Thursday, September 27, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 39: The 40-Year-Old Version

After a nearly two-week delay, here is the latest podcast. Download it directly here (right click and "save as," aiight?).

The show notes, if you will...

Topics:
- My top 10 realizations about turning 40
- The enduring popularity of radio
- Pinhead of the Week

Music:
- The 1990s - You Made Me Like It
- Centro-Matic - Triggers and Trash Heaps
- The Mobius Band - Friends Like These
- Summer Hymns - Start Swimming
- Casket Salesmen - I'd Buy That For a Dollar

Promos:
- The Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon. Find out more here.
- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The song from the 1990s is from the album Cookies on Rough Trade Records; find out more here. The Casket Salesmen song is on their album Sleeping Giants on Longhair Illuminati Records. Find out more here. Both songs were provided by the Podsafe Music Network.

The song from Centro-Matic is on the album Fort Recovery; find out more here. The song by the Mobius Band is on their new album Heaven; find out more here. And the Summer Hymns song is on their album Backward Masks; find out more here. All three songs were provided by IODA Promonet.

Fort RecoveryCentro-matic
"Triggers And Trash Heaps" (mp3)
from "Fort Recovery"
(Misra)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
Buy at Insound
More On This Album



HeavenMobius Band
"Friends Like These" (mp3)
from "Heaven"
(Misra)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album



Backward MasksSummer Hymns
"Start Swimming" (mp3)
from "Backward Masks"
(Misra)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Napster
Buy at Rhapsody
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
Buy at Insound
More On This Album



The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling by checking out his fine blog de la musica. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of Mark Campbell; find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Friday, September 21, 2007

(Don't Fear) The Reaper

Ah yes, another birthday has come and almost gone. The big 4-0. We had a nice little low-key celebration tonight. Deb and the girls decorated the house with these goofy "40" hanging mobile thingies, just in case I forgot. Deb loves to rub in the fact that I'm three years older than her. Honestly, I'm cool with turning 40. I'm pretty happy with my position in life: I've got a great wife and family, a job I like most of the time, and good health. You can't really ask for much more than that. Last night, I went out in Marblehead for a few beers with folks from work, so that was fun. And the "Holy crap, you're old" jokes don't bother me, because I feel great and I know I'm in better shape than most of the people who are making those jokes. Hell, I'm in better shape than I was 10 years ago (and I was in good shape then), and I'm in way better shape than I was at 20, when I was busy drinking, eating junk food and noticing that my clothes were getting tight. Sure, I've got a little less hair than I used to (okay, a LOT less) and much of what I do have has turned gray, but there's no sense stressing out over stuff you can't control, right? Right? Right.

I've got my last big long run this weekend before the marathon, which is only three weeks away. Hannah's got two soccer games this weekend, one on each day, so I won't be able to run until Sunday afternoon. Not only will I miss most of the Patriots game, it's going to be close to 80 out. But I've run in plenty of warm weather already, and it's good training in case it's warm on October 14.

Gimme some more cake:
  • I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Jays sweep the Red Sox this week, which narrowed Boston's lead over the Yankees to 1.5 games. Of course, the friggin' Jays wait until they're way out of the race to win a meaningful series. They've got four with the Yankees this weekend, so hopefully they can wreak similar havoc. Meanwhile, we're finding out the extent of how banged up they are: Their best position player, Vernon Wells, had underperformed all year, but the reason was only revealed recently. He's having surgery next week to remove a cyst in his left shoulder. Troy Glaus, Lyle Overbay and BJ Ryan have all been shut down for the season because of injuries that required surgery. The Jays were expected to be an offensive powerhouse this year, with a questionable pitching staff. The opposite occurred, with spotty offense and excellent pitching, as youngsters Dustin McGowan, Shawn Marcum and Jesse Litsch all stepped up in the starting rotation, in addition to ace Roy Halladay and AJ Burnett. Hope springs eternal, but GM JP Ricciardi's job can't be safe for much longer if they continue this path of mediocrity.
  • Last weekend, I engaged in some classic music nerdery. In honor of my 40th, I created a set of mix CDs featuring songs from every year of my life (full credit to my buddy Phil for the idea; he did a similar thing for his 30th). After much deliberation, I decided to make a disc for each decade, with two songs for each year and no repeated artists. I was also limited to the music in my collection (which, as some of you may know, numbers in low thousands). The songs I chose weren't necessarily my favorite songs of all time, or songs I was listening to at that particular time of my life, but they're all songs I like by artists I like. The list changed considerably because of song length and last-minute changes of opinion. And here's the playlist:

Disc 1 (1967-76)

1. 1967 Pink Floyd - Astronomy Domine

2. 1967 Cream - Sunshine of Your Love

3. 1968 Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower

4. 1968 Velvet Underground - White Light, White Heat

5. 1969 Neil Young - Everybody Knows This is Nowhere

6. 1969 Led Zeppelin - I Can't Quit You, Baby

7. 1970 The Beatles - I've Got a Feeling

8. 1970 The Grateful Dead - Friend of the Devil

9. 1971 Funkadelic - Super Stupid

10. 1971 The Rolling Stones - Brown Sugar

11. 1972 David Bowie - Moonage Daydream

12. 1972 Deep Purple - Space Truckin'

13. 1973 The Who - Cut My Hair

14. 1973 Iggy and the Stooges - Search and Destroy

15. 1974 Thin Lizzy - Showdown

16. 1974 Steely Dan - Rikki Don't Lose That Number

17. 1975 Bruce Springsteen - Born to Run

18. 1975 KISS - Strutter (live)

19. 1976 Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke

20. 1976 Aerosmith - Last Child

Disc 2 (1977-86)

1. 1977 Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant

2. 1977 The Ramones - Sheena is a Punk Rocker

3. 1978 Elvis Costello - Radio, Radio

4. 1978 The Jam - Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

5. 1979 Joe Jackson - Look Sharp!

6. 1979 The Clash - Spanish Bombs

7. 1980 Motorhead - Ace of Spades

8. 1980 AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill

9. 1981 Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry (Saturday Night)

10. 1981 Van Halen - Mean Street

11. 1982 Mission of Burma - Learn How

12. 1982 X - The Have Nots

13. 1983 The Replacements - Color Me Impressed

14. 1983 U2 - ...Like a Song

15. 1984 The Smiths - This Charming Man

16. 1984 Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - Couldn't Stand the Weather

17. 1985 - R.E.M. - Feeling Gravity's Pull

18. 1985 The Cult - Rain

19. 1986 Bad Brains - Re-Ignition

20. 1986 Prince - Kiss

Disc 3 (1987-96)

1. 1987 Guns 'n' Roses - Nightrain

2. 1987 Husker Du - Could You Be the One

3. 1988 The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm an Adult Now

4. 1988 Public Enemy - Night of the Living Baseheads

5. 1989 Nirvana - Negative Creep

6. 1989 The Pixies - Debaser

7. 1990 Fugazi - Repeater

8. 1990 Jane's Addiction - Ain't No Right

9. 1991 Soundgarden - Outshined

10. 1991 Smashing Pumpkins - I am One

11. 1992 Alice in Chains - Them Bones

12. 1992 The Tragically Hip - Looking for a Place to Happen

13. 1993 Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror

14. 1993 PJ Harvey - Rid of Me

15. 1994 Beck - Beercan

16. 1994 Jeff Buckley - Eternal Life

17. 1995 Foo Fighters - Alone + Easy Target

18. 1995 Pavement - AT&T

19. 1996 Weezer - El Scorcho

20. 1996 Afghan Whigs - Honky's Ladder

Disc 4 (1997-2007)

1. 1997 Radiohead - Electioneering

2. 1997 Guided by Voices - Jane of the Waking Universe

3. 1998 Sloan - Money City Maniacs

4. 1998 Frank Black and the Catholics - Suffering

5. 1999 The Flaming Lips - Waitin' for a Superman

6. 1999 Built to Spill - The Plan

7. 2000 Queens of the Stone Age - Auto Pilot

8. 2000 At the Drive-In - Rolodex Propoganda

9. 2001 The White Stripes - Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground

10. 2001 Spoon - Me and the Bean

11. 2002 Wilco - Heavy Metal Drummer

12. 2002 ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner

13. 2003 The Black Keys - Thickfreakness

14. 2003 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?

15. 2004 Green Day - Letterbomb

16. 2004 Mark Lanegan Band - One Hundred Days

17. 2005 The New Pornographers - Use It

18. 2005 The Hold Steady - Cattle and the Creeping Things

19. 2006 The Twilight Singers - I'm Ready

20. 2007 Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running

Phew! If you're still reading at this point, good on ya. And if you're interested in copies of the discs, I'll be happy to burn a set for you. Just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Making mixes is one of my favorite things to do, dating back to 1981 when I got a clock radio with a built-in cassette deck and would tape stuff off the radio. Those early tapes came in handy when we moved from Toronto to a town in Washington state with horrendous radio stations; I listened to those old tapes endlessly. Yeah, another thing we 40-year-olds do a lot is reminisce about crap. Later.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe

Word up. It's feeling kinda fall out there, with temps getting rather cool overnight. Although it's supposed to creep back up into the 80s later this week. I headed out for a 15-miler Saturday after we had some rain in the a.m. and then got caught in the second part of the storm front; I was fairly soaked by the time I got back. Oh, well.

Yesterday, I worked with the Striders at the Nahant 30K race, directing runners at the turnaround point in Lynn just after mile 16. It was a nice day, both for the runners and for me to stand in one spot for a couple of hours. It's a tough race, with all the hills in Nahant. By the time I saw those runners, a lot of them were looking pretty ragged. At least they didn't have to run in 80-degree temps like I did the two times I ran that race. That was just brutal.

Traversing the InterWeb:
  • Man, if you got away with the crime of the (last) century, wouldn't you just go hide away on an island somewhere? Not if your name's OJ.
  • Crazy week for the Patriots. Belichick is fined half a million and team $250,000 and the team loses its first-round draft pick, everyone speculates that the team's a fraud, and then the Pats come out last night and totally destroy the whiny San Diego Chargers, who looked like a Pop Warner team. It won't make the whispering and allegations go away, but it gave a definitive answer about how good the Pats are. Obviously, there was wrongdoing to gain a competitive advantage, but you still have to make the plays.
  • Beware the escalator if you're wearing Crocs. If you don't know what Crocs are, they're those dayglo rubber clogs that plenty of kids (including mine) wear and even some adults. Apparently, there have been some nasty accidents where they've gotten caught in the teeth of escalators.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 38: Geezers Gone Wild

Here's the latest episode of tha CC. If you're not subscribed, you can download it directly here.

Ze show notes...

Topics:
- Sexually active senior citizens
- Extreme sports fan behavior
- Pinhead of the Week

Music:
- Les Savy Fav - The Equestrian
- Nick Oliveri and the Mondo Generator - Lie Detector
- The Riverboat Gamblers - Last to Know
- The Hellacopters - Heart of the Matter

Promos:
- The Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon. Find out more here.
- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!

The Les Savy Fav song is from the album Let's Stay Friends on French Kiss Records; find out more here. It is provided by the Podsafe Music Network.

The song from Nick Oliveri and the Mondo Generator is on the album Dead Planet on Suburban Noize Records; find out more here. The Riverboat Gamblers song is on their album Something to Crow About on Gearhead Records; find out more here. The Hellacopters song is on their album Cream of the Crap, Volume 1 on Gearhead Records; find out more here. All three songs were provided by IODA Promonet.

Dead PlanetMondo Generator
"Lie Detector" (mp3)
from "Dead Planet"
(Suburban Noize Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album



Something to Crow AboutRiverboat Gamblers
"Last To Know" (mp3)
from "Something to Crow About"
(Gearhead Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album



Cream of the Crap! Volume 1The Hellacopters
"Heart Of The Matter" (mp3)
from "Cream of the Crap! Volume 1"
(Gearhead Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
More On This Album



The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Check out his fine music blog, willya? Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of Mark Campbell; find out more here.

Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Times Are Passing Us By

Welcome to the working week. It was a strange weekend. Saturday was hotter than hell, hitting the mid-90s. I opted not to do my long run, waiting for hopefully cooler temps on Sunday. We took Hannah to her first week of soccer, which basically involved having the kids do a lot of drills. Hannah didn't really have much fun, between having to run around in heavy socks and cleats in the sweltering heat and having those cleats be a size too small (we tried out her cousin's old ones). Hopefully, next weekend will be better for her.

Part of the problem also may have been that it was one more new thing to deal with last week. I may have spoken too soon about her dealing with kindergarten. On Friday and this morning, she was pretty anxious and weepy about the whole situation. I sat with her in the lobby both days until school started. She seems to have been fine once in the classroom, but she's worked herself up into a lather about the beginning of the day for some reason. Of course, she wasn't the only kid who was upset this morning; there were a few others there going through similar emotions. She's a sensitive kid, but I think once she gets a little more familiar with the school, teacher and other students, she'll be okay.

Saturday afternoon, we went to the beach and spent four hours there. Call it summer's last stand. Our timing was good, because about 90 minutes after we got home, some thunderstorms moved in and it poured like a mofo for about 20 minutes.

I got up at 5:30 Sunday morning to head out for my 20-mile run and was literally tying my shoes when the thunder and lightning started up again. I had to wait for three hours before I could hit the road, but it ended up being a nice cloudy and cool run. Less than five weeks until race day.

Let the bullets fly:
  • After my run yesterday, I plunked down on the couch (post-shower, of course) and watched the Patriots destroy the Jets, 38-14. Brady had so much time to stand in the pocket and fire away to Randy Moss and his other new receivers. I'm just pissed I didn't activate Moss on my frickin' fantasy football team; he hadn't practiced at all, so I figured he wouldn't do much. Goes to show what I know. Meanwhile, a controversy has blossomed as the Jets have accused the Pats of stealing signals during the game. Apparently a Patriots employee with a camera was allegedly filming Jets' coaches using hand signals and relaying them to the Pats sideline; Green Bay accused the team of doing the same thing last November. The league's looking into the situation; if they're found guilty, the Patriots could lose a draft pick. To me, it sounds like sour grapes. Besides, wouldn't you change your signals regularly to prevent opponents from figuring them out anyway?
  • Speaking of the NFL, a scary scene occurred yesterday in the Bills-Broncos game when tight end Kevin Everett sustained a life-threatening spinal-cord injury that paralyzed him. The surgeon who operated on him afterward said Everett may never walk again. Everett was trying to make a tackle and hit a Broncos player helmet on helmet. It highlights what a brutal game football is (and I'm not saying that as a criticism); any hit can result in a major injury, especially with the size of the players. Hopefully, Everett can recover enough to lead a somewhat normal life.
  • Wow, Sen. Larry Craig is actually taking steps to withdraw his guilty plea in the Minneapolis airport sex sting. How clueless is this guy? He says the guilty plea was the result of "an intense state of anxiety" about the arrest becoming public knowledge and pressure from the media investigating reports that he is gay. Craig, of course, vehemently denies being gay because that goes against his conservative ideology. Wonder how his constituents feel about it? Whatever the case, he's making late-night monologue writers giddy with anticipation for his next idiotic move.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ne'er Do Well

It has been a pretty eventful week. After a weekend of grilling and chilling, Deb and I went to the Sox-Jays game Tuesday night. Unfortunately for me (but not for her and the nearly 37,000 other Sox fans in attendance), the Sox knocked off Toronto and Roy Halladay, 5-3. The following morning, Hannah had her first day in kindergarten. She had been kind of nervous about it on Tuesday, but she handled it well Wednesday morning. Deb and I both took her to her new school, which is about five minutes from our house. It didn't take Hannah long to make new friends and she seemed excited about the official start of her school career. Some of the other kids weren't as psyched to be there, but I'm sure they got over it.

My mornings have changed for pretty much the next umpteen years. Whereas previously, Deb would take the girls to Malden with her to go to preschool while I either worked out, watched TV, lounged, or went back to bed, now I've got to get Hannah ready to head out the door at 7:30 every day. And in two years, I'll be taking Lily, too. It's a big change, but I'm excited about it.

Pass the peas:
  • I was part of an annoying Internet development earlier this week. I had received an invitation to check out a new social networking site called Quechup. Normally, I would just delete such an invite but I was sitting around bored over the weekend and decided to take a look. They make you create a profile and then check your email address book to see if anyone else you know is on the network; I didn't think anything of it because LinkedIn does that, so I stupidly entered my Gmail address and password. I think we were going out, so I just stopped there and didn't give it another thought. Then two days later, I heard on the Daily Source Code podcast that those Quechup bastards were adding to their email lists by basically spamming everyone in people's email addresses. Gmail users were especially vulnerable because Gmail automatically adds every email address you ever type to your address book. But the insidious part is the invites were made to look like they came from you, so hundreds of unsuspecting folks received stupid Quechup invites without my knowledge. I wasn't the only one who was victimized by this asinine tactic; these invites were popping up all over the InterPants over the weekend. As far as I can tell, it's a legitimate social network, but one that uses dickhead tricks to add to its user base. I deleted my profile and changed my Gmail password. Hopefully, the asshats at Quechup will go out of business.
  • Steve Jobs announced the new line of iPods and a $200 price cut for the iPhone from $599 to $399, a move that pissed off the folks that shelled out the full price just 10 weeks ago. Can't say as I blame those people for being mad, but it's still too rich for my blood. The new Nanos look cool, are cheaper and play video, but my 2GB O.G. Nano still works fine, so I'll be satisfied with it for now.
  • While Van Halen prepares to head out on its first tour with David Lee Roth in 22 years, original bassist Michael Anthony has been pushed aside in favor of Eddie VH's 16-year-old son Wolfgang. Anthony is handling EVH's dickishness with class, as he prepares to tour with former VH belter Sammy Hagar. Say what you will about his bass-playing abilities, but Anthony's backing vocals are an essential part of VH's sound and some are speculating that the band may use backing tracks to replace them. That would be truly lame.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Completely Conspicuous Episode 37: Dumb and Dumberer

Some more podcastimafied goodness courtesy of the CC. You can download it directly here (right click and "save as").


The show notes:


Topics:


- The latest in stupidity and hypocrisy from the political world
- The growing number of stay-at-home fathers
- The Pinhead of the Week


Music:
- El-P - Smithereens
- Tokyo Police Club - Shoulders and Arms
- Magneta Lane - Daggers Out!
- Hopewell - All Angels Road


Promos:
- The Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon. Find out more here.
- New England Podcasting. Find out more here.


Completely Conspicuous is available through the iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and Podcast Pickle podcast directories. Subscribe and write a review!


The El-P song is from the album I'll Sleep When You're Dead on Definitive Jux Records; find out more here. It is provided by the Podsafe Music Network.

The song from Tokyo Police Club is on the album A Lesson in Crime on Paper Bag Records; find out more here. The Magneta Lane song is on their album Dancing With Daggers on Paper Bag Records; find out more here. The Hopwell song is on their album Beautiful Targets on Tee Pee Records; find out more here. All three songs were provided by IODA Promonet.



A Lesson In CrimeTokyo Police Club
"Shoulders & Arms" (mp3)
from "A Lesson In Crime"
(Paper Bag Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
Buy at Insound
More On This Album





Dancing With DaggersMagneta Lane
"Daggers Out!" (mp3)
from "Dancing With Daggers"
(Paper Bag Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at eMusic
Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
Buy at GroupieTunes
Buy at DownloadPunk
Buy at Insound
More On This Album





Beautiful TargetsHopewell
"All Angels Road" (mp3)
from "Beautiful Targets"
(Tee Pee Records)

Buy at Rhapsody
Buy at Napster
Stream from Rhapsody
More On This Album




The opening and closing theme of Completely Conspicuous is "Theme to Big F'in Pants" by Jay Breitling. Find out more about Senor Breitling by visiting his fine music blog. Additional music used in the show is by Me and Boris the Bull, which is the brainchild of Mark Campbell; listen to his musical stylings here.


Completely Conspicuous is a Tan God Production. Word.