Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Its fun to dream...

Man my losing streak continues.

I am one of those people that plays the lottery but only when it goes over some huge amount (say 100 Million). Not that $100.00 wouldn't do the trick most days.

Most have probably seen/heard that the latest powerball winner over 250+ Million was a couple in their 80's. Honestly, good for them..seriously. The husband is a war veteran and they have 3 sons they can share the wealth with. If you think about it..its better than a 22 year old getting this kind of dough.

We all play that game "what if" and I'd like to plead my case as to why the March to the Sea family should be the next massive lottery winner

- married couple both parents work
- two kids, one in elementary school, the other to start in the fall of 2007.
- two cars both paid off..but "older"
- small, yet comfortable home

We are an American Family that doesn't live outside its means. Come on..imagine our smiling faces on as the latest winners. You'd all say "Oh thats great a young married family with kids...nice amount of money to do things, save for retirement/college and live comfortably. Say it a few'll agree.

Now that being won't be all about me/my family.

I vow to do "some good" with it...seriously.

The biggest thing is that I'd do a nice sports complex for the community. It would have one if not two ice rinks. Indoor soccer court, another court that can be used for basketball, volleyball etc. It would also have a goods sized pool and an indoor playground for kids. There would be no member fees. It will rule.

I have broken about 4 of the "Seven Deadly Sins" with this post..but still one can dream.

Monday, January 29, 2007

On of those "all over the place" posts.

Well its somewhat back to normal for me. All last week I had customers in the office. It was pretty laid back overall, but the days were long and intense. They were due to be done each day "around 5" but Wed and Thurs they were in the office until at least 5:45. By the time they were gone and I just checked messages it was time to go.

Friday night I still could not fall asleep so I watched
Brothers of the Head. On paper this was a very cool sounding flick. It was a story about 2 brothers that were co-joined twins that ended up being in a punk rock band. The way it was shot was in a documentary style and there are parts where you'd wonder how you'd never heard of this band it was done so well. Overall it was a tad "flat" though for me. I am not sure what it was. Didn't feel like I wasted my time, but its not a movie I'd rush out and buy.

Been looking in to various "diet" ideas and nothing really seems to sit well with me. I know that dieting is dedication but the part I have a hard time with is menu items. It always seems like a diet sounds good but there are not enough choices. Not everyone likes lamb (me) or asparagus (me) so offer me some subsitutions. Also making a meal for the kids and then some elabortate no fat only fresh items is hard to make time for. I know I am making excuses but by the time the kids are in bed most nights I am eating at 830pm (which in and of itself is bad enough). I need to ponder some more.

Somehow the Boston Bruins still can't figure out a way to win.

The rest of the weekend was okay. We went to Target for a few things and I actually found a cheaper version of a Skutt Bike. Its pretty cool and it is supposed to help kids get the "feel" for a two wheeler. Littlest March has a two wheeler w/training wheels and he is very good about it..but I wanted to get one of these. I put it together Saturday and he tooled around the house on it. He was mad it had "no pedals" and it was amazing to see how quick he had to stablize it w/his body. Once it gets nicer outside we will try that.

Made a smokin version of French Onion soup on Sunday but the house still kinda smells which bugs me a little.

Dull, random post I realize but still its "something" I guess.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I am alive..

I had clients in the office all this week..little time to post..or read.

Monday, January 22, 2007

My Favorite cds of 2006

Each year I vow to get this out "earlier" and never seem to get my act together. Overall it was a strong year but there were some personal favorite artists that released somewhat "ehh" records. Everyone is allowed a stinker..lets just hope its not a long trend with them!

I try to steer clear of "best" as it is all subjective.

Here is my list of the records I liked and played the most in 2006.

20. The Roots - Game Theory - Still a great approch to hip hop...a live band. "Here I come" is one infectious track and on a whole the record is equal to previous releases. Although they are not breaking any new ground they still offer a fresh sound.
- Previous list appearences - Phrenology #15 2002, Tripping Point #24 in 2004

19. Wizzards - Hidden City of Taurmond - Brian Gibson (Lightning Bolt) drops the bass to play drums on this side project. It sounds a lot like a soundtrack to Nintendo games but its a fun/quirky listen. File under instrumental fun.

18. Built to Spill - You in Reverse One only needs to hear "Convential Wisdom" to get the sheer awesomeness that is Built to Spill. A strong effort from the only band I know off the top of my head from Idaho. BTS continues to evolve musically but not straying too far from the path it has already foraged. The extended guitar solo on "just a habit" harkens back to the epic Neil Young solos of the past (and present).

17. Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - The UK press went nuts for these young lads. Selling faster than any Beatles album did at the time this band and album was all the buzz in early 2006. Did it live up to the hype, on some levels yes. It was no worse or better than the hype for the Strokes or Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The rat a tat drum intro to "I Bet you Look Good on the dance floor" sends a clear message of what is in store. Some catchy freaking tunes... They already lost their bass player but lets hope that is all they lose as they prepare for album #2.

16. Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere - Nobody could/can escape "Crazy" but don't let that song keep you from getting the cd if you are sick of it. There is a huge amount of potential here. It seemed to make a lot of best of lists from what I read. It has a little to offer even the harshest of critics.

15. Red Sparowes - Every Red Heart Shines Towards The Red Sun - Whew, you think that was long you should see the song titles. The back of the cd sleeve has a paragraph, well what reads as a paragraph that is actually the song titles. Add that to the fact there are just 8 tracks on the album. What further makes this crazy is that the shortest song is 1:42 whole the next closest in the "short" department is 6:59. A little less heavy that the previous release it is still great stuff.
Previous list appearences - At the Soundless Dawn #7 in 2005.

14. Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist - A record that was almost not made. The band has been having internal issues for the last few years but unleased a brutally heavy record that continues to showcase the hidden talents of the band. It shows further maturity in the band and as a fan one can only hope things have cooled down on the personel issues so we may be treated to further jems.
Previous list appearences - Around the Fur #13 1997. White Pony #18 in 2000.

13. Mogwai - Mr Beast - The band teases you with a few vocal tracks which can be a nice change after a series of records with none. Its not as loud/chaotic as the previous records which shows a sign of growth. Its not totally thrown out the window either. For a newer fan of the band this is a pretty good record to start with and is pretty easy to get in to. A strong come back after the not so great "Happy Songs for Happy People".

12. Silversun Pickups - Carnavas - If you like Ride, Built to Spill and early Smashing Pumpkins..take all those parts of those band you really dig mix em up and you get this. Awesome stuff. Check Youtube (or the web) for their Letterman performance. Its a shortened version of "Lazy Eye" but it does the trick.

11. Beck - Information - Beck the way we like, a little poppy a little quirky and even more focused. Overall a strong listen. Bonus points for the do it yourself cover art.
Previous list apperences: Odelay #4 1996, Midnight Vultures #4 1999,Sea Change #11 2002, Guero #12 2005.

10. Wolfmother - Wolfmother - A very strong debut this record had repeated (ad nasueum almost). Not shying away from the Sabbath meets Deep Purple influences this self titled release has no skippable tracks. The only fear at this time is the ability to not duplicate the success of this record. If it is half as stong they will be good to go.

09. Mastodon - Blood Mountain - If there ever was a "thinking man's/person's heavy metal" this is it. These tunes, and this record are epic. Its the record bands like Metallica wish they still had in them. 2007 will be even stronger for these juggernauts. Strap on some headphones and strap in.

08. Comets on Fire - Avatar - At times can be a challenging listen but the opening track "Dogwood Rust" gives a new listener a pretty good idea of their sound. The instrumental breakdown about the 4 minute mark leads to a swelling mass of sound that leaves the listener both exhausted and wanting more. Its not a record you'd throw on to get a party started for sure but in the confines of your car or headphones its a real barn burner.
Previous list appearences - Blue Cathedral #19 in 2004

07. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain - I had to major issues with this release that kept it from being higher. The first is no iTunes program recognized the song/artist etc. The second issue was with tracks 12 thru 25 being 16 seconds of nothing. Total waste. The upside is the record is so strong you can forget this stuff. I read the album is named for a a "board on the 4th level of Super Mario World". It may take you a second spin to "get it" but once you out.

06. Raconteurs - Broken Toy Soilders - I love the simple backbeat that Meg White gives on the White Stripes records but this is and was a record for Jack to let his hair down and really cook. Showing again why he is one of the finer guitar players out at the moment this collection takes no prisinors. The foursome made up of 3 different artists/bands the sound is all you'd want. An "alternative supergroup" of sorts that hopefull will refute the line "Supergroups rarely are Super".

05. Mono - You are There - Opening with "The Flames beyond the cold mountain" I always find my eardrums get blasted off 6 minutes in. Starting off very simple and quiet the tune slowly grows until the band drops in. It swells even further. When the band plays this song live your shirt and pants will wave from the "breeze of the sound". Not only is it done once in this tune, but twice and I fall for it EVERY time. The whole record is an auditory orgasm from start to finish. Easily one of, if not, the best instrumental band out there.
Previous list appearences - One More Step and You Die #9 2003, Walking Cloud...#6 2004.

04. The Sword - Age of Winters - Hands down the most played record at least in my car. A bundle of songs from 1 to 5 (well one is kinda an intro track) but bundled there range as heavy a batch of tunes since tracks 7->9 on Trail of Deads "Source Tags & Codes". If you like your rock "stoner" look no further.. this rips.

03. The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics - Once again the Flaming Lips knock it out of the park. The fall release of the DVD version in 5.1 of the record makes this essential in that format. While it may be a little "behind" the last few records (see the prev. list appearences) this bands "average" record is most bands "greatest". If you have a system that can play 5.1. DVD Audio get this. It won a few awards as the "surround sound" cd of the year.
Previous List appearences - The Soft Bulletin #1 1999, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots #2 2002.

02. Band of Horses - Everything all the Time - Sounding a smidge like the long lost brother Jim James (My Morning Jacket ) Ben Bridwell fronts one of them most stunning listens of this, or any year. Stunningly beautiful, and a record that needs your full attention from start to finish at least once..after that "once" you'll only want to hear it start to finish.

01. The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls in America - Singer Greg Finn claims their songs have more lyrics that most rap songs, and I think he is right. The good news is the effort it might take to learn the words to these songs will be etched in your brain once compeleted. The album title taken from "on the road' by Kerouac is a great, solid effort. From "stadium rock like" anthems to beer guzzling barn burners. This is one hell of a great listen. Some folks can't get past Finn's nasal whine, but that is part of the charm. A nearly flawless release.

Friday, January 19, 2007

He hits snooze twice before he dies.

A new Forgotten Disc Friday segment is up.

I am very very excited to report that I have taken this blog "up a notch" so to speak. What is the big change...go see for yourself! (please??!)

Update Monday 1/22/07 - Looks like the tech issue is corrected..

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My favorites of 2006...part 1

My favorite cds will get posted on Monday..but I hope this will pass the time. Here are some other "faves" of the year.

First a list in no particular order of my favorite songs of 2006.
Crazy - Gnarles Barkley - Greg Finn of the Hold Steady said it best 'its this years Since you've been gone (Kelly Clarkson) and EVERYBODY loved that song.
Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio
I don't feel Dancin' - Scissor Sisters
Chips Ahoy - The Hold Steady
Bullets - Editors
Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups
Is it any wonder - Keane
Goin' against your mind - Built to Spill
Steady as She Goes - The Raconteurs - its a total rip off of the riff from Joe Jacksons "Is she really going out with him" but this tune is H-O-T.

Since eps/Live cds and re-issues are not allowed on my list of favorites here are some that bear mentioning...

eps (not full length albums)
The Dear Hunter - Act 1 The Lake South the River North - this band is from Mass and if you like the Mars Volta you'll dig. This band shows a lot of potential.
Sigur Ros - Saeglopur

Live Cds..
My Morning Jacket - Okonokos - A sprawling 2 cd collection that just proves this is one of the finest live rock bands that are at it today

Phish - Colorado 1988 3cds of early I miss them.

Foo Fighters -Skin and Bones. A live collection from the most recent acoustic tour. Recorded over 3 nights in LA this is pretty cleaned up leaving off any sort of a "warts and all" feel. Its not a complete show and all the banter that Dave had during the show(s), for better or worse, has been removed. For less than $10.00 its a good listen but don't rush out if you don't have it already.

Re-issue/box sets
Mastodon - Call of the Mastodon
Tortoise - A Lazarus Taxon

Finally some of my favorite live shows of the year.

Sigur Ros at the Orpheum, Boston Feb 7, 2006

The Sword at the Living Room, Providence RI April 8th (only down side was them going on stage at 12:45am!)

Wolfmother at the Paradise, Boston May 31st.

Pelican and Mono at the Middle East Downstairs, Cambridge MA June 18th

Foo Fighters at the Wang Center, Boston MA Aug 22nd

Raconteurs at Lupos in Providence Sept 28th

Isis at the Living Room, Providence Oct 4th (3rd time seeing them in 2006 and they killed this night)

Broken Social Scene with Do Make Say Think at Lupos, Providence Nov 8th

The Cult at Hampton Beach Casino, Hampton Beach NH Nov 9th - meeting them was a perk too.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Did the doctor give him anything for it?

This is the same video from youtube...the yahoo one was giving folks issues. (thanks Kari)

Remember you can't "UN"see things

The worst part about not being able to "unsee" something is that you never wanted to see some things in the first place. Makes little sense? Follow along...

A week ago today Littlest March had his final swimming lesson. I took him over to the gym/health club and since we are "dudes" we headed to the locker room. Littlest March gets a kick out of the toilets on the wall and the hand blow drying machines.

He takes his time and finds a locker and then he gets changed into his swim suit.

He heads to the pool, has his lesson and gets out. We head back to the locker room.

Its now 5:30pm so there are more guys in there. I am on a mission I need to have Little March out of her after school program by 6 and I am a good 15 minutes away. Littlest March cooperates and I continually tell him "We need to get your sister..lift your arms..then when we get her we can then go home..let me dry your legs...

All this time there is a guy (mid 40's?) At a locker over to the left of me. I am on the end of a row of lockers trying to be out of the way. I have littlest march just about totally ready to go and I bend down (I am sitting on a bench) to velcro up his shoes. I complete said task....i go to sit up and right as I get to the "upright position" there it is..

"Almost naked man ass" Its uncomfortably close to my face...
the fella is wearing a thong. hence "almost naked man ass"..
god what is stat counter going to do with that line of text?

I know people are saying how do you know he had a thong on? Why were you looking? Trust me...there was no where to look and I was taken 100% off guard.

I understand this is a locker room and things like this are "common" if you will, but a thong?

Now as my banner says I am/was a part time underwear model but even I refused to wear thongs.

When I told Mrs.March the story she said "Was he getting changed to work out?" I think he was because he had "business" clothes on when I first started changing Littlest March. Her response "He wore a thong to work...all day?"! I dunno, I didn't stop to ask where one even buys said underwear and I was glad I was done.

Just sharing this story gives me chills..but like a therapy session perhaps in talking about it I'll be able to have some closure.

Nope...its still there...damn it.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

All over the place...

Bunch of random randomness today....

Late last week the best thing I had done regarding blogging was sign up for a
Bloglines account. Since blogroller is pretty much "dead" this was so easy to set up. Basically you set up yourself and add the links you want. You then can download a small icon to your toolbar that always goes looking for updates. You can set it to every minute to every 24hrs. Then all you need to do is go to your bloglines account and you can see what was updated. Its real nice. The only down side is if you want to comment, you need to get out of bloglines and get to the blog you want to comment on a different way.

Sign'll be glad you did. I added a quick link under my cluster maps if you want to "blog line" me.

Over the weekend I watched
Sunken Treasure. Its a live concert DVD from Jeff Tweedy. Jeff took a little time off from Wilco to tour and film this. If you are fan you'll love it. If you are not sure about him check out the trailer...

Overall I was pleased. He has a great rant on some concert goers talking during his set. That part alone is worth it.

Also this weekend i had a gift card to Newbury Comics burning a hole in my pocket and it was time to spend it. I had a good idea of what I wanted but I need to ask: Why the hell can't I find this joanna newsom cd anywhere?! "We appear to be out of it". I have not heard a single bit of music from it but it has made more top 10 lists in 2006 than I can mention. Still, I found stuff to buy. I grabbed this and this instead. I went to 3 other stores looking for Newsom (I was in an area that had a lot of stores) and none of them had it. I did use the bathroom at Borders though. Also, when in Borders I "looked around" for some unknown reason. I had to harken back on the fact that i just got three books as gifts AND that I was trying not to buy stuff I just didn't I walked out.

In the Sunday Paper there was an article that Anheuser-Busch has developed a "Gluten Free Beer". Shows what i know. There appears to be a pretty big demand. (Google gluten free beer and you'll see if you care)

Oh and finally...
If you live in Mass..good news. Our state reptile is the The Garter Snake. Now if they can just tackle that tax issue next.

Coming run in w/man ass and a thong and later this week my favorite cds, shows and the like of 2006.

Friday, January 12, 2007

What ever she is on..i want some..I think....

Working out some stuff..

There is no Forgotten Disc Friday segment up this week. I am working on making it a better set worthy of your "clicks". I am getting there and with the help of Ryan over at Ryans smashing life I think I may be where I want to be at some point today.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the long weekend (if you are in the states, if not, have a nice weekend!)


Thursday, January 11, 2007

School is in Session.....

Friday, January 5, 2007

The First Step of the Cure is...a Kiss.

A new Forgotten Disc Friday segment is up.

Hopefully in the next few weeks FDF will have some big changes that will make it a more rewarding link of your time.

Happy 2007 and thanks as always for reading!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

There is something to be said for...

Global Warming...

I know we should not be celebrating what could really mess up the planet but no snow and temps into the 50's today are pretty easy to stomach. No need to scrape windows, no shovelling...but also now sledding, skiing or outdoor skating. Give a little take a little. We all know its coming (the cold the ice etc) but we will not ease in to it that is for sure. I'll just enjoy it for now.

on a side note. I had a little time today and a stack of Dunkin Donuts gift cards so I decided to stop and get a coffee for the ride in. I dig out my gift card and I was told "We can't take those today". I can swing the price..but its kinda a bummer when you think its gonna be "free" and its not.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Goals for 2007

Okay some folks hate em..but for some reason I like to do "resolutions". Last year I did
a list but you need to scroll down and find it. Then about 1/2 in to the year I did an update on how I was here is last years..followed by a short comment then my "goals" for 2007...if you really care that is.

From last year.
1) Go skiing at least one time this year. I used to ski a few times a year. The last few years I have not strapped them on. Sick day is forth coming and a day of skiing is in the cards.

result - nope..didn't make it.

2) Play at LEAST 2 rounds of golf. Not 9 holes either. I was on the golf team in high school. I used to play 2-3 times a month as I "got older" then I stopped cuz who honestly can spend that amount of money and not be around for 4+ hrs on the weekend?!

result - nope...driving range golf I "think" x2.

3) Portion Control. I use this as an easier method of "dieting". I have started eating better due to higher cholesterol. I could do a lot better. What this all means is I need to order "small". On the rare occasion I order a sub I'll get small. Stuff like that.. Leads to..

result - nope

4) Eating Leftovers. We make a good amount of casseroles and the like at home. Seems like after the first time around it sits, then gets tossed. Which leads to

result - okay out of the gate..but...

5) Brown bagging lunch. If I can do 3 and 4..5 will be easy. I have been good about bagging lunch and I am actually only in the office three days a week now so if I can bag 2 of the days I come to work I'll be in great shape.

result - see above.

6) Kayak at least two times. See #1 and 2. I know I need to make the time but my wife has a new work schedule so buzz off if you think I am just lazy and life isn't just about "ME" all the time.

result - I did this...YAY ME!

7) Drink 64oz of water a day. Note to self..drink it early..cuz the rides home can be LOOOONG.

result -for the most part I did this..barring the last 2 months of year when I was so full of cookies and stuff.

8) Hike Purgatory Chasm and Blue Hill w/my six (well by then 7) year old.

result - Purgatory I did..Blue comes 07!

9) Read a book a month. (no not magazines!)

result - again..out of the gate I did okay..but man I am such a horrid reader.

So here are "GOALS for 2007" that I think are realistic..well for me anyway.

1) Portion control. I don't have the will power to out and out "diet" but if I can eat just one serving of things I'll be better off. Baby steps people...
2) Update my Roth IRA to deduct a little more towards retirement.
3) Save more $$. For real. Recent car problems are the spark that have ingnited the "ahh crap its time to buckle down"
4) Take my other blog Forgotten Disc Friday to the next "level". You'll see..this one is already in the works.
5) Hike Blue Hills
with or without the kids!
6) Really look at what I wear and don't wear and DONATE what I don't. Goes for shoes, books etc. I have a closet of shirts and I wear the favorites.
7) Back to #1..if I can control that..I'll have "leftovers" thus I'll brown bag more.
8) Trying not to sweat the small stuff. So blog roller is sucking blogger is down...tomorrow it might be fine.....
9) Actually learn to eat fruit...its a long story but I just don't eat it..and I need to.
10) Seriously eat like I am a 36 year old..not that I have a steak and cheese for lunch every day....but you get the idea.
11) Stop buying crap I don't one more baseball hat for example. CDs are not included so shut it.....

I think I can do those..might be frugal to most..but my motto is "go easy or don't go at all!".

happy 2007.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Little March and I rock out again...

Over the weekend little march, Mrs March and I took in the live stage version of the Disney Channel original movie High School Musical. I got tickets a few months ago and it was finally time to go.

Now some readers might be asking "Why are you doing this review?" Well when I check statcounter I get a fair # of hits to this blog on said subject matter so I want to help out other parents.

If you know about the movie and the music (it was the #1 selling album of the year for god sake) you know the drill on the movie. Its basically a modern version of
Grease. Its good clean fun and the kids (at least mine) are mad for it.

We got to the venue as the opener was on stage. Once again, it was
Jordan Pruitt and it was just her with the backing music track. She did a few songs and that was that. We saw her open for the Cheetah Girls but little march suddenly was a "bigger fan" and would later comment she was sad we missed part of her set.

After a 20 minute intermission the show began and it was really all in all pretty good. The crowd was mostly young girls 6-12ish and man can they scream. The show ran about 90 minutes and they broke it out with various solo sets. 3 of the cast members have either a new cd coming, one that is out or a new movie on Disney coming in January.
Ashely Tisdale was the first of the three to go. She has a new record coming out and she did 2-3 songs. Flanked by dancers and smoke etc she went thru the motions. They then did a few more HSM songs and then it was a turn for Corbin Bleu. He only did 2 songs but he shot out from under the stage and was flanked by a few dancers as well. It was very short..then back to HSM songs. The last of the three was
Vanessa Hudgens. She has a cd that has been out and is finally branching out from Radio Disney land to hit some of the local top 40 stations. Mrs March is a fan of the single so she and little march cut some mean rug when she played that. She did 3 and was done.

The show ended with "Were all in this together" complete with the dancers and a re-enactment of the final scene. The turned up the lights and asked the kids to scream and dance with them. It was freaking bedlam..and absoulte scream fest. There is something to say about ear plugs I tell you.

I was impressed they streched it to 90 minutes and that there was a live band backing the kids up. Pyro, confetti, smoke..all the rock show stuff you expect was there too.

The tour is due to wrap up soon so I am not sure how many parents out there care..but a few suggestions per the norm.

1 - arrive early, get bathroom and snacks out of the way.
2 - if you are going to get merchandise do so early as the lines after the show are 20+ people deep with no order. They had a few "express" ie "Cash only" lines but the merch was very limited. The "big" tables of merch were the biggest (suprise Disney is involved) I had ever seen. They had SEVENTEEEN shirts as well as eveyrthing else under the sun. Shirts were 35.00 to boot..yet parents were buying it all up.

3 - bring earplugs. For the screams alone....

So if you stumbled upon this blog doing a search I hope it helped for those of you that read on a somewhat regular basis expect the usual crap tomorrow.