Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wilco's "Being There"

Reading Dan Tobin's recent post about Wilco's "Being There" at made me think a bit about Wilco's collection of discs. I think Wilco peaked with the "Being There" double disc, despite the high quality of what came after it.

Everytime I listen to "Being There," it sets off some strong emotions and brings up some good memories. Perhaps the strongest is when I played the disc for the first time for Dan and our good friend Alon in a car on the way to get some beer on the Cape. EVERY time I hear the disc, I think about being 22 years old, in a car with two great friends, on the Cape in the summertime.

I really like "Summerteeth" and "YankeeHotelFoxtrot." "Summerteeth" has some really strong songs, but none of them set anything off in me. There was all kinds of stuff happening when I first bought that disc...mainly mooning over a girl that it never worked out with. But when I hear songs like "We're Just Friends" that meant a lot to me then, they don't awaken much now.

Same with "YFT." I had no idea that it was in the works till Tobin sent me a bootleg copy shortly after Sept. 11 at my office, which was reeling from the Anthrax scare and his package nearly got picked off for that reason -- Dan printed in block letters, just like the Anthrax mailer...

Anyway, I was knocked out by the album at the time, and still think it's quite good. "PotKettleBlack" is one of my favorite songs from the current decade. But listening to it doesn't put me back on my couch in the post 9/11 weeks and recall any of the emotions I had at the time.

"A.M.," which preceded "Being There," was a good album, nothing more, nothing less. I remember a hip older friend in my freshman year of college making me a mix with "Box Full of Letters" and thinking it was pretty good, but not as awesome as "Quicksand" by Dinosaur Jr.

"Being There" probably didn't need to be a double disc -- "Sunken Treasure," "Someday Soon," and "Lonely 1," are all outstanding, and probably should have been separated out and put on the 1rst disc as a single CD.

But man...that first disc takes me back...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Best Dream Ever!

No doubt inspired by watching the Red Sox beat the Orioles last night and reflecting on the pleasure of last October, I dreamed that I was a member of the '86 Sox, and we were in the 6th game of the World Series. I think I had taken Roger Clemens' spot on the team, because he wasn't there.

And Dave Stapleton was brought in to replace Buckner in the late innings, and he caught the famous ground ball from Mookie, and we all ran on the field to celebrate winning the Series. It was great. The media thought I was a big hero, but I was looking for Oil Can Boyd and Bruce Hurst to take pictures with them while I was holding the trophy.

Best part of it is that unlike any day prior to last Oct. 28, I didn't have a twinge of regret upon waking up and realizing that they still hadn't won it in my lifetime.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Manny Ramierez can't field, but so what...

Unfortunately the Commonwealth of Virginia, despite being a COMMONWEALTH and all, does not celebrate Patriots' Day, which is a day off in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Anyway, some co-workers and I watched the Sox play their annual Patriots' Day game on the big screen at a local restaurant during our lunch hour, and they made quite a bit of fun of Manny missing two fly balls in one inning.

The Boston Globe wrote a piece about Manny's miscues today, and I showed those co-workers by forwarding the article to them, but under name and e-mail address, I put in Manny Ramierez and "" and told them that I knew they were talking smack about me and reminded them that I make $20 million a year, unlike those suckas. That really showed them.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Pondering some mysteries

Sorry I have posted in a while.

I've been busy pondering a few mysteries.

There is usually a flock of geese on the lawn outside my office building. But the other day there were just two geese. The others returned the following day, but I wonder what the two of them were doing apart from the others. Maybe it was some kind of a goose-date.

Then I showed up for work this morning, and the geese were standing around in a circle, and it looked like one of them was chewing out one of the others for something. (S)he kept honking at this one goose, which just kept its head down and occassionally ate some grass. Weird.

The other thing on my mind is why the Boston Globe has relegated the Celtics to the "Other" catagory on its online sports section. You often have to wade through high school sports to get the Celtics news. This is the same Celtics that sold out the Garden for years and put 16 championship banners on the ceiling, right?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Reading the New York Times Can Be Dangerous to Your Health

The NY Times warned people today against drinking too much water, with an editorial focused on the dangers that too much water has posed to some marathon runs who have dilluted their own sodium levels to hazardous levels.

Here's the Times' advice "the solution is for overly eager endurance runners and hikers to forget the old mantra that they should drink-drink-drink. Too much liquid can be lethal."

Sure, maybe that's true for marathon runners, who put unbelievable stress on their bodies and should probably do some real research on their bodies before races. But isn't it far more likely that the average NY Times reader who just does some relatively light exercise a few days a week will see this and cut down on their fluid consumption and risk dehydration or kidney stones?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Missile Defense (Or Fun with Stats)

People on both sides of the missile defense debate used to acknowledge that this was largely an inside the beltway debate. Both sides would point out that most people in this country don't pay attention to the issue because they believe the United States already has a shield that can knock down ICBM's launched by the bad guys.

However, an ex-NFL linebacker named Riki Ellison pimping who is pimping for the missile defense program is hyping up a survey by his group, the Missile Defense Advocasy Alliance, that shows that most people in this country haven't read about missile defense recently. Ellison, who should be congradulated for using his celebrity as a member of three 49er teams that won Super Bowls to speak out on behalf of a program that is receives about $8 billion or so annually, believes that this stat means that Americans believe we don't have a missile defense system.

Talk about a great misuse of statistics. Ellison's poll also got generally positive responses to a question that basically asked if, since missile defense accounts for about 2% of the Pentagon's budget, isn't that a reasonable and worthwhile expense? He did not mention if the survey also asked if the Pentagon should spend a good chunk of that dough on, oh, say, body armour and vehicle armor for our boys in Iraq who are being shot at and risk driving over improvised explosives on a regular basis.

Ellison and the Pentagon want to declare operational a system that hasn't been tested in the manner with which it would be deployed. They say that Americans would prefer to have a system that may not be 100% effective rather than no system at all as justification for declaring it ready shortly, and give the example of a person wanting a roof over their house immediately, even if it isn't perfect.

If those guys are right about one thing, it's that the system isn't perfect. The interceptor rockets haven't even taken off in the last two tests.

Well, here's another way to look at it: ask 1,000 Americans whether they would like a roof over their heads, even if all evidence thus far says that the roof isn't likely to work, but they'll be paying for a top dollar model?

All evidence thus far says that it's much easier to launch an attack on the U.S. with far cheaper modes than an ICBM. Now, the roof over the house argument is a bit silly -- you can't really have a house without one, and we've somehow had a United States of America without a missile defense shield for a few hundred years now.

But if the forecast called for nice weather for the next few years, I'm sure as heck not going to buy expensive rain gear that may or may not work....Maybe I'd save up for a good umbrella for when the weather report is expected to change.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Coffee Diaries, Part 5

OK I've been away for about a week now on a major coffee bender that took me from VA to Colorado Springs and back. My wife wasn't very happy about it. And all my readers (with Tobin away probably just my beloved boski93) probably have rightfully given up on me. This is developing into a full blown habit, and I want to stop, but don't think I can. Maybe tomorrow I can have my last cup and then figure things out from there.