static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Kangaroos again and Ego Surfing

In December of last year I mentioned a story about a kangaroo being found in Wisconsin. I mentioned then that Wisconsin is not in Australia. I will reiterate today that the United States is not in Australia because a kangaroo was found jumping down the street in Oklahoma City, OK . While it did sound crazy, at first, to the 911 dispatcher, this one was a little more easily explained than the kangaroo in Wisconsin. It was know that a person several blocks from where the kangaroo was found kept exotic animals. The police corralled it with their squad cars and the owner was able to calm it down and take possession of it.

I found a website that tracks your internet popularity. Called, it tracks how many times your blog is linked to and also how many times it can find you on the web. I have an Ego score of 0 so I am effectively invisible. I do know that my blog is read occasionally but what I do on the web is really not that important which is kind of an ironic thing to say considering the time that I got 20 hits in one day and I declared myself popular. That hasn't happened in quite a while and I don't remember why it happened but it happened once.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


One year ago today, Hurricane Katrina rolled through the Gulf Coast, devastating it. Over 1800 people were killed and hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes. It had lost some of its strength by the time it hit New Orleans and was only a high category 3 storm, but it was a direct hit and the levees were devastated. 80% of New Orleans was under water. Today, New Orleans has a population half of what it was. While the downtown area and the French Quarter have mostly recovered, many of the neighborhoods are still waiting. There is no electricity, running water, or garbage collection and many of these people are still waiting for insurance claims or government recovery grants. While some recovery is occuring, it will be a long, slow, and painful process.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cookie Monster

I had a rather uneventful day today. It is my brother Marty's birthday and I did call him but that was about the only thing of note that happened today. I helped assemble first aid kits at the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation for the upcoming Boulevard Lakefront Tour yesterday. I had a good time and got to talk to some nice people.

I happened to come across this article in the Chicago Sun-Times today that cracked me up. Apparently Matt Lauer intervied Cookie Monster about the fact that he now eats fruit. Part of the interview was carried in the Sun-Times. While the show is scheduled ot repeat on October 16th, I have to imagine that I will again be at work. I hope someone puts it on the internet because I would like to see it.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Social Life

I had fun on Saturday volunteering for the High Ridge YMCA through One Brick. As a group we did a lot of outside maintenance work; picking up, garbage, laying down mulch, painting picnic tables. I was trimming shrubbery along the fence line which is really hard work after a while. My forearms and pecs were really sore on Sunday. I enjoyed the work though and it was good to see a few friends. Afterward we went to Mullens which is an Irish tavern near where we were to eat, drink, and socialize. Sunday morning I met my sister Tracy and her family, her friends Lisa and Kelly, and Kelly's husband Chris at Drury Lane Theater and Convention Center in Oakbrook Terrace for Sunday Brunch. The brunch buffet was amazing. The area that the food was in was the size of a football field and very few people could get a representative sample of everything on the menu. I ended up getting three plates of food plus dessert and never repeated. Needless to say, this was the only meal that I ate on Sunday. Monday was my nephew Sebastian's birthday and my brother Marty was coming back from Wisconsin. I went up to Tracy's house to celebrate Sebastian's 4th birthday and to visit with Marty. As is usual, Marty brought a bunch of junk from Wisconsin, this time it was fudge and beer.

Tomorrow is another volunteer night with the CBF which I will be attending. I may or may not write after. So, until next time...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I'm back again

As I said before, I needed to rest after Sunday (the 6th) at Lollapalooza because I had to work on Monday morning. Unfortunately, between my not getting enough sleep on Sunday night (I was too tired to write on Monday), my brother visiting on Tuesday and my trip to Michigan on Wednesday through Monday for family reunions and to visit my immediate family, I didn't have time to write. So now that I have returned, paid my bills, gone through all of the emails that I didn't check when I was in Michigan, answered some emails that I had to answer, and got enough sleep, its time to write. The last day at Lollapalooza was relatively light for me as far as music was concerned. I arrived to see glorified bar band/early Bruce Springsteen fronting a punk band, The Hold Steady. Craig Finn, the lead singer, has truly got the geek rock thing down. I then saw Nickel Creek, and Andrew Bird both of whom are amazingly talented musicians. I then went to take a break before I started working at 5 PM. I caught most of Of Montreal's set because I was working near their stage but I really don't care for them. I had seen them once before and didn't really care for their music then either. I then saw Queens of the Stone Age from a distance and while I like their music, I was very happy to be working from a distance because they are the loudest band that I have ever heard. I was about 250 yards from the stage and I still needed ear plugs. The band that I really wanted to see played next and they did not disappoint. Broken Social Scene only got a 45 minute set but they did a great set and everyone in the band was there to participate in at least a few songs. All 13 were on stage for the last song and it was almost transcendent. A buch of people wanted an encore but they wanted to bring Red Hot Chili Peppers out. I was not interested in seeing RHCP so I left. They were good about 15 years ago but they have lost their edge.

I mentioned what I have been doing since then at the beginning so I go to what is coming up. I'm volunteering on Saturday and Wednesday and I am going out for brunch to celebrate Tracy, Sebastian, and hopefully my Dad's birthday on Sunday. And I will post when I am of a mood to.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Lollapalooza, day 2

Well, Lollapalooza's second day has ended and again I am exhausted, but I enjoyed getting that way. I arrived at noon to see Rainer Maria whose music I really like. I was not disappointed by their live show. Caitlin is very cute and very gracious of the audience and Kyle is a very energetic guitar player. I would really like to see them again. I then walked across the part to catch Nada Surf. They became popular about 10 years ago with the song "I'm Popular". I was aware that they were still around and still putting out albums, I had even heard and liked a few songs, I just didn't know many of them. They opened with I'm Popular and their set included Happy Birthday because it was their lead singers birthday. They had a good set but it wasn't outstanding (that would come later). Feist followed and then Built to Spill and I liked both of their sets. Having said that, I was rather annoyed that the organizers had decided to schedule a metal band (Peeping Tom) during Feist's set. While I was not aware that Peeping Tom is Mike Patton (of Mr. Bungle and Faith No More) and while I like Mike Patton, it wasn't right to put him against Feist (Feist does some really soft music and the bass really interfered. I then saw partial sets of Calexico and Wolfmother. I really like Calexico but I wanted to be across the park to acatch a partial set of Gnarls Barkley so I was only able to catch a partial set of Calexico and caught the end of Wolmother. I had thought after hearing a few of Wolfmother's songs that they sounded like Robert Plant singing Black Sabbath, after hearing the end of their set, I would add Deep Purple to the mix. Anyway, I saw the beginning of Gnarls Barkley's set and have to say that these guys are going to be huge. I didn't even hear their first single Crazy. They are definitely not going to be a one hit wonder. I started my work at 5 PM on the other side of the park and got to catch the end of Sonic Youth's set. The Dresden Dolls played next and they were very good. I had heard of them before but had never heard them, after what I saw of their set, I will have to check them out more. The next artist was why I requested the north side of the park, The Flaming Lips. I had seen part of a set of theirs during Lollapalooza 1994 and I liked them, but since then I had heard that their shows were as much visual as auditory and I really didn't remember this. I had heard sightings on this tour of aliens and Santa Clauses and needed to check this out. As was stated, the stage had aliens on one side and Santa Clauses on the other, the band was dressed in superhero costumes and their were a giant alien, astronaut and Sant Clause behind the band. Wayne, the lead singer came out to ask people to have fun and participate. He then got into a plastic bubble and walked off the stage. He rolled around in his ball on top of the crowd for a few minutes while the band played and then returned to the stage to start. During the first song, he liberally used a confetti gun and released a bunch of giant purple balloons which bounced around during the entire show. This set was the highlight of the day. After the Lips, Thievery Corporation played next and while I liked what I heard, I was unable to see them because I was busy working. I finished working in time to run and catch the end of the New Pornographers before I left. Kanye West and Manu Chao were headlining at their respective main stages but I wasn't really interested in seeing either so I left.

It was a great although very tiring day and I will do it again tomorrow. I probably won't post until Monday because I will need sleep for work on Monday.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Lollapalooza, day 1

Today was the first day of the 3 day Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park. As it started on a Friday, I would say that it started kind of slow but there were some bands that played relatively early in the day that were pretty popular. I didn't arrive until about 1 PM because there wasn't anything that started early that interested me. My volunteer shift didn't start until 2 PM so I had some time to bop around and check out a few of the bands that I had never heard of. Anathallo and Husky Rescue started at 1 PM on the small stages and Aqualung and Cursive started on the 2nd stages at 1:30 PM. I walked by the small stages and waited to see Aqualung and wasn't terribly impressed, I started walking back and happened to notice Anathallo and thought they were really good. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch the end of their set. Maybe I will catch them at a later date when they are in Chicago again. I am really interested in them now that I have found they are from Mt. Pleasant, MI (just west of Midland). I was interested in seeing both bands that were starting their sets at 2 PM, eels and Panic! At the Disco. I was really more interested in seeing eels, but my volunteer job put me on the south side of the park where Panic! was playing. My partner moved slowly so I missed much of their set but what I ddi see was pretty good. It was pretty funny that they did Crazy (the Gnarls Barkley song). It was pretty good and I didn't know it at the time but I would see that song three times. After Panic! I wasn't really interested in anything until 5 PM when Mates of State started. I did see some of Stars and Umphrey's McGee's sets. I liked Stars, I had forgotten but they are part of the Canadian collective that also includes Metric, Feist, and Broken Social Scene who I will see tomorrow (actually, I will see Feist tomorrow and Broken Social Scene on Sunday). Mates of State was the band that did the second version of Crazy. After I finished my shift at 5:30 PM, I grabbed something to eat and listened to The Secret Machines while I tried to get a good place to see The Raconteurs (Jack White's other band). As might be expected, they put on a great set (including the 3rd version of Crazy). After their set, I had to rush to the other side of the park to catch Sleater-Kinney. They had announced their "indefinite hiatus" and this would be their last show outside their hometown of Portland, OR. Their set was probably the best of the night and I really felt sorry for Death Cab for Cutie who was the nights headliner on that side of the park. While I really like Death Cab, I think that it was a really bad idea to put anyone after Sleater-Kinney and after their set, I just could not get into Death Cab, so I left early.

Tomorrow, I will try to get to the park by noon so I can see Rainer Maria.