyrics, but who cares about that anyway? I didn't know half the lyrics of the songs I grew up listening to.

"Will you be there" - I like the song okay, but with all the other ballads, I can see why this has faded from the airwaves. I think it got some more airplay after Jennifer's rendition, but that didn't last long. It would be nice to hear every now and then.

"They don't care about us" - Oh, I would love to hear this come on the radio. I'm not sure I've ever heard it on air.

Whats your take?

Original article:
http://music.msn.com/music/article.aspx?news=738683

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Not doing a good job. Well, I am on vacation...

I had planned to post on my blog every day during vacation to let my non-Facebook friends keep up with our happenings. I have thus far not been very good at that. Allow me to catch you up (there will be a flood of photos at the end of this post, thanks to the weirdness of the Blogger app).

Sunday, we spent the day at my Uncle Bill and Aunt Patty's house with friends, family, and food! We had a great time catching up, eating, playing pinball, eating, talking, eating, laughing, eating... You get the idea.

Monday, me, Shan, and the kids headed for Cleveland to watch the Indians play! Along the way, we stopped at Lucky's Cafe (if u go, get the mac n cheese. Period. Try the other stuff on your next visit, but start with the mac n cheese. Holy smokes!). We then drove around to the house featured in "A Christmas Story!" That was cool! Once we took a few pics, we headed to the Port of Cleveland to snap pics of Lake Erie and visit the Rock and Roll HOF!

The RRHOF is worth the trip and the admission fee. I loved it! Lots of memories, learning, and music!

After that, we found ourselves in a downpour as we headed to the game. We stood in the rain taking pictures in and around the stadium. I have a wonderful family to go through all that. The rain delayed the game by about ten minutes, so that was not bad! Our seats were covered under the overhear bleachers, so we were good either way. During the game, I met up with Jack, a fellow Indians card collector. I would venture to say that we are two of the single-largest individual Indians card collectors out there. Jack tried to find the woman that works for STO to interview us, but she was working elsewhere during the game. The Indians won the game in a great back-and-forth match-up against the Reds.

On Tuesday, we headed to Kennywood amusement park. Man, we had a blast! Tyler, Bill and I rode coasters. Everyone rode the Log Jammer. We all rode the Paratroopers (goes in circle in the air, Emily's favorite ride). The road race ride was closed for repair though. Bummer. But we found games to play, food to eat (if you go, you gotta get Potato Patch fries), and rides to ride! Watch out for Noah's Ark. It is more of a haunted house than anything else. Poor Emily has the wits scared out of her.

Wednesday, we headed for the Carnegie Science Center. We stopped at Red Robin for lunch beforehand! Good eats there. The Science Center was full of cool displays and almost everything was jnteractive and hands-on. We played the world's largest playable guitar, hung out with C3PO and R2D2 among other robots, watched fish play in a coral reef, toured a submarine, and sat in a diner during s 7.8 magnitude earthquake (er, simulated). Afterward, we chilled at my uncle's place and told stories about driving, getting lost, and having fun. It was a wonderful day!

Here are some pics from the past few days: