October 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
The Wallflowers released their new album today. “Glad All Over” is their first album since Rebel, Sweetheart in 2005. Listening to the new album, you can tell that Jakob Dylan and his band have evolved during their time away from the studio, but have still retained much of their classic “Wallflowers” sound. Rami Jaffee, Greg Richling, and Fred Eltringham are back after the last album, and Rami and Richling have been with Dylan since the early 1990s. While the sound of the band has evolved, you can still instantly recognize the songs as belonging to the Wallflowers. On this album, Dylan continues to sound more like his father than ever. With guest guitarist Mick Jones from the Clash, this album has a very upbeat and rocking feel. It is quite possibly my favorite Wallflower’s album; it is considerably more to my taste than “Rebel, Sweetheart.”
The tracks on the album include:
1. Hospital for Sinners
2. Misfits and Lovers
3. First One in the Car
4. Reboot the Mission
5. It’s a Dream
6. Love is a Country
7. Have Mercy On Him Now
8. The Devil’s Waltz
9. Won’t Be Long (Till We’re Not Wrong Anymore)
10. Constellation Blues
11. One Set of Wings
Mick Jones joins the Wallfowers on “Misfits and Lovers,” and “Reboot the Mission.” These two tracks are pretty rockin’; “Misfits and Lovers” is quite possibly my favorite track on the album, followed by “The Devil’s Waltz.” I will be listening to this album a few more times in the near future, it is just that good.
September 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
At work this weekend I had some downtime and was able to indulge in some pleasure reading; read Vince Flynn’s “Kill Shot.” It was a very easy read; I finished the book in under 15 hours; that includes actually doing my job as well. “Kill Shot” is the 12th book written in the Mitch Rapp series; Flynn takes us back to the early day of Rapp’s career where we get to see a more unrefined, ideological rookie.
Rapp is a CIA assassin who’s girlfriend was killed in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103; he is recruited by the CIA and is out for retribution. A list of terrorists and supporters is drawn up and Rapp is making his way through the list. The Libyan oil minister is next on the list, but the CIA has a leak and Rapp is set up. Murder, chaos, betrayal and treason ensues; a love affair with a CIA operative’s granddaughter cause no small amount of trouble.
As far as political thrillers go, Flynn is one of the best non-Cold War authors, but as with authors such as Tom Clancy, there is only so much you can do with one character. Also, similar to Stephen King, his books follow a very structured format. This was not the best of the Mitch Rapp novels; however, I am looking forward to reading “The Last Man,” and seeing if there is any improvement.
On an unrelated note, I now have a new favorite punctuation mark. The semicolon; a rather useful punctuation mark; however, it is completely unnecessary. There are very limited times when a semicolon can be used: when you link two independent clauses with no connecting words, “I like semicolons; I intend to use them more often”; when you join two independent clauses with a conjunctive adverb (however, therefore, otherwise, nonetheless, etc), “I like semicolons; therefore, I intend to use them more often”; and in a series or list that includes internal punctuation, such as this list.
September 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
This past week has been a rather uneventful week in most aspects. Gerri has been out of town training for work and because of my school and work schedule, Sean has stayed with his grandparents. So I have had the house to myself, if you don’t count the dogs.
Heidi, our miniature schnauzer pup has been great, but Tubby, our 14 year old Lhasa-poodle mix has peed on the floor no less than 3 times a day, every day for the past month. We can take him outside, watch him pee and when he gets back inside, he will pee again. I think it might be getting to the point where we need to consider having him put to sleep, but I know Sean would be devastated.
I’m glad Gerri gets home today and that we are both off for the holiday Monday. If the weather cooperates I think we will take Sean to the park to feed the ducks.
August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
One week down, only 15 weeks to go. 15 weeks of classes Monday through Thursday and work Friday through Sunday. On a positive note, I am getting close to being done with this round of school. After my clinical rotation in the spring, I will only have three classes to finish up my BA in history.
I think my next step will be grad school, but I haven’t quite decided what to do. I have narrowed it down to history, an MBA, or a master’s in library science. I am leaning toward library science at the moment though.
Well, that’s it for my weekly post this week.
August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Over the past few weeks, I have started re-watching season one of Star Trek: Deep Space 9. DS9 is quite possibly my favorite of the various Star Trek series. It was more technologically advanced than The Original Series, and grittier than The Next Generation. Avery Brooks as Commander Sisko was not afraid to use force as a primary option when needed, compared to Patrick Stewart’s Picard who was much more a pacifist. The other primary cast members, Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys, Rene Auberjonois as Odo, Alexander Siddig as Dr Bashir, Terry Farrell as Lt Jadzia Dax, and Colm Meaney as Chief Miles O’Brien all have very strong personalities and the interaction between them makes the series a very compelling show. In The Next Generation, the interaction between the crew was downplayed, where in DS9, it was a primary focus of the show.
I have just finished the first season, and I find it amazing that the issues and situations that are presented in the show are issues that we, as a society, are dealing with today. For example, Episode 20 of season 1, “In the Hands of the Prophets,” deals with the struggle over what is being taught in school. Keiko O’Brien, played by Rosalind Chao, is a teacher in Deep Space Nine’s only school. She was teaching the children about the wormhole and different alien races, but Vedek Winn, played by Louise Fletcher, is a religious leader and is opposed to teaching about this because it goes against her religion. This is very similar to the debates on how science classes can be taught in the United States. There are those who argue that creationism should be taught in science classes and that evolution is but a mere theory, but on the other side of the coin, there are those who think that creationism cannot be explained by scientific fact and that it should be presented in a religion or history class.
I find it amazing that the writers of the series were able to find topics that are still relevant almost a decade after the show first aired. I look forward to re-watching the rest of the series and seeing how well it translates to current times.
August 11, 2012 § 1 Comment
This morning I had the pleasure of listening to Mitt Romney announce that he has picked Paul Ryan as his running mate for the presidential election. The speeches started with Bob McDonnell, the governor of Virginia, talking about the goals of the Republican party and the mistakes made by President Obama and the democrats. During his introductory speech, McDonnell talked about the things Romney’s administration will accomplish. There was much talk about improving the economy, creating more jobs, lowering the cost of healthcare, repealing “Obamacare,” and strengthening the middle class.
Mitt Romney’s speech continued along the same lines, and he said the Ryan’s upbringing and his history in Washington will help make those things happen. “We offer solutions that are bold, specific, and achievable,” Romney stated. He expressed their commitment to help create 12 million jobs and increase take home pay for the middle class. He also said that “we will provide our workers and our children with the skills to succeed. We’ll cut the deficit, have trade that works for America, and champion small business. And finally, we will unleash our energy resources to achieve North American energy independence.”
Paul Ryan, in his acceptance speech, said that it is “our duty to save the American Dream for our children, and theirs.” he goes on to talk about the economy, the deficit and Obama’s “empty promises.”
Throughout these speeches, as well as many others throughout the campaign season, are full of bold promises, but the solutions to these problems are nowhere to be found. Ryan talked about his father saying “if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” Where are your solutions Mr. Ryan? Mr. Romney, what are you, a president going to do to ‘fix’ things?
Make no mistake, it is not only the Republican candidates that I have issues with. The democrats are just as guilty, just not at the forefront today.
It is time for a candidate to offer solutions, rather than campaign promises and platitudes.