Random Thoughts

It has been too long since my last entry. This assistant scoutmaster calling is taking up quite a bit of free time, but I am enjoying it so far.

Apparently, nobody but James really cares what I have to say about RSL. Well, that won't keep me from blogging about the team anyway.

I've written quite a bit on this blog about music, but I still haven't written about Billy Joel. I grew up listening to his music, and he continues to be an inspiration. It kills me that most of my generation are only really familiar with the singles "We Didn't Start The Fire" and "River of Dreams" - two of the weakest songs from his catalog. Some of my favorites include: Vienna, It's Still Rock and Roll to Me, I've Loved These Days, You May Be Right, Innocent Man, and Scenes From an Italian Restaraunt. That's just from the top of my head, and there's plenty more.

Manchester United are back where they belong, at the top of the Premier League. Go Red Devils!


For Real - These Guys Can Play

We just got our season tickets and accompanying 08 tee shirts, and I can't wait for this season to start. Jason Kreis has had the entire off season to put this team together and get them on the same page. He has made the team more solid from front to back. I will post more about my thoughts on the upcoming season in the near future, but I had to post something.


Think Ahead

A week ago last Friday, I attended with many of my family members the funeral of my cousin Vicki. She was in Hawaii when she died tragically in a motorcycle accident. It was so interesting to hear more about her life, and to learn about the kind of daughter, mother, and co-worker she was. She was so full of life, and such a positive and friendly person. Her father, my uncle Vern, spoke. Before he began speaking about Vicki, he spoke plainly and directly to all in attendance relating the importance of completing a will and making it clear to your family where you would like to be buried. He went on to relate some very tender stories of experiences he had shared with Vicki. It was a touching, poignant message.

It did get me thinking, and I have had some desire to make a will. Natalie and I recently invested in life insurance policies which would keep a roof over our heads and food in our bellies should tragedy strike one of us. As if we needed to learn this lesson any more, we learned this week that Natalie's uncle Dave was hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia caused from a nasty bacterial infection. He was put into an induced coma to help ease the strain on his lungs. Unfortunately, after his condition had stabilized for a couple of days, it became apparent that none of the treatments were improving anything. The doctors were at a loss, and on Thursday of this week he passed away leaving behind a wife and four children. It's hard for me to imagine that there is something so pressing on the other side of the veil that require the head of a household to leave his family in such a situation. I know things get said either way. I do know that there is a time appointed for men to die, and I know that tragedies are allowed to happen. The truth is, we'll never know anything for sure until sometime in the next life.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that nothing is certain for us, and that it is important for responsible adults to take the steps necessary to ensure the safety, security, and peace of mind of those who we might unexpectedly leave behind. Sorry if this post is a downer.


Ipod Shuffle

The last fact on my "100 things" list stated that I do not currently own an ipod. Less than two hours from the time I typed the period on that last sentence, I had an 80 gig video ipod. We hadn't even planned on it. The purchase, as many people told me it would, has changed my life. In celebration of my new musical journey, I wish to do the ipod shuffle post. I've loved reading others, and now it is my turn, so without further interruption:

1. Rivers Cuomo - Blast Off! I remember learning a long time ago that Rivers Cuomo is a very prolific song writer. It was bound to happen someday that some of his songs that never made it onto Weezer albums would be released. The time has come, and he has once again displayed his knack for writing catchy, riff driven rock and roll. I love the raw quality of his home recordings on this album, and wonder why some (any) of these songs didn't replace the horrible and worthless "Beverley Hills" on Weezer's most recent album, Make Believe.

2. Tiger Army - Last Night From their first album, this song stands out with a great bass line, solos, and melody. I recently read that this is Geoff Kresge's (their bassist's) favorite song to play live. It's not surprising.

3. Johnny Cash - The Ways of a Woman In Love I love Johnny Cash. This is an early track, and one that shows how influential country music was on the development of early rock and roll. There's a great piano solo and great chorus in this one.

4. The Bouncing Souls - So Jersey Great bands are never satisfied with what they may have accomplished. I've heard die hard Bouncing Souls fans rip on their latest two albums "Anchors Aweigh" and "The Gold Record." I find it much easier to appreciate the latter when I know the context: The Souls moved to Ashbury Park, NJ (Bruce Springstien's town) to write and record this album. The Boss' influence is heard throughout the album, but especially for me on this track. I'm writing way too much about these.

5. Band of Horses - I Go To The Barn Because I Like The I had heard of this band and heard their music separately. When I finally put the two together, I agreed with all the praises I had heard of their songs. This is a mid-tempo ballad featuring a little pedal steel guitar. I'm kind of obsessed with these types of songs right now so this is a big winner in my book.

6. The Cure - Let's Go To Bed The Cure are one of the greatest bands of our generation. Period. You've got to love bands who have the guts to be trailblazers rather than copycats. Due to it's tight bass line and silky drumming, this song has a great "Clash-like" groove to it.

7. Mason Jennings - Jesus Are You Real? Mason: Yes. Okay, it's not my question to answer. This is Mason Jennings at his best: a composed, contemplative acoustic ballad.

8. The Format - Tune Out A band that I tried to hate, but ended up loving. A friend burned this album for me. I put in on once when I was in a bad mood. About half of one song played before it was removed and replaced. Months went by, and I gave it one more try. If you are ever in the mood for creative and intelligent indie pop, it doesn't get much better than this.

9. The Weakerthans - Left And Leaving Grown-up, sophisticated punk rock. Seems like that would be a contradiction in terms, but these guys pull it off. Over the top is replaced by understated. It's really good.

10. Against Me! - Don't Lose Touch The blogging gods must be smiling down on me because I couldn't ask for a better song to end my Ipod shuffle. This is my favorite song by my favorite band. In Fact, this was the first song that graced the earbuds of my brand new ipod.

It's been fun, but my lunch break is over.