Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Go

Good riddance to the worst June of my life. And, no, that’s not an exaggeration at all. Boston became Seattle East for the last 30 days. Rain nearly every day, fog, 60 degree temperatures, drizzle, barely any sun. Just miserable. June is usually the best month of the year around these parts. 70s and 80s with plenty of sunshine and flowers blooming and hot girls in sundresses and beach visiting and back deck hanging outing…

Not so this month.

Thankfully it’s over today. July will usher in full fledged summer. Let me rephrase. July BETTER usher in full fledged summer or I’m going to murder a random homeless person. Only kidding, internet police. Just a figure of speech. Kind of like how I only ‘say’ I chain my kids to the radiator when I need to watch the game down at the local pub. I don’t really mean it.

As far as you all know.

Anyway, some thoughts for the week. I have Thursday and Friday off due to the lovely July 4th weekend, so this might be it for the week. Cherish it.

- Check out CNN.Com’s news briefs today (as of 10am EDT). The top four headlines all involve Michael Jackson in some way or another. His unexpected death prompted a discussion between my neighbors about whether Jackson could be one of the last superstars we’ll ever see.

Consider that nobody alive today approaches his stature and fame. He is known and (for the most part) adored around the world. We could argue Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are still in his class. Probably Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry, as well. Paul McCartney, definitely. But looking at the younger generation is it possible we’ve seen the last of musical superstars?

My guess is that if there would be a superstar it would have to emerge from American Idol or someone will have to startle us as a ground breaking musical artist. Unfortunately, there isn’t much left to originate. Jackson merged soul, funk, pop, and rock into his own fused and hugely popular sound. The Stones brought the grit of blues into rock and roll. The Who invented the rock opera.

What else is there to do? At best, we have a bunch of artists who are creative, but not inventive. I originally thought Kanye West could have been the next big thing, but his ego and last release have dimmed that star. Prince? He was on his way, but the bloom has been off the flower for a while. U2? Overrated. Jonas Brothers? Boring.

Where’s that leave us? When you think superstar, you certainly have images of girls crying in the crowds whenever the artist appears in public. People fighting to the death for tickets to a concert. People who would over look anything in that artist’s personal life.

Madonna? Maybe, but she’s had her time. Sting? Meh. What the hell has he even done lately? I can’t think of a single band or person that would cause varying types of people to unite and agree that ‘Yes, this is great!’ To nearly cause riots during one of their public appearances. To cause teenage girls to faint from the excitement of seeing them in concert.

Everything is so public and segregated we may never see an artist like Michael Jackson again. He could be the last of a breed.

Of course, the same was probably said when Elvis died, too. We’ll see, but the prospects look dim.

- Speaking of Elvis, I wonder two things:

1: Will Neverland Ranch be turned into a Graceland for Jackson?

2: When will the first rumors of Jackson still being alive surface? There are people out there who are still convinced Elvis is running a diner in Utah. Conspiracy nuts will make something up, I’m sure.

- Wifey and I took the boys to a BBQ/Anniversary party for work friends of hers. During the night I went into the house to use the bathroom and my youngest followed me in (just to see what I was doing). On our way out an older gent was heading into the house. Only he didn’t realize there was a screen door in his way and he walked right into it. He wasn’t hurt, but obviously embarrassed which was made worse when my youngest burst out laughing and pointed at the man. I have never seen him laugh so hard in all his life. Tears were rolling down his face. The man laughs and says to him ‘Oh, you think that’s funny?’ Youngest, between laughing, replies ‘Yeah, that was AWESOME!’.

The next night at dinner youngest starts laughing out of the blue and says ‘Dad, remember that guy who walked into the door?’ and he was off into hysterics again. I guess the first real life pratfall is comedy gold for all generations.

- I’m reiterating my health care plan for President Obama. Mr. President, feel free to steal this idea. It’s actually rather simple. Universal health care for everyone, paid for by the corporations and tax payer money. Figure every company worth a certain amount pays 75% of what they currently pay towards covering their own employees to the government. This money is used to create a national HMO (for lack of a better term) AND saves companies millions.

Everyone that currently works for the big HMOs (Blue Cross, Tufts, etc) are shifted into government jobs. Coverage is universal and you can choose any doctor you want. Unfortunately, this also means that anyone 80 and older are no longer candidates for transplants, open heart surgery or cancer treatments. No offense, older folks, but you’ve led a full life and we can’t afford the expense. If you would like to pay for it yourself, then fine, but we aren’t wasting good organs on you.

Obviously this won’t please everyone, but if you can get big business behind this (and by shaving 25% off their expenses they should be behind it) it stands a very good chance of passing.

Get on it!!

- I’m debating purchasing the Netflix player that streams movies and shows to my television from Netflix.com. It’s only a hundred bucks and seems fairly easy to install, I’m just worried about the picture quality as the movies stream and buffer to the device rather than actually download to it. Suggestion to Netflix, why not let the movies download to an internal hard drive on the device so we can watch movies with HD quality and no pausing while things buffer? Shouldn’t be that difficult to figure out.

- One of the greatest criticisms ever put to print was handed to me by a friend. It’s currently taped to my monitor so I can read it every day. It’s regarding the supposedly horrendous ‘Transformers 2’ movie and says simply, ‘Watching Shia LaBeouf act is like watching a kitten die’.

- So, we had Ed McMahon, Farrah and Michael Jackson die which made it the official three celebrities factor. You all know that celebrities die in threes, right? It’s been rumored that was the 11th Commandment. Anyway, with Billy Mays now dying will there be two more celebrities to die? Or does this throw off the three rule? Or should we just not consider Mays a full fledged celebrity?

Alright, enough questions for today. If I don’t get back this week, enjoy the holiday weekend.

Today’s distraction: In one of the least comforting news items ever, it turns out the army is trying to teach killer robots ethics. Like in ‘Hey, maybe you shouldn’t kill that baby and mother’. Can’t wait to see how this actually works in battle. My guess is ‘not well’.


Rob said...

I agree June was a rainy mess, but it made me wax nostalgic for my carefree Portland, Oregon days. Too warm for a raincoat, and the rain (or "spit" more accurately) isn't enough to warrant an umbrella unless you're going to be in it for more than 2 minutes.

Re: Netflix. I'm enjoying being able to hook up our new laptop to our flatscreen via HDMI and streaming the movies onto the T.V. the old-fashioned way. Eseentially a duplicate screen.

Reminds me of the low-cost solution for playing iPod content on the radio. No need to buy an expensive iPod docking radio - just buy the $8 red & yellow headed cables that you can plug inot the AC inputs in the back of any modern radio (Bose Wave radio in this case) and plug the other end into your iPod headphone jack.

Enjoy your time off BB.

BeachBum said...

How is the picture quality on streaming to the laptop? I've watched on mine a few times, but the quality is just ok. Not horrible, but I like the HD pic quality.

Rob said...

It's very passable. Certainly not like being able to see every blade of grass in centerfield when Jacoby is making an impossible catch, but if the movie is good enough, I get lost in it and don't notice any degradation.

Clayton Bigsby said...

I've already heard the Michael Jackson faked his death stuff. Maybe he's on an island with Biggie, Tupac, Elvis, and Cobain? Just hanging out making ridiculous music.