Friday, August 31, 2007

We are all Rat Packers.

I read a pretty wild series of "bulleted" items on Organization and Pack ratting (is that a word) that runs rampant here in the USA and elsewhere.

- The average US Home has grown by 80% but Americans face a "Storage Crisis".

- The self storage industry is only 35 years old. It took 25 years for the first 1 billion square feet of storage space to be built. The second billion was built in just 8 years.

- 1 in 11 households rents storage space - up one million from two years ago.

- in 2006 Americans spent 7 Billion on "organizational" items.

- Self Storage units cover 72 square miles, the area of Manhattan and San Francisco combined.

- according to a 2005 survey by Rubbermaid, American women would rather organize their closets than loose weight.

- 1 in 3 Ikea customers say they get more satisfaction from cleaning than sex.

- Men who don't organize their sock drawer have sex 3 times more a month than men who do..***rushes home to mess up sock drawer***

- If you own a palm pilot like device you are more likely to forget birthdays an anniversaries.

- Americans spend on average 55 minutes per day looking for things they know they can't find.

- Most "hoarded" items - mail, newspapers/magazines, containers, clothes, books, notes,collectibles, broken items???, garbage???

- 4 out of 5 new homes built have multi car garages. Most 2 car garages have one or NO car in them.

- Upscale homes are now being built with "transition rooms". These rooms are for just "junk" waiting to be moved.

- More than 2 million Americans are hoarders.

- 60% of cited animal hoarders are repeat offenders.

- 90% of parents say that their kids' rooms are causing "mess distress" (can you call out sick with this??)

- More than 6,000 people last year went to the Emergency Room with back pack related injuries.

- The US created 40% of the world's new stored information.

- Home designers now consider paper shredders as important as washers and dryers.

- The average American refrigerator is twice as big as its European counterpart.

- More than 70% of Americans are routinely unable to find the matching lids for their food storage containers.

- San Diego Zoo has a "Frozen Zoo" which has the semen, embryos and DNA from 675 specifies, half of which are endangered.

- Clone USA will store your pets semen for $110.00 per year..the thing is you need to collect it yourself.

Its a long weekend..and LABOR DAY weekend so get to work and start de-crapifying your space.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Try your luck. March goes to see a taping of Saturday Night Live

Only 2 days left to request tickets for a taping of Saturday Night Live.

I saw it..and posted the story to my save you time on searching here it is..*SKIP TO BOTTOM IF YOU JUST WANT LINK TO TICKET REQUEST***

Folks that know me personally probably know the story of the time I went to see a taping of Saturday Night Live. The reason I am posting this is that today is August 1st and that means that you can submit a request for tickets to a taping this upcoming season. Figured I'd share what I wrote back in Nov of 2004.

Saturday Night Live Taping November 13, 2004

Well I had the chance to see a taping of Saturday Night Live this past weekend. I hope to answer some questions, chronicle the experience for my own sake and of course tell you about the show.

To request tickets for SNL you need to submit during the month of August. Per the norm, I submitted and forgot that I had. In the middle part of September I was informed via phone I had gotten a pair of tickets for the 11/13/04 DRESS Rehearsal taping of the show. The woman was very helpful in explaining what that all meant. Basically the cast runs through the whole show that will air live later that night. The biggest thing is the Dress is 30 minutes longer than what will air later that night. They use the Dress to see audience reaction to some skits as well. The show flows the same way..opening skit, monologue etc. You get the bands 2 songs, Weekend update, full costume etc.

They mailed me a confirmation letter I needed to bring with me and that had any of the other questions that needed to be answered. (what to bring, where to be at what time etc).

Saturday was the day and a good friend of mine and I made the trek from MA to NYC. The drive was pretty good and yahoo directions were pretty much dead on. We only slowed for some solar glare in the the later parts of CT. (The orginal plan was to go w/Mrs. March and stay in NYC for the night but that didn't work out so well).

We needed to be in line no later than 6:45. If we were later we could "wave" our right to be there. We had about 50 minutes to get from parking over to Rockefeller Center so we just headed over. We ended up being about 12th in line. We checked in and got our tickets and were told to just "stay here". The tickets were cool, what a great keepsake I thought.

About 7pm they go through the line and tell you to have your tickets out and on your person, turn off your phones and we'd be heading up to the studio. We went thru a metal detector and were shuffled on to elevators that took us up to the studio. Again asked at the metal detector and before we got on the elevator to show our tickets. As we got off the elevator we had to show tickets AGAIN and were given wrist bands that read SNL 11/13/04 and were told to put them on and get in "this" line.

That line finally moved and i had to show my ticket again two more times to the random checker..then we got to the threshold of the studio and we had to GIVE OUR TICKET AWAY! Drat.

You enter the studio in the balcony pretty much at the center of the room. I was surprised that it was as small as it was. It is big, but small if that makes sense. Across the front of the studio there are three rows of seats and then on the ends it goes up to four rows. There is no extra what you see when the camera shoots the host from the stage is it for seats "upstairs". The floor seats I will get to in a minute.

The 3 rows run pretty much the length of the room, 100/150 feet or so then it turns "slightly" inwards almost as if it was making a "C". We were on one of the curves..2nd row about 4 seats in. We were in front of the "guest bands" stage..about 20 feet back or so.

The lay out of the studio (if you were facing it walking in that main door). Main stage in front of you (this is where the SNL band is and the host comes out to do the monologue. First interesting thing about this is that the band stays there all night, the front of it moves out to extend it..but all in all this stage is used for the monologue, the curtain call and weekend update..that is it (at least on this night). The guest band stage is then to the left. There are about 35/40 seats on the floor but honestly it would be cool for the monologue and that is it..people had to get up and move a few times for cameras and set changes etc. There are sets pretty much all over the place. One might be on the far side of the room, one almost directly below you. You had to look at the monitors for a lot of things as angles were cut off. Some people groaned they could not see things..but the experience made up for it in my opinion.

Pre-show: Horatio Sanz comes out in a Santa Costume and we are told we are the background for the SNL X-mas we need to smile. The SNL band has been playing are they are really VERY VERY good. After that was done Don Pardo (the guy that introduces everyone) tells us what he hopes we will do when he announces Liam Neeson and then he introduces a cast member who comes out and "warms us up some". Its about a 5 minute comedy routine with the "where are you from" kinda things.

Then the lights go down people start moving all around on the floor and you hear yelling "30 seconds to air". Suddenly, the show begins. We get the first skit which was Bush calling Kerry at the beach. That ends and as the intro takes place of the cast everything is moved and people run to change. Liam Neeson comes out, we go crazy, and he does his thing.

The studio lights come up when there would be a "commercial" and the show is run for time as well as content. It all runs in order as you see at home when its live, skits, band, weekend update, skits, band, skits, curtain call. The cool part is we get to see 30 minutes of material that nobody else will see.

Weekend update was was about 15 minutes long (never this long live) and Tina Fey and Amy Pohler were really good.

Modest Mouse did Float On first then Ocean Breathes Salty second. I felt they were tight and loud (again we were pretty close to them).

Then the show comes to a close and you see them set up for the Live show that will go up 90 minutes later. Its amazing to see how quick and fast these people work. Some folks reading may have experience with this, but I do not so it was very cool to see.

I can easily say its something I would do again in a heartbeat..just very cool to see and its one of those things were even if you were "ehh" on the host and musical act you are one of less than 300 people witnessing what could be the next "waynes world" or what have you.

You have maybe a day left. Check this link and follow the rules. You are not assured tickets..but its cool if you get picked.

This makes my day...


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

New Music Tuesday - Manchester Orchestra

Say hello to a band your friends will be asking you about 6 months from now.

This is The Manchester Orchestra and they have a new record out.

From the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia young and up and comers "Manchester Orchestra" have just released their debut album. The five member band, with an average age of "just out of high school" sound well beyond their years. As a collective the band has been together for under two years, but during that time the band has released an ep and toured extensively. Finally the band locked in to a studio and put together "I'm Like A Virgin Losing a Child". Recorded "live" in the studio offers a large wall of sound feel, while offering the subtleties of each instrument. Lead vocalist, guitar and founding member Andy Hull leads the band down a path of sometimes simple, other times complex melodies and song structures. After their teen years are behind them I wonder what direction they can, and will head as they only get older perhaps get married and have children.

The album is mostly an up tempo affair but the middle few tracks are a little darker, and slower than the others. Songs like "I feel your Pain" and "Where have you Been" elude to the subject matter. One only needs to be patient if you choose to not be melancholy, it will all come back you soon. "Sleeper 1972" begins with a slow underlying keyboard line under Hull's whisper vocals. "Golden Ticket" brings things up from the darker tracks, and within 20 seconds you get a nice section of chiming guitars and bass lines flowing underneath. "Alice and Interiors" is also real shining moment. When the band gets down to it they really feed off each other. This is a track that will shine in a live setting, either as a set opener to get peoples attention, or clean up as the final song of the set. It goes from buzzy guitar solos, to ringing guitar with solid bass underneath really the track that "sums it all up". The disc wraps up with the easy to pin down 'epic' track on the disc, "Colly Strings". The vocals are pushed, the band is really clicking and it ends with you begging for a hidden track..alas there is none.

In 2007 the band hopes, and plans to play of 250 shows. With the drive and the songs, fans will come and that number can, and only will grow. Couple that with a recent issue of a glossy magazine suggesting they are one of the bands to watch you may want to jump on this one now, the train is leaving the station. On a final note I was checking around some other sites and what have you for comments, and fan reaction(s) to the band and this one was both clever bold at the same time:
Re:Manchester Orchestra: sick band. more hooks than a bait and tackle store.

The bands official page is here
The band is on myspace as well (click for some song samples).

When I got the cd from the promotion group I had asked if I could post some mp3's along with the review. I was asked to "hold off". If that changes I will be sure to post things. I like to do what bands request or I'll find the mailbox won't be filled with goodies like this.

For fans of - Kings of Leon, Built to Spill, a dash of My Morning Jacket, toss in some Death Cab for Cutie the vocals also sound a little Placebo'ish to me as well.

The Manchester Orchestra has now opened up the vault to its extensive podcast coverage of the tour. There are over 40 episodes! The latest is highlighted in the main part of the page here

Finally, the band will be on the Late Show with David Letterman on Sept 6th

Check out the review I wrote on this very cd right here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Getting all Cousteau on your arse....

Sunday Mrs March the marches and I went to a local lake for some sunning and swimming. Little March gets in the water and hardly ever leaves, that being said I usually come prepared to be in the water and will bring along a mask and snorkle to pass the time. Little March has started to get in to that as well so its been even more fun.

The swimming area was a roped off area and most of the patrons were over at the waterslides so the water was almost ours totally. (Littlest March was building his sand kingdoms on the beach).

Little March and I found a series of big rocks and after 1-2 minutes we noticed, seemingly out of nowhere fish were appearing, 1 then 2 then 3 then 4. They were all the "same" but ranged in size from 3-4 inches long to I'd say 8 inches. They were (what we call) Sunfish:

Little March and I just looked at them and before we knew it, I counted 24 of them. I said to Little "lets go get some preztels and see if they'd eat out of our hands!" (they have no teeth). I am sure the lifeguards etc are not keen on food going in to the water so I only took 4 of those really small pretzels with me. We swam out and waited. 1-2 minutes passed and the fish start to appear.

I break off a small chunk and hold it under water..then I roll in between my thumb and forefinger to grind it up...and it was like a feeding frenzy. The fish were going CRAZY. It was pretty wild..20+ fish, zooming past us. Little March held up well..i figured she'd get freaked..but she kept asking for "One more piece".

After just a few moments we were done and Little March decided she wanted to go tell Grandma (who also came with us). We swam in towards shore (20+ feet tops?) and we stopped once and looked behind was a wall of fish following us.

Perhaps when Little (and littlest) march are older we can look in to Scuba lessons (just what I need one more expensive hobby) but I got mine years ago..and if I had someone to go with (or drive) I'd go as often as I could..I think a seed has been planted!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Something new to you?

I added this weeks Forgotten Disc Friday if you want to check it out.

What I might have forgotten you may never have heard of, so hey, might be your chance to discover something new...who knows.

Hope you'll stop over.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is this a path they really want to go down?

I was reading today there is talk of making a sequel to Ferris Bueller's Day Off

You can read more here and honestly the idea doesn't sound too bad. Few points to ponder though.

Cameron Frye Alan Ruck was 30 when the first one came out.

Ed Rooney Jeffery Jones had a little issue with kiddie porn of memory serves me correct.

Dunno, not sure this movie needs a sequel. What we do we need made as a sequel? We need a Kazaam or Gymkata made sooner than later.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bottle a morning like this up for later...

This morning when the kids woke I remembered I had promised little march she and I could sneak off and go to breakfast one day before camp..and before camp ends for the year.

She woke up, hair all messy and i whispered "Do you want to go to breakfast?" She lit up and was ready in moments.

Littlest March has just 2 weeks left of daycare before he starts Kindergarten so he was anxious to get there.

Little March and I went to a small local greasy spoon. It was delish. There was 1 other patron there and little march and I talked about "What is the best jelly" and "the best way to eat bacon". It was silly (but that is what we are). We dove in and ate everything up.

As we walked to the car Little March says "Thanks Daddy".

No honey, thank you. (I said but thought as well).

Take a 30 minute time frame and bottle that up, let it out during the work day some day. I know as she gets older I will be even more embarrasing to hang around with so I'll take these moments when I can get them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

See What You're Made Of - Visit The Official Site

Damn it..this will take up the rest of my day..

ohh skip the intro to get right to the test.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A sleepover...

Since some of you knew that little march was having a High School Musical 2 sleepover for the premiere I felt I had better enter something today, cuz if I didn't you'd swear I was dead.

4 girls stayed the night, one left after the movie.

Few things

- 8 and 9 year old girls talk a lot..and loudly.
- I will only order pizza AFTER I ask the kids how many pieces they usually eat. If I have one more slice of left over pizza...Who eats ONCE piece of pizza??!
- The dust from Jax cheese puffs is hard to clean
- A dark basement and lightning flashing outside from 12:45am until ??? doesn't help get little kids settled down.
- If you are going to allow a sleepover a finished basement will be the best investment you have ever made.
- 8 and 9 year old girls will sit quietly for a highly anticipated movie for ABOUT 20 minutes. After that first commercial I am not sure any of them heard or saw a thing on the screen.
- Calories I lost going up and down the stairs - 8,921.

Mrs March had a pretty good idea. She said "Lets put a baby monitor down there so if someone gets sick etc we can come down (our bedroom is on the second floor). Well it took about 5 minutes for one of the little angles to find the monitor and talk directly in to it.

Finally at 1:15am I take the walk down to the basement. That's it girls..please. You can talk quiet but someone (one of the girls looked like she was going to die if she didn't fall asleep) might want to sleep.

6:15am the monitor is waking me up. Its quiet giggles but it swells
6:16am I am up...
6:20 I get to the kitchen and I am greeted by one of the buddies that was the ring leader last night. I clench my fist.....
6:21 Little angel "We slept at LEAST 6hrs last night" Now I suck at math..but 2am to 6am???
6:25 All the kids upstairs looking for something to eat.
6:30 I turn on the TV and say I need a few minutes to get the pancakes rolling.
6:50 Pancakes, bacon, muffins, drinks poured napkins out the kids come in.
6:52 first girl says "I am done" WHAAAAAAT???! I have a stack of pancakes and more on the griddle. (see I need to learn pizza/pancakes)
6:53 second girl says she is done. (I grumble..)

I turn to Mrs March "What time is pickup again?" 10am dear.

After the girls are all done they settle back in to the basement to play dolls and what have you.

I had names for all of them during the night.
Ringleader - she is the one that everyone worked up.
Loner - she did the opposite of everyone else. Couple that with her 10,000 visits to Mrs March and I while we were watching TV. It got to the point where we'd hear the stairs and I'd look to Mrs and say "Ringleader or Loner?" Ringleader was also the snitch of the bunch.

Loner was also throwing toys at our cat. We spoke to her TWICE about it. Its a long story but the cat stays locked up at night and we had her hidden away from the kids (child gate blocking basement door and everything) yet there 10-15 small toys in there on two occasions. Loner would come up and peek in at Mrs and I. I said to Mrs at one time "Why do I have a feeling that if and when those kids fall asleep come 3:15am loner will be standing at our bedroom door?".

For the most part it was "okay" and what I expected by even as 8 year olds they have these "quirks" that someone, somewhere must find charming.

Sat afternoon Little March took a 3.5 hr nap..then went to bed at 730!

So, Sunday night Little March and I did get to see all of High School Musical 2 we do so with pizza and pancakes.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Don't see it..believe it.

I added this weeks Forgotten Disc Friday if you want to check it out.

Also getting an update is the Podcast Version of Forgotten Disc Friday (the one on Buffalo Tom).

To my surprise, and for the first time all the space allowed for the month on downloads was used up. Back to the "free" version for now...

Hope you will stop over.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Social Network Sites.

If I were a few years younger, or had a band to promote or something like that I'd probably be a member of myspace or even facebook. I understand their "place" and purpose on some levels, but rather than showing my bitter old man i-don't-get-the-appeal attitude I found two funny stories regarding one particular network.

Yesterday I heard that parents of college freshman are going on line and scouring facebook to see who their kids will room with at school. Of course they have to bring on the concerned parent "Oh there were beer slogans and empty bottles in the background of some images!" Ummm earth to mom this is probably going to be an occurance during your innocent childs $500,000 5.5 years of school. As a father I'd be nervous as well but is this some sort of "profiling" as well? I like a social drink as much as the next person. It doesn't mean I drink more than one beer at a time, or drink to get wasted.

In other funny appears one time New York Mayor and Presidentail Hopeful Rudy Giulani has a teenage daugher about to enter Harvard this fall..and on her Facebook profile she noted she was a Barack Obama supporter. Her profile was taken down and Rudy asked that "we" "Respect his children's privacy". Umm dude..someone needs to be held accountable. When she hits "Publish" or whatever it is in facebook its on a public forum.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You kinda had to be there..but still....

As I have noted a few times here Mrs. March is a big fan of Amy Winehouse. I am as well, but she took the cd from me LOOONG ago.

As you can tell by this image Amy has a a "LOT" of hair. Often times its kind of a mess to boot.

Yesterday I arrived home before Mrs and the Little Marches and was in the yard when they arrived home.

Little March hops out of the mini van (aka Loser Cruiser when I drive it) and comes running up to me.

LM - Check me out!
Me - ummm what happened to you?

Little March stands and spins in a circle slowly. Her white YMCA T-shirt from camp is covered with red splotches, marks and stains. Its far more than a a juice spill that is for sure.

Me - What happened??!
LM - We had a Jello fight at camp.
Me - Jello fight?
LM - Yeah
Me - was this a food fight or was it planned.
LM - Oh, it was the councilers idea. (Man I need a job there)

We giggle for a second and then Little March grabs her hair.
LM - Dad..check out my hair.
ME - Wow..crusty
LM - Yeah..I am like Amy Winehouse.

You kinda needed to be there, but upon chatting w/Mrs March she never mentioned one Amy Winehouse at all..nor does LM get to listen to the Winehouse cd.

I tried to find a good/better picture of her sometimes rat nest hair but Look what you find when you google Amy Winehouse's Hair.

Lame, silly..whatever..but it was pretty comical.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Always something to look forward to...

After being away for a week (and having the mail held) when I arrived home last night it was a windfall of mail (is it win fall or windfall?) Suprisingly I only had 2 bills in the lot. The most exciting piece (barring two more cds I need to review for the web site..see last post) was my "order form" for my Providence Bruins tickets. Granted I am only doing the five game deal, and opening night is "covered" (but not until 11/14??! what gives??) I got to choose 4 more games. Sorry Jenny G the PB's don't play your Bears (at least at home) this season. I spread em out good though. Pretty much going Nov, Dec, Feb, March and April (final home game). Doing all Sunday games as they are 4:05 affairs as well (barring openining night).

With all the hot weather its nice to think that the greatest game is just a few short months away from starting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pimp that web site..

My second review for Transformonline can be found here.

In other very cool news the one and only Dim is also doing reviews. His first review is also up right here.

I kinda hate him..cuz he is a far superior writer than I, but he is so good at it I look forward to be smitten with each review.

Home again...

Well..took a week can I have a few days off from my week off?

I thought vacation was supposed to be time off doing nothing? Honestly I am not sure I could sit still that long..but hey.

Where did I go you ask? Well assuming you ask..

Yep that's right. Cleveland.

The reason is that is where Mrs.March is from and her parents are there, and brother. It was not all that bad a trip. We got to see everyone, eat, the kids stayed up too late every night. The downside was the freaking humidity. You could not avoid it..and if it was not was raining..a LOT. There were a few areas that had a lot of flooding.

Towards the end of the week I got to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for about the 8th? 10th? time. I love it..I really do. The cool part about it now is that I can pretty much see the new stuff, and check out the older stuff that sticks around at my leisure. They had three larger exhibits. The first was on the Vans Warped Tour. It was pretty decent and they had a lot on display. The second was on The Doors. I kinda skimmed over most of this since they have a lot of their stuff on display as usual. The final one was on The Clash and it was awesome. If you click that link you'll see the second images is the bass guitar that was smashed for the cover of the London Calling album. Its "always" on display but just seeing it..oh man..its hard to describe. Also very cool was some of Joe Strummers guitars and on the top of them were "taped on" set lists. One on top of the other. It is just cool to see them. Over all i spent about 4.5 hrs there. On the down side, the new attraction, the tour bus used by Johnny Cash. It was closed due to the weather.

From Tuesday afternoon I was unable to check any sort of email etc. It was kind of nice as the shakes wore off by Thursday..but catching up with my blogging brethren will take a few days.

Saturday, August 4, 2007


Taking the week off. No we are not going to where ever that image is from...but I won't be at work so that is a plus. See ya in a few.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Suck the marrow out of bones....

I added this weeks Forgotten Disc Friday if you want to check it out.

This week I spin a record that I found out was now out of print. Looks like I can sell it for over 25.00..any takers?! (i kid).

Hope you will stop over.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Another post w/no direction **updated**

Over the last say 72 hours I have dropped some good dough on cds. Its still an addiction for me. Thanks to a gift card and some cash for my birthday...I just love listening to new music, new meaning new material from a band I know/like, or new, in the sense I know one song or what have you. Perhaps it is the little things in life, but I still get a lot of "joy" from it.

I bagged playing hockey last night. We were not going to have a second goalie and if I went out to skate I was going to have pretty much four nights out this week. Its a lot for me, really. It was nice to hang out at home and catch up on some stuff that has been on the DVR like The Henry Rollins Show, and Ice Road Truckers. Once those were done I ripped thru 3 more episodes of Entourage. You can hammer those out easy on DVD since the episodes are just 30 minutes long. I am only on DVD 2 of Season 2 and its "pretty good". It has its moments for sure. For some reason the character dislike the most is Johnny Drama. Again, he has his moments but this dudes "down on his luck" stuff needs to end soon (perhaps that what makes people like him more?). Dunno.

If you have a few bucks burning a hole in your pocket grab the new Kings of Leon cd called Because of the Times. It is a pretty straight up rock record, but the hooks are gigantic at times. If you need a sample roll over to their myspace page. Of the songs listed I like "Fans" the best. You might too..go check it.

Not your bag? Check out the latest from Maserati. Its instrumental stuff..but real good. I really dig "Show me the Season". The bass line COOOOOOKS on that song.

Finally..taking Mrs March and the kids to see the Paw Sox tonight. Its the minor league affiliate to the Boston Red Sox. Tickets are cheaper, the kids just will want to eat (me too for that matter) but I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully nothing too "blog" worthy to post other than a rockin good time.

Oh, one last thing..thanks for the kind words on the new writing deal. Once I see the reviews go up, I'll post a (pimp that site) link.

**updated** my first review is posted