Friday, August 11, 2006

Thanks Mike

MIKE DOUGLAS 1925-2006

Mike with Olivia Newton-John (yummy) and her sister

As a young man growing up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, I didn't get the chance to experience much of what was going on in the music scene. My Am radio at night picked up the hallowed sounds of WLS and KAAY, but other than that, it was slim pickins. Every day after school (and before my chores), I would do my homework in front of the TV watching Mike Douglas and who Mike had on. Somedays it would be guys like Alejandro Rey and other days it would be guys like Jimi Hendrix or Sly Stone or whoever.

Mike Douglas with Starbuck "Moonlight Feels Right"

Mike seemed to be at home with everyone and comfortable with all of them. One Christmas, I got a very small reel to reel tape recorder from Cummins Electric and I thought I was in heaven. It was a real cheap thing with 4 1/2" reels that would last about five minutes. Whenever Mike had someone cool on, I would set up the microphone right next to the TV speaker and record. I must have had about 25 of these tapes. Mike Douglas passed away today on his 81st birthday. For a kid on the farm, he was a breath of fresh air and a conduit to what was happening in the world. I sure wish I would have kept those tapes.

Mike with Andy Kaufman


This snake was recently found at the old Turkey Creek gas plant located just south of the Alibates Turnoff on Highway 136 south of Fritch, Texas . [THAT'S JUST NORTH OF AMARILLO ]

9 feet, 1 inch - 97 lbs.


1 medium-sized rattlesnake (3-4 lbs.), cut into steaks
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper

Mix dry ingredients. Whisk milk into beaten egg and use to dip sna ke steaks. Then coat them with dry ingredients. Fry, uncovered, in 400 degree oil until brown.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Movie Review part two

After watching "Crash", I went flipping around the channels on my cable TV and landed on the "logos" channel. Found this movie just starting. Basically the story of a boy growing up in a hardscrapple Irish town whose mother has just died and his dad is a coal miner on strike. his dad send him to boxing lessons but this kid is attracted to the girls doing ballet and the trouble that ensues. Dad is not happy about this but when he sees the boy dance, he crosses the picket line to get the money to send him to the London School of ballet. Billy gets in and the last scene is dad and older brother going to London to see him dance many years later. Touching and sometimes manipulating but very enjoyable and although I didn't think I would like the movie, I did. Sometimes, the actors speak in such heavy accents it's hard to tell what they are saying,but it held my interest all the way though.
3 stars out of 5

Movie review part one

Sunday night was movie night. Here is the first review. "Crash". Maybe one of the best movies I have seen in a while. Questions...questions. How DO we deal with our fellow man? How do we view them in context? Are the stereotypes real? Do we judge someone solely on how they look? Intense, gripping, merciless and finally very satisfying. I absolutely loved this and I am so pleased that a movie that deals with society in a realistic way wins the "best movie" award. 122 minues went by in a flash. How would you react to the scenarios put forth in this movie? Excellent, can't wait to see it again.
4 stars out of 5.

Post number 410

“I'd put my money on solar energy… I hope we don't have
to wait ‘til oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
--Thomas Edison, 1931

Unfriggin believable

Biggest Oil Field in U.S. Is Forced to Stop Pumping
BP began shutting down the nation’s largest oil field yesterday after an inspection detected heavy corrosion and a small leak in a critical pipeline in its Prudhoe Bay operation in Alaska. The emergency drove already-high world crude oil prices to just under $77 a barrel.The company said that it would take three to five days to shut the pipeline system that serves Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope of Alaska. BP said it could not estimate how long the system would be down as it replaced all 16 miles of feeder pipelines that connect the Prudhoe Bay field with the larger Trans-Alaska Pipeline.Bob Malone, president of BP America, said at a news conference in Anchorage that the company would look for a way to get at least some of the oil flowing again, quickly and safely, to limit the impact on the nation’s oil supply. He issued a public apology.The Prudhoe Bay field produces 400,000 barrels a day, or 8 percent of American crude. Another 380,000 barrels a day from the North Slope is not affected by the shutdown. The shutdown is expected to roil the Alaskan economy for months, if not longer. California and the rest of the West Coast also stand to suffer economic damage since refineries there are designed to process the Alaskan crude.Coming at a time of rising turbulence in the Middle East and threats by Iran to use oil as a political weapon, the news from Alaska pushed the price of crude oil for September delivery up $2.22, or 3 percent, to $76.98 a barrel. While that is close to a record high, it is still lower than the inflation-adjusted record of about $85 a barrel reached in 1981. The effects of the big jump in oil prices were seen worldwide yesterday, with stock prices declining in Europe and the United States. Prices at the gas pump began to rise as much as 5 cents a gallon in some cities. Analysts predicted an additional rise of at least another 5 cents in the coming days, particularly on the West Coast. Daniel Yergin, president of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, said the shutdown would not ordinarily be a major problem by itself. But he added: “This is a disruption on top of several other disruptions that are currently afflicting the world’s oil markets in Nigeria, Iraq, Venezuela and production is still out in the Gulf of Mexico. The numbers are starting to add up.”
The discovery of pipeline corrosion, and the shutdown to do emergency repairs, are the latest in a string of embarrassments for BP, which is based in London but has operations in the United States that are bigger than those of Exxon Mobil. Its troubles also come as Congress is debating whether to expand oil drilling on the North Slope. The House recently approved drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but the Senate has remained reluctant to act because of environmental concerns. Oil companies may now have a tougher time reassuring lawmakers.The discovery of corrosion in the pipeline caught BP by surprise, and as of yesterday, the company was still trying to determine the cause. As a result, it is re-evaluating how it conducts inspections along the pipeline.“We can’t explain it,” Ronnie Chappell, a spokesman for BP said. The company’s regular practice in Prudhoe Bay had been to spot-check sections of pipeline that were prone to corrosion.“We believed that this program was giving us an accurate view of what was occurring in these pipelines,” Mr. Chappell said. “But the discovery of this unexpectedly severe corrosion in this particular segment of line has caused us to rethink that.” Mr. Chappell said the pipes where the corrosion was detected had not been inspected with a “smart pig,” a device that travels through the inside to measure pipe wall thickness, since 1992. The reason the device was not used, he said, was that the pipes were too clogged with sludge for the device to pass through easily. But after a major spill in March along the same network of pipes, the Department of Transportation ordered inspections with the smart pig. Those tests revealed that the steel had corroded in 12 places on the eastern side of Prudhoe Bay to thicknesses less than BP considers safe. In those areas, tests found losses of 70 to 81 percent in the 3/8-inch thickness of the wall, the company said. In one area, it said, the equivalent of four to five barrels of oil had already leaked out of the pipeline because of the rusting. The company said that spill had been contained, and that workers were in the process of vacuuming it up from the tundra.Ten miles of the 16 miles of pipeline in the Prudhoe Bay field have yet to be inspected with the smart pig, raising the possibility that more severe corrosion could be detected. Six miles of pipeline at BP’s Lisburne field, near Prudhoe Bay, were not affected by the shutdown and remain operational.Because the company is uncertain how long it will take to make the repairs, the final cost of the emergency shutdown is difficult to estimate. The company said it had not yet done an analysis to determine the financial impact. The shutdown further sullied the reputation of BP as it was trying to re-engineer its marketing to project the image of an environmentally sensitive company committed to controlling climate change. BP executives were quick to acknowledge the dimensions of their new problem, which comes in the wake of a deadly refinery explosion last year in Texas and the 270,000-gallon spill on the North Slope in March. That spill, the worst since production began on the North Slope, has resulted in a federal criminal investigation.“BP deeply regrets that it’s been necessary for us to take this drastic action,” Bob Malone, president of BP America, said at a news conference. “I apologize for the impact this has had on our nation and to the great state of Alaska.” BP said it was studying the possibility of operating portions of the pipelines to reduce the disruption, but it is unclear whether it can do that. The Prudhoe Bay field was discovered in 1968 and came on stream in 1977, producing 10 billion barrels so far. BP operates the field, with nine other companies holding interests in field leases including ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil. ConocoPhillips estimated a loss of about 144,000 barrels a day in crude oil production. It said it did not know yet the impact of the loss on its overall operations. Exxon Mobil estimated a similar loss in production. Mr. Malone, the BP America president, acknowledged that the discovery of severe corrosion in the pipelines and the small oil spill had called into question the condition of most of the oil transit lines at Prudhoe Bay.“We will not resume operation of the field until we and government regulators are satisfied that they can be operated safely and pose no threat to the environment,” Mr. Malone said. The immediate price rise may have been even higher had the Bush administration not immediately signaled that it was ready to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to ease lost supplies. “I’m obviously concerned,” Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman told reporters as he promised to help West Coast refiners find additional supplies. OPEC quickly announced it would use its spare capacity to compensate for any shortfalls arising from the Prudhoe Bay field shutdown, but additional supplies expected from Saudi Arabia would be of a lower quality than the Alaskan supplies. Oil industry leaders said West Coast refineries could feel the pinch of shortages in crude in a matter of weeks, even with the release of strategic reserves since those reserves tend to have higher sulfur content than many of the California refineries are designed to process. Some of the West Coast refineries, however, are owned by major international companies that have easier access than other refineries to world supplies. “Practically all of this impact and loss of supply will occur on the West Coast,” said Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. But, he added, “One of the things we learned from Katrina and Rita is that a problem in one part of the U.S. quickly affects the entire U.S. and often the world supply and demand as well.” The shutdown spurred calls in Congress to give the Department of Transportation greater powers to impose stronger maintenance standards on pipelines and it brought more criticism of Big Oil at a time of historic profits.
“With oil above $70 per barrel and BP making record profits, it can afford to properly clean and maintain its pipelines,” said Representative Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “This sudden loss of production will dramatically increase oil prices and the American people will be footing the bill for this combined failure of D.O.T.’s regulatory oversight and BP’s corporate responsibility.”

So, what the hell did you do with the 10 billion fuckin dollars in profit this last quarter? You haven't done maintenence in over a decade? Are you kidding me? Congress is acting very sanctimoniously over this but remember who has the biggest hand in THEIR pockets. Yep, big oil. There will be hearings then the oil companies will bitch slap these guys and threaten to withhold campaign $$, then it will all go away until next quarter when BP announces it has made $20 billion in profits.When will it all stop? When we all wake up and start using wind power, solar power and all over renewable sources. It's going to be hell on our kids no?

CD Review

Isn't this how the business is supposed to work? You go see a band and then go to your favorite neighborhood record store and buy their stuff? This is the best Cheap Trick release since "Dream Police". I have always admired this band but at one point they got bogged down in their own cuteness so to speak. This CD has been in my car for two weeks and I absolutely love it.
"Welcome to the World" starts off the CD with about 2 minutes of a preview of what's coming. Tight playing great harmonies and catchy, pop songs. "If It Takes a Lifetime" is their newest single..."it's being played all over the world" Rick Neilsen said in jest in concert. Absolutely a great power pop song, full of Robin Zander's excellent voice and Rick's still sanctimonious guitar. "This Time You Got It" is my favorite track, it sounds like CT did 25 years ago. "Every Night and Every Day" rock my world with of the greatest rhythm sections ever. (Nice to see Bun E. Carlos has made a recovery from his dance with the cancer demon). "O Claire" (a lullabye to Robin's daughter)sounds just like The Beatles. These guys have always had The Beatles in their back pocket but now this CD seems to be the piece of music that says .."we're back and we're bad." Cheap Trick has always been the Rodney Dangerfield of rock, getting no respect and all but damn, this 50 year old lifetime music fan says thanks for still being around and thanks for giving us your best effort in years. The CD is called "Rockford", named after their hometown and it's a return to their roots. It's good to have fun again. Cheap Trick's Tom Petersson says, "This new record has the best elements of our entire catalogue. It's by far our best work yet." Amen to that.

4 1/2 starts out of 5.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

To All Of Us Boomers

This has been around for a awhile, it's an old favorite of mine. Enjoy!


1940's, 50's,and 60's !!

First, babies survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they
carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back
when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat
rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They
actually sided with the law! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
And we still say "Merry Christmas!"

Deep Thoughts From My Friend Karl

Once upon a time there was a rich King who had four wives.

He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest of delicacies. He gave her nothing but the best. He also loved the 3rd wife very much and was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. However, he feared that one day she would leave him for another. He also loved his 2nd wife. She was his confidant and was always kind, considerate and patient with him. Whenever the King faced a problem, he could confide in her, and she would help him get through the difficult times. The King's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and kingdom. However, he did not love the first wife. Although she loved him deeply,he hardly took notice of her !

One day, the King fell ill and he knew his time was short. He thought of his luxurious life and wondered, "I now have four wives with me, but when I die, I'll be all alone." Thus, he asked the 4th wife, "I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying,will you follow me and keep me company?" "No way!", replied the 4th wife, and she walked away without another word. Her answer cut like a sharp knife right into his heart.
The sad King then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?""No!", replied the 3rd wife. "Life is too good!When you die, I'm going to remarry!" His heart sank and turned cold. He then asked the 2nd wife, "I have always turned to you for help and you've always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?" "I'm sorry, I can't help you out this time!",replied the 2nd wife. "At the very most,I can only walk with you to your grave" Her answer struck him like a bolt of lightning,and the King was devastated.
Then a voice called out: "I'll go with you. I'll follow you no matter where you go."
The King looked up, and there was his first wife. She was very skinny as she suffered from malnutrition and neglect. Greatly grieved, the King said, "I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!"
In truth, we all have the 4 wives in our lives:
Our 4th wife is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good,it will leave us when we die. Our 3rd wife is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, it will all go to others.
Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. No matter how much they have been there for us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the grave.

And our 1st wife is our Soul. Often neglected pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the world. However, our Soul is the only thing that will follow
us wherever we go.

Cultivate, strengthen and cherish it now, for it is the only part of us that will follow us to the throne of God and continue with us throughout Eternity.

Watch What You Say

I was watching Cardinals baseball the another night when I heard Dan McLaughlin state that ..."it must have been tough to be Tony Gwynn's son". What? Really? To grow up privledged, go to private schools, be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams, have your father idolized, be pretty much taken care of for the rest of your life, your kids life and their kids life? Yeah, that must be tough.
I like Dan, I knew Dan when he was a young announcer on WIBV in Belleville. Sometimes, during the game, you need to yap to fill in the parts that are dull, but really, tough to be Tony Gwynn's kid? Man, I would have loved to have had that toughness in my life.

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