Tuesday, December 14, 2010

T3 Waking Up

Every morning I wake up and rapidly go through 5 stages that get me from sound asleep to on my feet...

1. "What the fuck?": This is always number 1. Appropriate and self explanatory.

2. "What the fuck is that?": This is in reference to my alarm. No matter how many times I wake up to it I will always be dumbfounded as to what the hell that sound is.

3. "Jesus Christ...": This is usually after I've hit the alarm and my head comes crashing back down to my pillow. I take a few breaths and then it's...

4. "Shit": This is me coming to the realization that I am going to have to physically remove myself out from under my covers, get vertical, and start my day.

5. "Goddammit": This is during the actual physical rise out of bed.

And then I'm up! Ready to start the day! After these 5 simple stages of advancing coherency, I'm ready to go out and inspire the masses to eat right and work out!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Opti-Free "Replenish" VS Opti-Free "Express"

OPTI-FREE makes two separate contact lens solutions...

OPTI-FREE "Replenish"


OPTI-FREE "Express"

Now, I have read the list of features on each of these products. I can't find one difference. They make all the same claims. I've read the directions... they're exactly the same. They come in the same size, and cost the same amount of money.

I have often found myself staring at the two of these... looking for any small detail that differentiates one from the other so that I can better choose the product best suited for my needs. Nothing. I've tried them both. I can't give you any definitive difference in performance from one to the other. Yet it haunts me... what IS the difference??!!

So I took them up to the pharmacists at the store. Two of them stood there looking them over... they had no answer. They too were stumped.  

There MUST be a difference... right? If not, then why consistently sell them both as separate items, and stock them right next to one another?

Monday, November 1, 2010


So, last night I saw SAW 3D...

I had never seen any of these movies before, but I have to say... I like Jigsaw's style.

As sick as it may sound, I understand and can relate to this villain. Everyone he kills he has a pretty valid reason for it. Perhaps they don't deserve the gruesome death they receive for their crimes, but at least he can justify it to some end. Not to mention he takes the time to explain to them why he's doing what he's doing. In all fairness to him, he does give them all the opportunity to get out of it. It might mean losing a limb, or some other horrific experience... but it's not your typical mindless killing that guys like Jason and Freddie dish out, and generally speaking they deserve what's comin' to em'.

Too many in this world get away with things that hurt others that can scar people for life either physically or emotionally. I like seeing someone get what's coming to them for once.

Without giving away any of the movie... the opening sequence I thought was the most righteous and justified kill in it.

If I were ever to go so far as to kill somebody, and had the means I would definitely want to do it Jigsaw style. He makes them have to think about what they've done, he makes their deaths slow, painful, and just absolutely flawless. Whatever it is he has lined up for them... if they can't get out of it... they will most definitely die from it. Now I don't know where he gets the funding for these elaborate traps, and torture devices, but if I had the means... this would definitely be my style of choice.

I have always said that I am not above revenge. There is a list of people I'd like to see have to pay for their transgressions against me. I would want them to know I was the one doing it. I would want them to know the pain and suffering they've caused me, and have to suffer worse in order to survive or die trying. Given the funding I could most definitely put together some pretty creative death traps for these people based on what they've done to me.

Chris Rock had a routine years ago about O.J. killing his wife where he says "I ain't sayin' he should've killed her... but I understand".

Now... I ain't sayin' Jigsaw should be going around killing people... but I understand.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Half Of Us

This is interesting...

As someone who has known physical and mental abuse as a child, it's always comforting to hear the stories of others who have shared similar experiences. Even more so when it's coming from one of your biggest heroes. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Today I heard someone say ... 

"People who use vulgar language do so because they lack the intellect to creatively express themselves verbally."


As an avid swearer this is something I take great exception to. I hate the bad rap that swearing gets. I say there are no bad words, only words used to hurt people. I could say terrible things about somebody that would bring them to tears and never use a single curse word. I could equally congratulate, thank, and show my love for someone and swear my ass of the whole way through. 

I find swearing to be the spice of verbal expression. It adds flavor, and emphasis to the point you are trying to get across. Yes, more often than not it's used negatively, but that's all at the discretion of the person speaking. I swear pretty regularly. My parents were both very big on swearing. It's just second nature to me, but I honestly think that 9 out of 10 times I say "Fuck" it's in a positive connotation. "Fuckin' A" is a pretty consistent response from me, and is usually well received. 

Now I certainly use it negatively as well. That's one of the many beauties of "foul" language. It can be used both negatively and positively. I'm glad that there are words out there that allow you to really give it to someone when the occasion calls for it. Sometimes you need to be able to tell someone where to get off, and there's nothing quite like telling someone to go Fuck them self.

Comedians who swear a lot also get a bad rap. I think that all just comes down to a matter of personal preference. I've found myself more amused by comics who swear than those who don't. I find movies with vulgar language more entertaining. Again, that's just personal preference.

There are most definitely people who overdo it for attention. You can tell when someone is just trying too hard, and it's not something that comes natural to them. But you can say that about a lot of things, and is certainly not exclusive to swearing.

Now, I also understand that the rest of the world doesn't think the way I do. So, yes in business and certain situations I have to make a conscious effort to not let one slip through. But on my own time it's part of who I am. I have historically been more attracted to girls who aren't afraid to swear. A girl who doesn't swear lacks a certain spunk that I require.

My children will not be brought up to know "swear" words to be labeled as such. They won't even know what a "swear" is. They will only know the English language. "Swears" included. They WILL be taught however that it is not appropriate to use ANY words to be hurtful towards others. If I get a call from the principal that my child is in trouble for swearing, I'll back my kid up 100%. If I find out that they were using it, or any other words to be hurtful... then they're going to be disciplined accordingly.

I have nothing against people who choose not to swear. It's like religion or politics, what you choose to do is your business... just don't push your beliefs on me or try to censor me, and don't be offended by my choice of words when they are not being used to be hurtful or offensive. 

When I hear an ignorant statement like I heard today it just gets under my skin.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Hate Marching Bands

Despite the fact that many of my friends were in our high school marching band, I can't stand marching bands...

I think it is just the most obnoxious music on the face of the planet. There are 3 kinds of music in this world I have no room for... Smooth jazz, Christian music, and marching bands.

It's especially sickening when they try to cover songs like "Jungle Boogie" or "Brick House". It just makes me want to puke. How did such an awful form of music ever become a standard?

I always thought it was bullshit too that the marching band got letters for their school jackets. Aside from some well choreographed formations they do while they drill through your brain with that awful sound... what the hell do they do to earn a letter?!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Three's A Crowd

Well I just finished another television series... "Three's A Crowd". A short lived spin off of "Three's Company".

"Three's A Crowd" follows the life of Jack Tripper after moving out with his previous two female roommates. Now he's living with a girl, Vicki, who he his madly in love with, but who refuses to marry him despite his many proposals. Vicki's father is co-owner of "Jack's Bistro"... Jack's French Restaurant. Her father disapproves of Jack and Vicki living together out of wedlock, as do most people who realize their living situation. A sign of the times.

Jack is joined in his bistro by an assistant chef who is an early 80's surfer dude named EZ. Who lives in his van outside the bistro, and has the stereotypical surfer dude vernacular.

The show goes episode to episode with various mishaps that Jack gets in. Nothing ever too exciting. The show was canceled before any real closure could be brought to the series.

Not the most exciting show I've ever watched. But I enjoy watching these obscure spin-offs that have fallen into the black of television obscurity.

In spite of thorough searches, I could not find a video of the intro of the show... but it's pretty ridiculous.

I give this series a 2 out of 5.

I'm still waiting for The Ropers to finish downloading... until then... it's on to "Maude".

Thursday, August 26, 2010

31 Years... Of Tommy Else

Well, today is my 31st, birthday…

The past 10 years have been possibly the most difficult of my entire life. I can be pretty negative here on my blog. I know… But hey, isn’t that what blogs are for? Bitching about the world while hiding comfortably behind a computer screen?

Well, I thought rather than sit, and re-hash all of the negatives from the past 10 years  I would celebrate the positives.

Since I was 21 a lot has happened…

·         I’ve spent the last 10 years in an apartment that has been more of a home to me than I’ve ever known. Lots of ups, lots of downs, and LOTS of parties.
·         I learned to kind of play guitar, write, and record original songs.
·         I’ve played live shows.
·         I developed a love and passion for the WWE which honestly got me through some of the hardest times in the past 10 years. It provided me the distraction I needed from the pain I felt, and the inspiration to get off my ass and do something with my life. Honestly… I credit the WWE for all of that.
·         My Stepmother Andrea came into my life and along with her an immediate extended family who has always been great to me, my Dad, my brother, and my little sister.
·         I’ve seen countless concerts of some incredible bands, and seen the WWE LIVE over 10 times now including getting to go to Wrestlemania 22!!!
·         I’ve made new friends…
·         I got to attend my 10 year high school reunion which was awesome.
·         I’ve reconnected with old friends, and relatives whom I thought I’d never see again.
·         I was blessed with the birth of a baby sister Olivia whom I love so much.
·         I’ve seen many close friends get married, and some have children.
·         I got to see my Father complete the Florida Iron Man Triathalon.
·         I spent my birthday last year in San Francisco with Pete Gerharz.
·         I’ve watched my brother grow into an INCREDIBLE musician, both as a recording artist, and live performer. He is a good man, and a great brother whom I love very much.
·         I competed in my very first bodybuilding competition, and 2 more since then. Placing in the top 5, three times.
·         I began a career in personal training which led to me starting my own business. I’ve also have had the pleasure of befriending all of my clients, as they are all wonderful people.
·         I am currently co-writing a book with my good friend Rev. John Dolan about depression. It tells both of our individual stories, it’s effect on us, and our loved ones. Our intentions are to bring hope to those who also suffer from it, and educate those who don’t, so that they may be better equipped to be there for friends and family who do.
·         I most recently had the honor of standing up in my best friend’s wedding, which was truly one of the greatest things ever, and now last night got to see their baby daughter for the first time… Incredible…

These are just some of the highlights… There have been many more.

But as I sit here the morning of my 31st Birthday… for all that the past 10 years have brought… the highs and the lows… I am grateful for what I have today. I am grateful to be alive, and in good health. To be able to sit here and reflect upon the wonderful events of the past, and look forward to many more to come in the future.

I want to take a moment to say something to my friends… The O’Connors, Mike Else, The Bodnar Brothers, Marousek, The Bachs, Rizzi, Steve, The Millers, Ian… and all the rest.

If I died today, I’d want you all to know how much I truly love you all. How important you all are to me, and what your friendship has meant to me. I could never put into words how I feel about you all. You are my family.

Also, if for some reason I do die today… I would like to be buried with my WWE Championship belt around my waist.

So there it is… 31 years… Bam! In the books! Now I start the next chapter in the life of Tommy Else. Who knows what I’ll have to report a year from now. Your whole life can change in a minute, let alone a year, but I look forward to what lies ahead.

So with that I will leave you with my single favorite song in this whole world, by my favorite band in the whole world… which just happens to be titled after the same year I was born…

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Congratulations Neil & Sarah!!!

There so few moments in life that are as awesome as a child being born. Being there when my sister was born was one of the most incredible things ever.

Now, my best friend in the whole world... Neil Miller... is somebody's Father!

He called me up, and told me to get on Skype. That he had something to show me. He has NEVER been on Skype before, so I figured something was up. Sarah wasn't due till September 20th though. But sure enough, when I signed on there they were both sitting there with their new baby daughter!

Mabel Ann Miller!!!

She's about 6lbs, and Sarah's labor was 8 hours with no drugs!

They are all healthy, and doing great!

I was able to get a few still shots of them with their baby from Skype. I couldn't be happier for the two of them, and the night before my birthday this is possibly the best way ever to have started it. I'm Uncle Tom now!!! I am absolutely busting!

For those disappointed that it wasn't a boy named "Cool Breeze"... fret not. Neil says it's in Mabel's astrological chart that she'll have a baby brother. So he's coming... just you wait!

I just wanted to take a moment to say how happy I am for my good friends, and I can't get down to St. Louis fast enough to meet the newest Miller. I can't wait for the day I have my own.

Congratulations Neil & Sarah... Mabel couldn't ask for two better more loving parents.

I love you!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Don't Like Skits On Albums...

I find this more on rap albums than anything, but rock albums aren't exempt from this either...

To me it disrupts the flow of the album. I like to just listen to music. Not hear the artist try and be funny. Cause' here's the thing... You will listen to an album a 1000 times over sometimes if it's good, and if it's got stupid talking/skits in it you'll have heard them a 1000 times, care less about them, and be decreasingly amused with them each time you listen to them.

I love The Smashing Pumpkins... but if Billy Corgan told a joke between each song on an album... no matter how funny it is, it's going to get old eventually, and all I'm going to do is end up skipping the track.

I love Tenacious D. But I always skip over the talking tracks to get to the songs. They were funny the first time I heard them. But 9 years later I've heard it... it doesn't have the same replay value that the actual songs do.

I don't know... I just could do without them.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Michael Cole: The Worst Announcer In Professional Wrestling History

I've never been shy about sharing my disdain for current Monday Night RAW announcer Michael Cole. He has nothing to offer whatsoever. He is just awful. For years Smackdown was so painful for me to watch... not because of the stories, or the wrestling... but that for the entire 2 hours of the show I had to listen to Michael Cole. He just goes right through me. He comes across very phony, and very forced. I don't think he has any kind of genuine passion for the industry. I just get the feeling that this has always just been a job for him.

It's absolutely heartbreaking to me that he is now the lead announcer on Monday Night RAW.

He has such an arrogance, and undeserved ego. I don't know whose dick he's been sucking for the past 15 years, but he must do it well to have not only kept a job in the company, but climb to the heights that he has.

Cause' he doesn't deserve half of what they've given him.

He is a waste.

I will throw up if they ever sully the Hall Of Fame by inducting him.

Matt Stryker is the future.

The Illinois State Prairie Path - Part 2: "Cops On The Prairie Path?!"

Gimme a break...

What the hell are they out there policing exactly? I hate cops to begin with, so I especially don't want to have to see them on my Sunday morning bike ride. If I can't go on the Prairie Path without having to see some douchebag cop then where the hell can I go?

What REALLY burns my ass is that these lazy fucks are out there riding the path on 4x4's and Segways!!!

I mean come on! Get off your ASS, and get on a bike at the very least! I mean are you fucking kidding me?! Not to mention 4x4's take up the whole damn path, and they drive them slow as shit too. So I have to ride around them. I want to slap the motherfuckers in the back of the head as I ride past them.

I guess it's good to know that there's nothing more pressing happening out in the world that the cops feel their time is well spent patrolling the fucking Prairie Path.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

There Will NOT Be A Thomas Alan Else IV

My full name is Thomas Alan Else III.

I am often asked if I will name my son, should I have one, Thomas Alan Else IV.

The answer is no.

It has to stop somewhere. If I name him the 4th then he'll feel obligated to name his son the 5th, and so on... It'll become a vicious cycle that result in there someday being Else The 14th.

I know there are some out there that are disappointed at this decision. I think my Father would like to see the name continue on, but I feel the need to be more creative with my child's name rather than just churn out another Tommy Else. Not to mention, I don't want to spend 18 years of my life screaming my own name across the house. It's weird for me as it is when I meet another guy named Tom. I don't meet too many other Toms... I just met one 2 weeks ago. Great guy... but it's weird calling anyone by my own name.


Boy names currently in contention are:

  • Thor
  • Jupiter
  • Vinnie
  • Corgan

Girl names currently in contention are:

  • Starla
  • Czarina
  • Lita
  • Cammy

But I will be the last in the line of Thomas Alan Elses. I feel it my duty to the future generations of Elses to put my foot down, and allow us to evolve into greater Elses.

A new breed unleashed... ELSE: "The Next Generation".

How Much You Bench?

I get asked this question SO much... and I can't stand it.

Here's what happens... I'll meet a guy for the first time, and they'll look at me and figure that I work out. So he'll bow up and start giving me the whole... "Yeaaahh, I work out... 3, 4 days a week..." Like I am supposed to be impressed, or intrigued by this news. Rarely do they look like they've ever actually even seen the inside of a gym. Then comes the inevitable... "So, how much you bench?"

This question alone sets the tools apart from the rest. As soon as that question comes out it's all I can do to keep from rolling my eyes. I mean, who really gives a shit? What difference does it make if I bench 1lb or 1000lbs. How does that change your day, or how you view me? If that's what you're going to judge me on then I don't want anything to do with your ass anyway cause you obviously don't know what you're talking about.

I appreciate ANYONE who puts forth the effort to exercise regularly at all. Everybody has different goals with their training, and the means to get to that end always varies. So trying to judge someone's ability in the gym based on their strength on ONE lift is just stupid.

More often than not these guys fall into one of two categories:

1. They either want to know so they can tell you that they bench more, or know someone who does.

2. They want to gauge how strong you are. 

Most guys, not all, but most will tell you they bench more than you, and are completely full of shit. This is not me stroking my ego in any way. I have never boasted any kind of superior strength over anyone. Yeah I'm stronger than some people, but there are plenty of people stronger than me. There is ALWAYS a bigger fish, and I am FAR from the biggest guy in my gym. I'm just sayin' when you've been around the fitness world as intimately, and as long I have you can get a pretty good idea of where someone stands physically from not only looking at them, but talking to them. You can just tell when someone is bullshitting you. 

I'm more interested in someone flexing their intellectual muscles. I train myself 6 to 7 days a week, and am a personal trainer. Working out really isn't topping my list of things I feel like talking about. But if I must, I'd rather talk about it with someone who actually genuinely knows their shit, are educated on the subject, and not just think they know what they are doing cause' they lifted back when they played high school football... still clinging to their short lived glory days.

There are some guys who are genuinely impressed with your physique, and are asking the question because they want to get some idea as to how strong you are. Which I suppose should be flattering, but the problem is that they really have no frame of reference. So if I say I bench 200lbs or 400lbs you're going to get the same reaction. Either way they usually say, "WOW"... and then start telling you how they need to start working out.

Here's the thing...

One of the most frustrating aspects of this question is that I don't really have an answer for it. If someone asks you how much you bench it typically refers to your 1 rep max on a straight bar. I haven't done that since I was 16 years old in Sam Chapin's strength training class. I have no reason to. It's not how I work out.

My training can cycle from lifting heavy from 6 to 8 reps with 2 minute rest periods to lifting 12-15 reps with 1 minute rest periods. How much weight you lift is going to differ based on these variables. I exclusively lift with dumbbells, and can tell you I haven't benched with a straight bar in 15 years. Bodybuilders have no reason to push as much weight as they can for 1 rep. It does absolutely nothing for you other than put you at risk for injury. If you're a powerlifter it's a different story, and a much more relevant question. But I am not.

Again, your fitness goals will ultimately determine the way you work out. Your body needs to be trained very specifically to attain specific goals. 1 rep maxes just don't factor into what I do.

I know the majority of the population do not understand these things. Regardless the question gets old, not having a good answer for it, and trying to explain why, does as well.

I'm not saying you're an asshole if you ask or have asked the question. I'm just saying it's a very generic query where even if I gave you an answer it would hold little meaning for you. So why bother?

My other favorite question I get even MORE than "How much you bench?", is "You work out?" 

I ALWAYS say no... I tell them I've never lifted a weight in my life, and I can't stand working out. I prefer a couch, a TV, and a bag of chips. 

I mean... isn't the answer in the question on that one?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Musical Collaboration

As I listen to bands like The Dead Weather, and The Raconteurs... I'm always interested in breaking these super groups down into their individual parts, and checking out the original work of the various members to see exactly what it is they bring to the table. In the case of the above mentioned groups I found myself listening to Brenden Benson of The Raconteurs, and The Kills... Allison Mosshart's band.

In doing so, you see what they contribute.

In my own music I've had the privilege of collaborating with a few people over the years, but none more so than Rick Bach.

I am self taught on guitar, bass, and music production in general. My guitar playing is mediocre at best. My recording skills have gotten better with time and experience. Rick plays a mean guitar, and achieves one of the cleanest sounds I've ever heard. He's able to play songs I'd never be able to, or even if I could, would never be able to as well as he can. So, he has on many occasions provided me the music needed for me to lay vocals over. Giving me the chance to cover songs I would otherwise not be able to.

I had the honor of producing an EP for him of some of his original songs years ago. It was an easy job considering how well he plays. It didn't take much to make it sound good. It was what it was... Great.

In 2001 I wrote and recorded a song that to this day has been considered a Tommy Else staple, "Cold & Alone". For years, Rick saw more potential in the song... as did I.

Again, as much as I saw the ability for the song to rock more than it did, I am a slave to my own limited abilities and resources.

Years after the original recording... Rick and I finally got down to re-working the song together. Or should I say, Rick got to work on the song. He put together some more dynamic drums, guitars, and played the bass. I stuck to my acoustic guitar, and vocals.

I think it's interesting to hear what I had originally come up with... and then to hear the same song but with Rick's influence, and abilities applied to it.

This was the original recording I did on my own...

Cold & Alone (demo) by Tommy Else

Now, here is the same song featuring Rick's influence on it...

Cold & Alone by Tommy Else

Much more rockin!

Both versions hold a special place in my heart as it is an important song to me chronicling a dark moment in my life. But, like I said... this goes to show the influence that collaborating with a fellow musician has on a song. I'd still like to record a full band version of the song someday with real drums.

I have always appreciated Rick's enthusiasm in playing with me. We've played live, written, and recorded together, and I am grateful for all that we've created with one another.

He is the man.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Plant: Jenny - 1 Week Update

Well 1 week into her new pot with new soil, plant food, some regular watering and she's settling into her new surroundings nicely. She's really stretched out, and gotten comfortable. I had rotated her last week so some of the "branches" (I don't know if that's the appropriate term for them) are kind of twisted in various directions, but will come around soon enough, and start pointing towards their light source.

She's looking good though...

Friday, August 13, 2010


So this morning I was leaving the gym, and on my way out was picking up a case of protein drinks for one of my clients. They are glass bottles that come in a case of 12. There was a display of them in various flavors... cases stacked up pyramid style. So naturally the flavor I was looking for was at the bottom of said pyramid. 

Logically the way to get at it is to take the cases off of the top until you get down to the one you want. Just as I'm about to start doing this... the Manager, Dan, comes over and asks me if I need help with anything. I told him I was just gonna snag that case of protein. He goes, "Oh, here I'll get that for you", and just pulls it out from under the pyramid sending cases of glass bottles crashing to the ground! I had out of instinct went to try and catch one of the cases before it hit the ground, and the shattered glass cut my finger in 3 places. It started gushing blood immediately.

Dan and I go behind the counter and he busts out the first aid kit. He obviously doesn't know much about first aid... he wrapped it in gauze, and then covered it in band aids. Like a 3 year old might if they were playing doctor. I was on my way to work, so when I got to my first client I had to take some tape and wrap it a little tighter. I re-dressed it when I got home. Now I'm doing everything one handed... including writing this.

Luckily I've known Dan for a long time, and he's a good guy if not too bright. He was very apologetic. I told him it was all good. He gave me a free bottle of protein for the trouble of slicing my finger open.

And that's how my day started...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bikini Car Wash

Every summer as I drive around I notice all of the various churches, schools, and other organizations raising money with car washes. I also notice that most of them are staffed by 12-15 year old girls standing out there in bikinis scrubbing cars, waving signs, and screaming at passers by to come in for a wash. 

My favorite is when you see this in a church parking lot. 

Who exactly are they trying to attract to their car wash? I mean I understand it's hot, and you're washing cars... so wearing a bathing suit of some type is utilitarian if nothing else. I'm just saying that in today's world I don't know that I'd want my 15 year old daughter wearing a bikini in any parking lot with a bucket of soapy water scrubbing down some dude's car. 

It always creeps me out.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Merging Blogs: Revisiting The Past

So, I had a couple of old blogs that I had abandoned over the years. I discovered the blog merging feature on here, and just merged them all onto this, my current and active blog.

One of these was a blog I started in 2005 chronicling the entire year I spent preparing for my first bodybuilding competition. I read through the whole thing, and it's amazing how much I've learned since then. I did just about everything wrong getting ready for that competition you could do. From my workouts to my diet... I wouldn't do any of it the same way I did then, but I've always said that every time you do a competition it is a learning experience. You learn more about how your body works, and how it responds to various methods. I look horrible in the before pictures... they are most definitely "before" pictures and I will NEVER allow myself to look like that again.

It's always interesting to look back at where you came from... it allows you the opportunity to appreciate where you are now.

The Illinois Tollway A Good Value...? Bullshit.

I saw this absurd poster up in the window at the Jewel...

I take the tollway everyday for work. I'm just wondering... which tollway exactly has WIDE OPEN ROADS, REDUCED TRAVEL TIMES, or LOW TOLL RATES?!?! 

Could it be 294? 355? 88? Cause I take them all... and all I see on any of them is construction causing REDUCED LANES, EXTENDED TRAVEL TIMES, and RIDICULOUS TOLL RATES!!!

This poster is one of the biggest bold faced lies I've ever seen.

I mean that really takes some balls...

My Plant: Jenny

I've had Jenny for about 8 or 9 years now. She was named after a friend of mine who gave her to me. I had never had a plant before. When I got her she came in a little cup. Over the years I've slowly moved her into bigger pots. I know some plants will get as big as the pot you plant them in. She seems to be one of them.

Admittedly I have not always given her the attention she deserves, and she has stood at death's door on many... many occasions. There were times I didn't think she'd pull through, but apparently a little water goes a long way. So 8 or 9 years later she's still kickin'.

She has been outgrowing her pot though, so I decided to re-pot her today. She was also long overdue for some new soil. This is probably the biggest pot I'll get while I still live in my current apartment. I'm hoping to move in the next year or two, and when I do I'm gonna get a big ass floor pot and grow her as big as I can.

I know she looks kind of stuffed in there right now... but give her a week and she'll blow right out of that pot. Then I'll post an update.

Friday, August 6, 2010

10 ROCKIN' Smashing Pumpkins Songs

These are 10 songs in no particular order that I consider to be absolutely balls to the wall ROCKIN' Smashing Pumpkins songs. These aren't necessarily what I consider to be their best songs, or my favorites, just simply 10 songs where I feel that they absolutely BRING IT and kick your ass with ROCK!

Fuck You (An Ode To No One) - Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness

Geek U.S.A. - Siamese Dream

The End Is The Beginning Is The End - Batman & Robin Soundtrack

As Rome Burns - Currently Unreleased

Zero - Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness

The Everlasting Gaze - Machina: The Machines Of God

Slunk - The Lull EP

Jellybelly - Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness

Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Melon Collie & The Infinite Sadness

Tarantula - Zeitgeist

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Defunct Ropers

I started watching The Ropers... I got through the first season as it was only 6 episodes... started the second season, and the files had no audio. I may just channel surf through old shows of others series till I can download The Ropers from another source, or find a different show... It's too bad. I was really enjoying The Ropers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

"Get A Life"

So as I mentioned before I watch television exclusively on my computer one series at a time from start to finish. I just finished watching the 1990 Chris Elliot sitcom: "Get A Life".

Where do I even begin?

I remember this show from when I was a kid. I was 11. At the time I thought it was one of the greatest shows ever, and having watched it again now at 30 years old I understand why an 11 year old would find this so amusing. I get the feeling that Tom Green's movie "Freddie Got Fingered" was very heavily inspired by this series.

The concept of the show is that Chris Elliot plays a character named Chris Peterson. A 30 year old man who lives over his parents garage and has a paper route. The series follows Chris through his various daily adventures. Chris's real life Father plays his Dad on the show which I thought was kind of cool.

The first season was tolerable, but the second one gets exponentially ridiculously stupid with every passing episode. Don't get me wrong... I was entertained, but it was no mystery why this show didn't make it past 2 seasons on FOX. The second season Chris moves out of his parents into the garage of a man he meets played by Brian Doyle Murray who then becomes a regular on the show as a half drunk retired ex-cop.

I think the shows lowest point was the episode where an alien falls from outer space, and Chris takes him in. He names him "Spewey" on account of the fact that it spews brown goo out of it's mouth, ears, and... elbows... which Chris of course has no problem eating.

To give you even further evidence of this show's ridiculous nature... Chris Peterson dies 12 different times throughout the course of the series including such deaths as being crushed by a boulder, old age, tonsillitis, being stabbed, shot, strangled, run over by a car, choking on cereal, falling from a plane, and... exploding.

As a supplement to the series I also watched Chris Elliot's movie from 94' "Cabin Boy" which was made by the same creative geniuses behind "Get A Life". It was just more of the same.

Perhaps it's a sign of old age but there were just some points of this show that were too ridiculous even for me. Though I do believe it certainly holds a place in television history. I'm just not sure what it is. I will also say that if there's one thing that I did consistently enjoy it was the intro to the show. For some reason I just thought it was perfect.

Do I regret watching this series? Absolutely not. There was definitely some nostalgia for me in reliving this show, and getting a closer look at it. Have I made my peace with "Get A Life"? Yes.

I am ready to move on to my next series... the Three's Company spin off: "The Ropers".

I give "Get A Life" 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mike Byrne: The New Smashing Pumpkins Drummer

" The Smashing Pumpkins" as it were... is essentially Billy Corgan at this point, and whomever he chooses to play with. I'm fine with that. Though it was tough losing Jimmy Chamberlin, as I consider him to be hands down by far and away the best rock drummer I've ever heard.


Jimmy has a family and for now has had his fill of being on the road, and living in recording studios. So he left the Pumpkins to go be home with his family. As tough of a loss as it is to the band, it's hard to argue with his decision. I also doubt we've seen the last of him.

Wrestlers do this all the time. They're on the road 300 days a year. Year after year. Eventually they need to take a few years off, or that's when they start going berserk and doing lots of drugs. But after a break they find themselves craving the life again... and then they come back with a renewed enthusiasm.

I can't say whether or not this will ever be the case with J.C. but I certainly doubt that Jimmy and Billy have played their last song together.

Which brings me to the point of this... the new drummer. Mike Byrne.

Mike was 19 when he was found by Billy Corgan online. Billy had posted open auditions via the internet. Billy finds this 19 year old kid. Has him try out... and at 19 years old he becomes the drummer for The Smashing Pumpkins. Your gut reaction is... hmmm...

But I've heard him. I've heard him on the new studio recordings, and I've heard him live via bootlegs. Is he Jimmy Chamberlin? No. Is he a kick ass drummer? Fuck yeah! For 19 (now 20) years old... he rocks his ass off and can hang with Billy Corgan and the rest of the Pumpkins. I don't know about you, but I certainly can't say that. You can hear him play on any of the new recordings...

It's hard to imagine whether or not he can truly appreciate the position he is in at such a young age. But he did start a blog when they started their recent tour, and from reading it I think he's enjoying the ride. As he should.

Pumpkins fans in general have been all up in arms about the new line-up. Some are insistent that "The Smashing Pumpkins" were D'Arcy, James, Jimmy, and Billy. While they will most likely be remembered as being the "true" Smashing Pumpkins... the past is the past.

I understand the reasons for the band going their separate ways. At the end of the day it's a lack of chemistry. Like a good sports team needs good chemistry, so does a band. Whatever there was between the original four, it was lost. Once it's gone... you need to separate. Not to say you can't reunite down the road. But there's no sense in beating a dead horse either. Anyway... people are really uptight about allowing new members into the SP family.

I think Jeff Schroeder has been a great guitarist, and held his own just fine since joining the band. I don't know much about the new bassist, but I'm sure she's fine.

Then there's Mike.

I can fumble my way through just about any instrument if I really want to, but if there's one thing I just do not have the co-ordination for it's the drums. So I have a deep respect for anyone who can play. And knowing what high standards Billy holds, I can't imagine the pressure of living up to those expectations. I look back to when I was 19, and I can tell you there's no way I'd have had the balls to go on tour with The Smashing Pumpkins no matter what kind of drummer I was. This kid gives off a lot strength, and seems like a down to Earth dude.

So what I'm ultimately am getting at is that I welcome this kid to the group. I think a new drummer will force Billy to write his music a little differently and explore other avenues he may not have with Jimmy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I don't have cable... haven't for about 10 years. I've watched all of free tv I can stand. So in the past year I've gotten into watching tv online an entire series at a time. I pick one, and watch one episode after another in succession from start to finish. I've watched the following tv series from start to finish since December...

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Modern Family
The Office

How I Met Your Mother
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Golden Girls
Golden Palace
The Larry Sanders Show
Police Squad!

I am currently in the middle of "Get A Life"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For The Achiever In Us All

I keep seeing this billboard for PNC bank that says something like, "For the achiever in us all". Every time I see it all I can think of is... how did they not use a picture of Jeffrey Lebowski on that billboard?

The 4 Stages Of Life

I was reading an article with Billy Corgan discussing the concept behind his new album. He says that it is meant to represent what he interprets the "4 stages of life" to be. I strongly agree with his interpretation.

"The Teargarden concept is that there's four stages in the journey of life. There's childlike innocence when you just don't really know anything in the world and it all seems sort of big and magical; then there's the part that's maybe the teen aware but not really liking what's going on; then the third person that's cynical, where you get kind of bitter because you feel so small and there's all these things that are sort of happening and there's not much you can do about it. And life constantly tells you to just suck it up and deal with it — like everybody likes to talk about how broken our political system is, but not everybody wants to do something about it. The fourth stage out of that would be finding a sort of spiritual place within yourself where you can live in reality, you can see it for what it is, but maybe you can find a deeper source of inspiration and peace. And of course, things dovetail. Just because I feel spiritual now, it doesn't mean the cynical person doesn't get involved or the child doesn't get involved."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fast Cars... Slow Drivers?

I keep coming across people who drive these sports cars, or tricked out rides, yet seem to drive 10mph under the speed limit. I'm not saying you need to be in a constant state of hauling ass if you drive a sports car, but at the very least drive the speed limit. You spent all this money on acceleration, top speed, and aerodynamics... but you drive it like it's a 85' Toyota Corolla?

I generally drive the speed limit. In fact my girlfriend seems to think I drive "like a Grandmother". So, it's not like I'm an impatient, or fast driver. It just bites my ass when I see someone in some $60,000.00 Corvette driving 20mph in a 35.

Move your ass!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Smashing Pumpkins: Halloween 08'

On October 31st, 2008 The Smashing Pumpkins took the stage in Columbus Ohio to kick off their tour with a Halloween show. Since that night I have heard/read nothing but negative feedback about this night. In fact, I just listened to a podcast via http://blog.hipstersunited.com/, a Pumpkins blog site, and almost two years later they are still bitching about it. The topic came up on account of the Pumpkins making their first return to Columbus since the Halloween show of 08'.

The controversy comes from the fact that the first half of the show was comprised primarily of 60's cover songs. I guess some people out there only want to hear the Pumpkins play all the "hits". The thing is that they inevitably got around to it. They were just having some fun for Halloween. Ok fine, if it wasn't your ideal live Smashing Pumpkins experience... but why are people still harping on it 2 years later?! I personally would have loved to be at that show. What a unique experience! I've seen the setlists for just about every Pumpkins show since then, and there hasn't been one even close to that evening. Those who were there that night should consider themselves lucky to have been there for such a performance.

I am a pretty die-hard Pumpkins fan. They are after all my favorite band in the world. Find me another current band that can even go up there and play a show like that!

If you're interested enough you can find the show here...

This was the setlist that evening...

Set 1:

* Louie Louie [Richard Berry]
* Hang On Sloopy [The McCoys]
* Monster Mash [Pickett/Capizzi]
> Unchained Melody [North/Zaret] (tease)
* Wipe Out [The Surfaris]
* Gingger's Raga
* The Gambler [Schlitz]
* Lizard Blues
* Jeremy [Pearl Jam] (tease)
* In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida [Iron Butterfly] (with Doug Goodman)
* Gingger's Raga Return

Set 2:

* Tarantula
* G.L.O.W.
* Siva
* Speed Kills
* Superchrist
* As Rome Burns
* The Sounds of Silence [Simon]
> Li'l Red Riding Hood [Blackwell]
* A Song for a Son
* Today
* Bullet with Butterfly Wings
* Heavy Metal Machine
* Glass' Theme


* Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun [Pink Floyd]