Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I posted this as a comment over at Sheryl's fun blog, "A Thought Vacuum" (see links), and thought I might as well post it here too:

My uncle has an interesting take on surgeons: he doesn't want to be cut on by someone who enjoys cutting on people. I suppose he could look at it in such a way that it would be reassuring to be operated on by somebody who likes their work, but I can see where he is coming from.

Being the kind of science guy I am, I trust modern medicine in most cases... although I would not hesitate to augment a modern medical treatment with some naturopathic things that have been around lots longer. I think one ought to take a wholistic approach to prevention and healing, and a lot of natural remedies have been around for thousands of years... Are those remedies effective? I think this may not be borne out by research in a lot of cases, but I would love to see scienctists doing more extensive research on natural rememdies that might not be as invasive or potentially harmful to people as some of the current ones science has given us.

A good friend of mine at work has been cancer-free for about a year and a half since the discovery of an aggressive squamous cell tumor in his neck. He took the radiation and chemotherapy route, and supplemented his treatment with specific herbal remedies. So far so good, and he is back at work and not taking life for granted in any way, shape or form. Given a similar situation, I would also opt for a combination of approaches.

My wife and I have double-coverage on our health insurance, so we basically get everything paid for after the monthy premiums deducted from our paychecks. I work in the public school system and at local the hospital after school, and she works as a nurse at the hospital. I had an MRI done on my back yesterday, and I think it will be covered entirely by our insurance. But I do know there are millions of people in America who are hit with big-time medical bills and simply don't have the money to pay the costs. This is a national problem.

As for doctors in general, some of us tend to rant about their desire to make money, to not be looking after the best interests of patients, etc. I tend to rant on them too, but for different reasons. Because I work with them in my after-school job at the hospital, I run into a few arrogant types with God complexes. They tend to not understand a lot about speech therapy, just like I might not understand much about neurology or about the mechanics of disease. They sure don't like it when I try to explain something to them, because most of them think they know all there is to know already. I have made sound decisions about diets for patients with swallowing problems, only to be overridden by a doctor... arrrrrgh.

My doctor? I like him. He's a lefty, a very relaxed guy, but he always gets right to the point, no games. I had avoided seeing him about my bad back for at least two months, not because I don't like him, but because I didn't want to hear the bad news I knew he would give me: "You need an MRI because I think you have one, maybe two herniated discs." Scheise.

Oh well. I have been trying physical therapy and chiropractic in order to stabilize my lower spine since I threw things out of whack lifting musical equipment on July 4. Because my back musculature still has not stabilized and because my back has basically been killing me for five months, I'm considering something more invasive, like a surgery... but I'll wait for the MRI results. Maybe it will just take a long time to heal, and surgery won't be needed.

Whatever happens with my back, I hope I won't end up needing surgery... because I understand what my uncle says when he talks about surgeons!

Sunday, November 26, 2006


(There weren't a lot of changes necessary in these lyrics... but these Snave Lyrics still represent a nice singalong!)

You say you don' t like evolution, well, you know
You are descended from the apes
You say you love the Constitution, well, you know
So what's your deal with church and state?
And when you're talkin' your distractions
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right all right, all right

You say you got divine solutions Well, you know
I don't believe there is a plan
Don't ask me for a contribution Well, you know
I won't contribute to your scam
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you are too late
Don't you know it's gonna be all right all right, all right

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the Constitution Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You think you are the institution Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Falwell, now
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right

all right, all right all right, all right, all right all right, all right, all right

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Let's all sing along with the Snave Lyrics version:

Hey Don, don't make it bad
Take a bad war and make it worser
Remember, to always think you will win
Then you'll begin
To make it worser.

Hey, Don, don't be afraid
You were made to go kill Iraqis
The minute we tell you that you might lose
Then you must choose
To make it worser.

And any time you feel the pain, you talk insane,
You carry the war upon your shoulders.
Well don't you know that you're a fool who plays it cool
By making the world a little colder

Hey, Don! Don't let us down
You have made war, now go and win it!
Remember, the international court
And know that one day, you will be in it.

So let it out and let it in, hey, Don, begin
You're waiting for someone to make war on
And don't you know that it's just you, hey, Don, you're screwed,
the war that you've made? You are a moron...

Hey Don, don't make it bad
Take a bad war and make it worser
Remember, to always think you will win
Then you'll begin
To make it worser, worser, worser, worser, worser... auuuuggggghhhhh!!!!!

Naaaaa naaa, naaa na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa
na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa, heyyy Don
(hey Donny, DonnyDonnyDonny-na na-na)

Naaaaa naaa, naaa na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa
na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa, heyyy Don

Naaaaa naaa, naaa na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa
na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa, heyyy Don
(hey Don, hey Don, waaaaaaaahhhhhh ha haaaaaaaaaah)

Naaaaa naaa, naaa na-na-na-naaaaaaaaaana-na-na-naaaaaaaaaa, heyyy Don(hey Donny, DonnyDonnyDonnyDonny OW, WOW)


It is once again time for the rekindling of one of the nation's oldest football rivalries, the Civil War between the University of Oregon (MY ALMA MATER) and Oregon State University ("the other school"). This year's game seems like it should be a very good one, in that both schools sport 7-4 win-loss records... but it is a contest between teams that are going in different directions. The U of O Ducks started the year on a roll, ranked in the Top 25 before a few dubious performances, particularly last weekend's loss at home, 37-10 to a mediocre University of Arizona team. The OSU Beavers, on the other hand, started the season poorly, but as they have been inclined to do in recent years, they are hitting their stride in the mid-late part of the season.

The Ducks, representing the more "liberal" school, are better-known nationally than OSU, and they are supported heavily by noted alumni Phil Knight of Nike fame. They are a complete mess at this point. During the past month, they have fumbled too many times, thrown too many interceptions, and given up too many "big plays".

As for the Beavers, they don't seem to be as full of themselves, and they play well as a team. Much-maligned OSU coach Mike Riley's team has breathed life into his coaching career with a 33-31 upset win over the USC Trojans and with its gritty style of play.

Oregon's Ducks, the high and mighty, have been humbled and must now face these tough-minded Beaver boys from the "aggie" school. On paper, Oregon should kick Oregon State's asses... but I fear it will be the other way around this year. I'm thinking it will be about 42-14 in favor of the Beavers. The Ducks won last year, 56-14... and I am sure the Beavers have revenge on their minds. The home team has won this game each of the last seven years, and this year the game is in Corvallis, home of the Beavs. Early in the season, I thought this silly streak would be broken for sure this year, but now I fear it will continue.

Whatever happens in the Civil War game, both of Oregon's major college teams will probably be going to a bowl game. Both teams have the talent to get to a bowl... I'm just not sure that the Ducks really deserve to go to one unless they can beat the Beavers.

Wish me luck this Friday, as my blood pressure will probably be through the roof during every minute of this vitally important event!!

Monday, November 20, 2006


When a popular band does not release a studio album of new material for over two decades, diehard fans can never be sure what to expect. I have been a Who fan since I saw them play "I Can See For Miles" on the Smothers Brothers television program, many years ago. After that moment, I saved my allowance money to buy "The Who Sell Out", which remains one of my very favorite albums to this day. I continued to follow the band closely up through the Kenny Jones years and until "It's Hard", feeling at that time that the Who was producing music that was still vital despite changes in its sound and despite original Who drummer Keith Moon's death.

It wasn't until a few years ago when I saw The Who at the Gorge Amphitheatre at George, WA that I thought of them again as a functioning band. They gave an incredible performance on a wonderful night, on the late bassist John Entwistle's final tour. After that show, I wondered if there would ever be any new studio material, particular after the sad passing of Entwistle. A few years later, I found myself on pins and needles awaiting the release of "Endless Wire".

Not knowing what to expect, when I first listened to this new album I was taken back through the Who's history, but also into the future. While certain parts of "Endless Wire" may recall the earlier Who, some parts incorporate later Who sounds and recall some of guitarist/composer Pete Townshend's best solo work... but this album sounds like it is all here, happening right now.

My thought after hearing "Endless Wire":

This is The Who in the 21st Century.

Stripped-down arrangements on songs such as "Tea and Theater", "Man In a Purple Dress" and "God Speaks of Marty Robbins" heighten the sense of intimacy within this music. As Townshend ages, he continues his spiritual journey; as a result, one difference between this and earlier Who music is that more songs touch more directly on faith, mortality and eternity. The title track "Endless Wire" is a joyful-sounding song about something infinite and glorious, something of near-mythical proportions which Townshend has discovered within music itself. In "God Speaks of Marty Robbins", he sings "I knew I'd find music and time were the perfect plan..." On the other hand, he doesn't seem to be in support of organized religion at all, as "Man in a Purple Dress" appears to be all about the importance of the individual, above churches, in finding one's spiritual self.

Roger Daltrey sounds older, wiser and deeper, but he certainly does not sound weary. He sings with vigor, and he proves he is still the consummate vocal conduit for Townshend's lyrics. As Daltrey has done in the past, he spans an emotional spectrum with his rich vocals. Townshend's voice is also in good form, despite its descent into mostly baritone territory. The production is impecccable; it tends to be dry in places, with very little reverb or effects added on sparely-arranged numbers, causing some of these guitar-and-vocal arrangements to sound naked, almost vulnerable. Zak Starkey is a fine drummer, and he can change his style whenever he needs, to suit the needs of the band. Pino Palladino works well as the band's bass player, and long-time band associate John "Rabbit" Bundrick adds keyboards that fill out the sound. Check out the keyboards in the album opener "Fragments"... now what song does that remind us of?

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect return by The Who from studio exile. Their energy is still there. Townshend's songwriting and guitar playing have not diminished with time, and Daltrey sounds as good as ever. "Endless Wire" takes me back to my boyhood Who memories through some familiar rhythms and sounds, as it pulses with the life of The Who. It also takes me ahead into a time of maturity. It reassures me that the passage of time does not always mean that good things become lost. Despite the loss of two revered band members over the years, The Who has aged like a fine wine, learning to discover and rediscover good musical things along their journey.

I am looking forward to hearing their NEXT studio release, confident that it will be as immediate, as relevant and as important as "Endless Wire".

I am now going to go crank up "Mike Post Theme" full blast!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Buy the "Saturday Night Live: The Best of Saturday TV Funhouse" DVD! It will provide you with numerous laughs, and it will be worth your investment, as you will want to watch it multiple times. Well, rent it, at least!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Over at you can take a
quiz that will supposedly tell you the candidates with whom your politics most closely align. Here are my results. Not the percentage gap where the Democrats end and the Republicans begin. There is good information in the links, even though they all lead to the same chart.


(100%) 1: Sen. Russ Feingold (D) Information

(87%) 2: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) Information

(86%) 3: Ex-Gen. Wesley Clark (D) Information

(84%) 4: Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) Information

(84%) 5: Sen. John Kerry (D) Information

(82%) 6: Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) Information

(79%) 7: Sen. Joseph Biden (D) Information

(77%) 8: Ex-VP Al Gore (D) Information

(77%) 9: Gov. Bill Richardson (D) Information

(75%) 10: Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) Information

(75%) 11: Sen. Evan Bayh (D) Information

(74%) 12: Ex-Gov. Mark Warner (D) Information

(74%) 13: Ex-Sen. John Edwards (D) Information

(56%) 14: Gov. Mitt Romney (R) Information

(52%) 15: Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) Information

(47%) 16: Gov. George Pataki (R) Information

(44%) 17: Ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) Information

(40%) 18: Sec. Condoleezza Rice (R) Information

(28%) 19: Ex-Rep. Newt Gingrich (R) Information

(28%) 20: Sen. George Allen (R) Information

(26%) 21: Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R) Information

(22%) 22: Sen. John McCain (R) Information

(21%) 23: Rep. Tom Tancredo (R) Information

(15%) 24: Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) Information

(13%) 25: Sen. Sam Brownback (R) Information

No surprise as to who is at the very bottom of my list!


According to the Political Ideology selector at that site, I am:







Hmmmm.... more of a leftist than I thought!

On the "Terrorism" selector, the #1 group with whom my politics align was "None", so take that, any conservatives who might be reading this.

The "Middle East Politics" selector says my views on that region would most closely align me with peace-oriented Palestinian moderates.

My "Religion" selector results:
1. Secular Humanism (100%) Click here for info
2. Unitarian Universalism (98%) Click here for info
3. Liberal Quakers (88%) Click here for info
4. Neo-Pagan (86%) Click here for info

Monday, November 13, 2006

There are some new pictures posted at BABY MACKIE AND FRIENDS (see links)

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I took up a whole bunch of space at Lizzy's excellent blog (The OCD Gen-X Liberal, see links) and decided it might stand alone as a rant on my own blog, so here it is. It is in response to very recent comments by Rush Limbaugh, in which he says he feels "liberated", like he shouldn't have to "carry the water" anymore for people in his party who "won't stand up for themselves". You can go to YouTube and find Rush on video if you can stand to watch and listen... I learned more about his comments by actually going to his (gag! choke!) website. What do I think?

I'm going to have to rant here. Lots of the following is gut-based emotional blabbering, but when the topic is Rush Limbaugh, I have a hard time being reasonable and keeping myself from getting totally pissed off:

This guy is SO full of himself. He says it isn't about him, but it IS. He is probably one more of the many things that people who didn't vote GOP are getting tired of. Rush has been a driving force in the Karl Rove/neocon "divide and conquer" approach to American voters. People have made a statement, that they are TIRED of this kind of bullshit.

A caller on Rush's program was saying he was afraid that the center would move to the left, and that conservatives would no longer have a voice. I am guessing the guy must have been in, maybe, his twenties... He obviously hasn't been around long enough (or maybe hasn't been paying attention enough) to see how far to the right the "center" has been pulled, through the hard work of people like Rush, and organizations such as FOX "News".

When I was in my twenties (now WAY ancient history!) we had a center on the political spectrum that really was in the center. We had a Fairness Doctrine in broadcasting. People like Rush would likely have been laughed off the air, or at least equal time would have been given for the left. I'm not sure it was the right-wing talkers' messages that were resonating with Americans as much as it was more a matter of rich people buying up lots of radio and TV stations, and getting such crap on the air, enough that AM radio became saturated with it. Kind of a form of mass brainwashing, if you will. Find talkers who are good at using fallacies to get listeners to bypass their critical thinking skills and come around to the side of the talkers... who happen to be Republican tools, convincing voters to vote in favor of preserving wealth. The wealthy have their tool for getting people to vote against their own best interests, and instead for the interests of the wealthy. How cool is that! Pretty cool if you are one of the "haves". And then with all the repetition of their talking points, did this wave of talkers actually start believing what they were saying?

It has been tough for the past 15 years or so, listening to people like Rush Limpbaugh sucking in the suckers and spitting out his venom. As far as I'm concerned, the loss of the Fairness Doctrine and the emergence of such people as Rush represents a national tragedy.

I hope one thing the Democrats try to reinstate is the Fairness Doctrine. Media should not just be for entertainment, but also for education and information. How can the public stay informed if certain parts of the media are dominated by a particular political party? This is at least true in the case of AM radio, which has been dominated by froth-at-the-mouth people who call themselves "conservatives" for the last fifteen years or so. Dwight Eisenhower was a real conservative. Barry Goldwater was a real conservative. This current bunch is full of nationalistic types, fascists at heart, who have been given way too big a podium.

I would answer people who refer to the mainstream media as "the liberal media" by saying I think it is not (and never really was) a "liberal" media, but that this idea was put forth by people who felt that a media functioning as a "watchdog" might uncover things they didn't want the public to know about. If anything, I think the media is "corporate". The mainstream media outlets are businesses, and if things are run as businesses should be, the "bottom line" is the number one priority. Networks could be genuinely informative, OR they could include "news" such as what Michael Jackson is up to, or maybe about murderers, or about Jean Benet Ramsey. I think the mainstream media is all about showing what sells, what people will tune in to see. And what sells is certainly not an in-depth analysis of American politics...

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly... they rely on fallacy and sensationalism, and due in large part to the latter, they have gained popularity. I wouldn't deny them their success, but just the same, I think they are prime examples of why we need the Fairness Doctrine again. How well could they fare if they actually had some competition?

Liberal media, my ass.

Rush and people like him make my blood boil. For now, it's time to wallow in the knowing that he has been beaten back a bit, at least for the time being, and that as a major influence in his party, HE is a big LOSER this week. By extension, Karl Rove is a big LOSER this week too. So is Cheney a big LOSER. Dumbya is a big LOSER. But I have to think that nobody deserves that LOSER tag more than Rush Limbaugh, who could be a viable candidate for King of Media Hyprocrisy. He can say whatever he wants, but right now I think he needs to realize people may not take him as seriously as they did in 1994!

And I think that's a wonderful thing.

For more on the Fairness Doctrine, you can go here:

I think reinstating this would be helpful in keeping our country from swinging too far to the left or the right. What do you think, about Rush, about the Fairness Doctrine, about where the "center" of the American political spectrum actually is?