Saturday, July 30, 2005

Raise Your Hand If You Want Candy

So, today was my aunt Shawna's baby shower. It took place at my grandparents' house in Boulder City just outside of Las Vegas (it's on your way to Hoover Dam.) Thankfully, this time I remembered my camera and wasn't cooking. Got tons of great shots of the kids. In the first picture you'll see here are (left to right) Olivia, their cousin (Shawna's daughter) Sydney and Connor. Behind them is the twin's father Cory. I didn't expect the hands in the air but that's what I get for asking them to look my way and look at my hand. So they decided to copy what I was doing. They should be fast asleep right now as we wore them out. Connor got accosted by a yellow rose bush and will probably avoid plants with thorns. Olivia spent a lot of time trying to sneak candy and put it aside for later. She has her mom's sweet tooth.

Here we have my brother Matt, his wife Elizabeth and newest Hennessy... Mia. She wound up getting quite a few new toys tonight but I'm sure that she'll have a room full before she ever starts playing with them. I know that my mother would have loved to spend time with her new grandchild and play with the other kids but she is recovering from her second neck surgery (and hopefully last for at least a year.) She did have me stop by and pick up some ham and baked beans from her. I was really impressed with how the kids varied what they ate and went after the strawberries, grapes and even celery with gusto.

Ok, I need to pass out now. But had to make sure I got some of these pictures up. Got a few of them kicking a soccer ball and one of Connor in a little toy car. I gave each of them a ride on it as I pushed them across the bumpy grass (of course I told them to raise their legs because I didn't want any mishaps.) Had quite a nice time. Oh... also updated Grandpa's computer (had some spyware on it but then again you have to expect that when it hasn't been updated in 320 days) which should run a lot smoother.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Quick Note: Quick Read

I'm just posting this after the massive literary indulgence of reading Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince. The indulgence was that I crammed it into less than 48 hours (which included work and a few other things.) Great read, very detailed, very nostalgic and misty-eyed moments but no tears. I'll reserve any spoilers until some point when I know people aren't still reading it. Now, I need sleep.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I'm Only Searching...

Maybe it's something that only amuses me but I get a kick out of seeing what people search for at my Web site. People are always trying to find information about bands and artists and sometimes they will misspell the same word the same way 4 or 5 times and give up. Others will try every variation they can. There was a file error on the main page of the site this week so the 500+ searches that I'm used to seeing was limited. So today, I decided to look at them. Lots of the usual. The most searches this week were for Deee-Lite (which they spelled "delight," "deelight" and "deelite") and the most unusual one: "tommyleecock". I wonder what they were looking for?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Question: When Is A Door Not A Door?

Answer: When it's ajar.

It's been on my mind for about a year and a half. My front door is most likely the original one that came with the house (which means circa 1983.) Over time the wood/particleboard barrier has withstood the elements with the support of weatherstripping. A few months after moving in, I did my assessment of the place for leaks. I found and fixed a few. I did the same for the front door by moving the weatherstripping closer which made the door very hard to shut and open. Air-tight is good but adult-proof is not going to work. I even got to the point of buying a new lock for the door but they don't make them the same anymore and those are sitting in a closet somewhere. Even now, I can stand at the door and see light come through the cracks and that isn't good for the electric bill.

A few days before my birthday, Mom asked me what I wanted or needed. I told her that I really didn't have anything in mind. She offered the suggestion of a gas BBQ grill. I've always wanted one but didn't know where to put it and also wanted to run it off the gas in the house. I later thought about the fusebox and some much needed electrical rerouting that needs to be done. Last minute, I thought of the door which we will go looking for tomorrow. Kind of fitting when the woman that opened up her home to you 34 years ago today can give you something that will open up your own home. Thank you, Mom.

Monday, July 25, 2005

The Scoop

I'm not a big fan of cake. Never have been. I always opt for ice cream at parties. President Ronald Reagan was such a fan that he declared July to be National Ice Cream Month.

I was reading some stats the other day that reported that 80% of all ice cream manufactured is vanilla. Some good reasons behind that are the use of vanilla in things like shakes, ice cream sandwiches, chocolate and nut covered cones and even used a' la mode.

According to some other stats provided by the International Ice Cream Association: supermarket sales for ice cream were: vanilla (33%), chocolate flavors (19%), nut/caramel flavors (7%), neapolitan (5%), and strawberry (4%). Mexico was the single biggest importer of the treats. In supermarkets, ice cream bars were 25% of the market share of the frozen novelty market.

With a lot of the cravings for chocolate, it is interesting to see that it is that far behind. So, with a reported 90% of all people eating ice cream... what is your favorite?

Friday, July 22, 2005

In The Kitchen Getting Sauced

Well, I have my family coming over for dinner tomorrow night. First time that many of them have seen the house. Why would they show up here after 2 years in the house? I decided that instead of heading to my favorite Mexican restaurant Lindo Michaocan for my birthday... I'd do it here. The birthday is a few days later but this worked out well to get them all together.

I know... what does this have to do with the items on the counter? Well, I love Mexican food and have decided to have that for dinner so I'm preparing a few things. On the table is a yellow onion, 10 chile de arbol, two cloves of garlic, 3 jalepenos, 2 roma tomatoes and some cumin. I learned this salsa recipe from a co-worker that works in room service. (Ok, it's not truly a salsa because it is all boiled down and has no cilantro.) I roast the jalepenos and tomatoes on the contraption on the stove to seal in the flavor. I bring about a cup and a half of water to a boil. Then in goes the cumin, chile de arbol (no stems), garlic and onion (2/3 of the onion.) I add the blackened jalepenos and tomatoes continuing to boil until they are all softened. All the items then go in the blender and get liquefied to what you see in the tupperware.

Should be fun as Mom is making some of the food, my sister Michelle is bringing desert and I'll be working on some creations in this Mexican buffet that should be feeding at least 12 people (the twins and Mia are expected to show up... where's that camera. Uncle Martin wants photos.) I'm off to do more cleaning and start working on the spicy frijoles (got the regular ones in a crock pot right now.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Welcome To Jail, This Is OnStar.

You hear the commercials... baby locked in car or adult locked out of car. OnStar is a great way to connect to an operator that can access the functions of your car at anytime. It commonly being used for getting directions to specific locations and recovery of a car if it is stolen. But, what a lot of people may not know is that this perceived public service is actually a privacy issue.

Former Clark County Commissioner Lance Malone and another influential local politician were being followed awhile back in an FBI investigation. The two sat for awhile in Malone's Hummer discussing 'business.' And with just a call to OnStar, a few features were disabled at an office allowing the agents to listen and record the entire conversation. The information gathered at the time would later be used to convict Malone and strip club owner Michael Galardi in a California court. (A second trial is being readied in Nevada.)

This wasn't been the first use of this item for information gathering. In November 2003, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco decided that the government may be able to convert some of the systems into roaming in-car wiretaps.

Having the OnStar system technology in your car has become a bigger liability than originally thought. Sure, we like to think that our car is the safest place you can be other than home. Heck, Gary Numan felt the same when writing his hit "Cars": "Here in my car, I feel safest of all. I can lock all my doors. It's the only way to live, in cars." Possibly worse than privacy is if you depend on the system for roadside assistance and information as those are the two functions that are disabled to make your conversations public. I wonder what happens when the emergency service button doesn't work during an accident when you need it the most. Would a death change a viewpoint or grant a new appeal? Are people paying for this service warned about any of these things? Why do I feel like cameras going into public bathrooms are coming next?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Boiling Madness

Since we were talking about cooking, I figured that I'd dispel a few cooking myths. I know that a lot of women out there claim that they "don't know how to cook but I can boil water." For some that could be doubtful.

1) There is an old wives tale (or maybe it was a way to keep the women in the kitchen longer) that cold water will boil faster than hot water. I have no idea how they thought this up but changing the temperature of a liquid mass is gradual. If it's hot already... it'll get there quicker. Maybe they believe that being on the opposite end that it would gather speed exponentially... ain't happening.

2) Some people believe that you should season your water before boiling. Possibly to dissolve the salt better. But, salt has a unique attribute that it slows the temperature change in water. So much so that, if you plan to go to the beach with a cooler full of drinks... feel free to pour some salt in there with the ice. It actually will melt slower. (Just wipe the lids of the cans because that'd be gross.) When cooking, season the water when it starts to boil.

3) When making pasta, adding your oil to the boiling water before or during your noodle cooking will keep them from sticking together. This is tricky one because it is very very slightly true. Since the oil sits at the top of the water and your pasta sits at the bottom... they really don't get time to interact. When you go to drain your water, most of the oil will drain with it and most of the oil that will hit the noodles will be what clings to the pot. Most chefs toss the pasta in a little oil afterwards which will be absorbed by the noodles. If you are worried about the noodles sticking together in the pot, make sure to stir the pasta occasionally while they are cooking.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Messy Measuring, No More

I know that some time back I mentioned to you a television series on Food Network entitled Good Eats hosted by Alton Brown. Yes, I've become a fan of the show. After years of watching some of the amazing little gizmos he has on the show, I decided to bite and pick up a few here.

I know what you are thinking... what the hell are those things on my counter? Those are measuring cups. Think about the last time you measured water, milk, sour cream, mayonnaise, peanut butter, sugar, salt, vegetable oil... or about anything else. How many times did you have to rinse out that measuring cup to measure something else? This ingenious item works like a syringe and has measuring markers on the side. Pull the yellow plunger back to 1 cup and insert item (smoothing out across the top for an exact measurement.) Need to add a 1/2 cup of something else? Pull back another 1/2 cup and add. And when ready to put in a mixer... push it all out. It comes with a smaller version for those of you with little hands. Ok, I'm kidding about that but both do come together. Amazing how simple an idea that was but it took this long to see it out there. Can't wait to see what's next.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Theaters That Cried Wolf

July 11th was reportedly a very special day for the movie business. The release of The Fantastic Four broke the much publicized longest box office slump in more than 2 decades.

This perceived slump met with worry all over cable, network, online and print news. Were people spending more time on their computers? Were people getting cheap illegal copies of the film on DVD? Are people just waiting to view the films on DVD in the privacy of their home with their home theater system instead? Are the DVDs coming out too soon after the film is released? Are ticket prices too high? Are the movies just not good enough to entice theater patronage?

Of course those are good questions but I actually believe the "woe is me" attitude of Hollywood prior to July 11th was actually a marketing ploy to get people to go. Sure, theaters this year might have sold less tickets each week for 19 straight weeks compared to last year. 2004 had blockbuster films like: Spiderman 2, Shrek 2, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban and The Incredibles. Yes, we will and have had our hits this year but the big anomaly to add to these hits is the staying power Passion Of The Christ had at the box office. The film was released on Feb. 18th of 2004 and would have attendance resurgence during Easter and other religious holidays. Many churches actually organized gatherings to attend the film to help keep the film on top. 2004 was a record year.

Becoming Chicken Little just because you aren't matching or surpassing a record year is like picketing government offices because your tax return this year isn't as big as the largest one you've ever received (which happened to be last year and this year your ex gets to claim baby Jesus.) How about just comparing things to 2003? If we are above that, I think we can agree we aren't heading into the dark ages of cinema quite yet.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Crossing The Line

Photo courtesy of

You may have noticed that I do have a lot of faith in our country as a republic. It does seem that is being eroded by legislation taking decisions away from the individual states. We actually have a national defense that guards our borders. It's not uncommon. Mexico has a very strong national border patrol... watching Guatemala and Belize to the south. But, the lack of response by leaders of both major political parties to recent media criticism of our border security show it is too hot a topic to be handled. Even the U.S. Senate seem to be avoiding the topic.

So, what is a small town New Hampshire police chief to do when he feels the federal government is avoiding action? He decides to charge illegal immigrants with criminal trespassing. 10 others have also been charged in other parts of the same state. A case over this type of arrest headed to court on Tuesday and is being closely watched by many states also wishing to do the same. The government of Mexico is actually paying the attorney fees of the defendant, Jorge Mora Rami­rez.

Who do you think should be in charge of protecting our borders?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sticky Situations

When was the last time you stepped in some gum? Thankfully, I can't remember too well unless it was on a vacation somewhere. Do you know where you will never step in gum? Disneyland. Several decades ago, a rule was put in place in the Disney properties to not sell gum in their stores or vending machines and to also place signs here and there. Sure that keeps people from replenishing their supplies but what about the people that actually bring gum with them? You can't ask someone to empty their pockets and purse before they get into the Magical Kingdom. But, reports of less problems removing gum from Disney hotel carpet floors, under restaurant tables and sidewalks have shown a major decrease and word is that it may be catching on in the hotel industry. Are you a gum-chewer?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Everybody Plays The Fool Sometimes

I'm not the most prompt person in the world. Sure, I get to places on time and a lot of the time way ahead of schedule. My bedside alarm clock is actually set 25 minutes forward. That itself really messes with my idea of time because it is the one clock I look for most often. My other bedside clock is 15 minutes fast but I don't see that as often. I also carry a pager on me that is 5 minutes fast. (I have this thing about jewelry that I'll explain someday but this is my watch.) I then throw another wrench in my observance of time - my alarm goes off really early. This likely ticks off a few people when they are over but to be at work at 6:55 (we have to be there 5 minutes early,) the alarm goes off at 4:30 am. (Ok, 4:05 if we make the right adjustment but we won't right now.) I then hit my snooze about 2 to 3 times getting close to 5 am. I then head to the shower. I will then either head to the computer (to check news or email) or I'll go back to lie down in bed and hit snooze a few more times. Sometime after 5, I'll turn on the news so I can find out how bad traffic will be (paranoia of living further from work than I used to.) I will slowly start getting ready at about 6 am and leave the house before 6:30 am. This usually gets me there early enough to grab a glass of skim milk, oatmeal and yogurt before I start my day.

So, yes, I put a lot into fooling myself. How many clocks do you have set ahead and how do you try to fool yourself?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Almost Fantastic 4 - Spoiler Alert

Since I'm babbling about TV, why not give you a quick film review. I am one of the privileged few that, when on long family trips, was easily pacified by comic books. I mean, I could have shouted and screamed at every stop but my mother was pretty smart. She figured that as long as I was reading... I wasn't fighting over something with anyone. Heck, they didn't want to read them. So I have a more than passing understanding of Marvel's Fantastic Four.

Scientist Reed Richards, pilot Ben Grimm, Susan Storm and Johnny Storm are in space researching cosmic rays. When bombarded by what they are studying their DNA are affected. The hotheaded Johnny Storm becomes the fire controlling Human Torch. His shy sister Susan becomes the transparent Invisible Girl. The resilient and strong Ben Grimm becomes the rocky Thing. The flexibly studious Reed becomes the elastic Mr. Fantastic.

A former college schoolmate of Reed's, Victor Von Doom (a transfer student from Latveria who is facially disfigured in an experiment at the school) returns with control issues... he wants to rule the world and has the power, wits and money to make it happen.

But... this isn't the story we are given in the film. Susan and Johnny are with the mega-wealthy Victor Von Doom (Doom plan's to pop the question to Sue.) Sue's former flame Reed and his friend Ben ask Doom for the use of his space station for scientific research. 5 people go into space, 5 people get affected by cosmic rays. All except for Doom show signs of DNA change (Ben the most.) Doom's investors threaten to pull their funds... he kills them with his new found electrical power (which somehow can burn a hole through a human body... dunno about that.) Ben goes to a bar and meets a blind black Alicia Masters. Violence ensues. Bad guy gets beaten. Romance blossoms, commitments are made. Blah blah blah.

As negative as some of that sounds, this is a film for anyone that is a child, has an open mind, has little to no knowledge of the comic/cartoon series and those that just want to look at Jessica Alba. The humor in this flick helps outweigh the flaws and makes it quite an enjoyable film. This even has a few adult (over the child radar) jokes. If you are a big fan of the characters, it might be worthwhile to wait for a sequel (I'm anticipating the Puppetmaster next since Alicia was introduced.)

  • I could see the need to change Reed and Sue's relationship. I mean, how much time would it take to develop a relationship instead of reignite one? Time saved for action scenes is good.
  • How many people would understand what diplomatic immunity meant if they decided to spend time developing Doctor Doom the right way? If they went with his standard no powers but a specially designed metal suit... wouldn't that hurt the upcoming Iron Man film? And at least they mentioned Latveria a few times.
  • Ben gets the opportunity to become normal and is for awhile but gives it up to assist his friends (when he bitched about being a social pariah and his wife rejected him when he came back changed.) Yes, this reminds me too much of Superman II.

Overall, I give it a say it is a good film. Not great or excellent nor decent or bad. It is a fun film for the family and I was shocked to hear people clapping after it ended (then again maybe they had to go potty.) Well worth watching.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Heavy Metal

Alchemy stands by one major rule: equivalent exchange.

Brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric spent their life raised by their mother. Their father is a well-respected alchemist who hasn't been home in years. After their mother dies, the young boys (who have studied alchemy since they began reading) decide to break the taboo on human alchemy and bring her back. After much studying and gathering of ingredients, everything seems to work well. That is when younger brother Alphonse loses his body and Edward's left leg is taken from him. In a last moment effort to save his brother, Ed binds Al's soul to a nearby suit of armor but gives up his right arm in the effort. Equivalent exchange indeed.

Guilt-ridden, Edward is determined to return his brother's soul to his body. Alphonse would like to see his brother whole again. Both still miss their mother. A childhood friend of the boys, Winrey, creates Auto-Mail replacement limbs for Edward. After 2 years, they have begun a search for the most potent device in alchemy... the Philosopher's Stone. To do so, Edward has joined the military as a state alchemist to get his hands on the best information available on finding the item. Ed becomes the youngest person to pass the nationally certified state exams and becomes known as the Fullmetal Alchemist (which causes a lot of confusion because his brother is... all metal.) However, they aren't the only ones looking for the powerful stone.

This is not a show for youngsters. It is a strong series mixing emotional family ties with action and fantasy. The show has been running in the U.S. for the last 2 years and is among the highest rated series on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Close your eyes and hide your hands if you are offended easily. I think there is too much coverage of hurricane Dennis. Sure, it seems people are interested in the devastation, the lives ruined, the homes lost and the survivors. But, if you think hard on it, there have been 4 storms in Florida this year and 5 storms last year. It happens so often that one of Florida's college football teams calls themselves the Hurricanes. I don't know how insurance companies can stay in business there. Maybe it just seems overly logical to me but...move. Why live somewhere where your family and belongings are unsafe.

Obviously, I have thought about this many times. I think about it because I'm in a place that I feel is pretty darn safe compared to the earthquakes in California, tornadoes in the Midwest and hurricanes in the Southeast. We get sunburns and might have to spend more time indoors during the summer. But, I wonder... how much do you value the safety of your family in where you live?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Cancer In The Family

Pictured here are my brother Matthew, his wife Beth and my new niece Mia Elizabeth Hennessy. She was born around 9 a.m. this morning and weighed about 9 lbs. As you can tell, Matt dressed up for the photo. B) Actually, neither of them have slept a wink since yesterday when they decided to wait out contractions in their car outside the hospital to make sure that they would be admitted and not be turned back. What I find funny is that my family got an email from Beth last night. It said that during her doctor's visit he told her she was dilated 1 cm. and the baby could arrive in the next week. The next day... poof! There's the baby.

Pictured here are mother and daughter. Mia is just out of the oven and she is already eyeing a really soft pink bear that Uncle Martin bought for her. We'll see if it doesn't wind up on the floor someday. I also dropped off a pair of pink baby shoes. One of the shoes has lines on it to fill out for her name, date, weight and length. As impressed as I am with myself, I am so proud of my sister-in-law and brother. They sure made a beautiful baby which could be going home with them as soon as tomorrow.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Elevator Etiquette

There are courteous people and there are people that don't think about anyone but themselves (ok, there are those that have very few brain cells, too.) Some walk on the appropriate side of a sidewalk to expedite their journey and others take up the whole walkway. But, I have a pet peeve about elevators.

Elevators are simple contraptions. They take cargo from one floor to another by letting cargo into an empty elevator and emptying it on another floor. Some people don't understand spacial displacement. You can't add water to a full cup without emptying the glass first (unless you want to make a mess and Mom taught us better than that.) These people will stand in front of an elevator and push their way in without letting people out. Silly, but it happens and it takes a lot more time for the people to now get out.

There are also those that will choose a floor close by but will head to the back of the elevator. Why? Who knows? Of course, there are the people who hit all the buttons but they obviously haven't been in a rush before. But, again... being thoughtful takes work and some people avoid work like they do taxes.Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Open! Sez Ahhh Me!

If you remember my photo of Roberto's Taco Shop that I had up here for Cinco De Mayo, this is a shot looking north from there (yes, I had carne asada tacos tonight.) The building under construction in the photo has been in progress for what will be 2 years this month. Ok, "in progress" might not be the best words since they just had a big sign there saying it was coming soon but they didn't break ground yet. The place? The Las Vegas Athletic Club. I've been a member of that gym since before I graduated high school. I haven't been back to the gym since I moved because it's a pain in the butt to drive to the nearest location. This one is maybe an 1/8 mile from home. Should open in October and am waiting for it to open as I'll be spending a lot of time there again. I know that I usually need to have motivation to go to the gym. I feel that I'm motivated not by a gym partner this time but a need to better myself. I actually miss going into the gym even though this time I won't have Dad, my friend Jim or anyone else there inspiring me to go. So, I'm watching and waiting. 2 years can be considered patience.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Replacements

No, this isn't about the band (although they are a favorite.) I've had a project in my mind for the last month or so that I've been brainstorming. Many bands will replace their lead singer after some time. It may be because they went solo, died, couldn't hit the notes anymore or had too much attitude. The past is full of many of those stories. I've been working on a list of the top 10 bands that have replaced their lead singer and bettered their career or at least achieved the same level of success. I have my list that I'll present you with later but I'd like to see who you can come up with that I might have bypassed.

The criteria: The band had to record at least one album with the previous singer before the next one came in. The success of the band after the new singer joined is very important.

Good luck!

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Great Experiment

Happy Independence Day folks! I do think a lot of people forget that the holiday isn't just the date it is celebrated on. To many, the fireworks represent Francis Scott Key's "bombs bursting in air" as they also stand for liberation from a monarchy.

I got done with my newsletter early today and went driving around to shop and view the fireworks. Of course, that's when I saw an idiot neighbor (literally only wearing shorts) walking along the wall behind his house that stands about 8 feet tall. Yes, he looked intoxicated but I'm not the type to ruin his fun. Over 200 years ago, soldiers fought for the freedom to create a new national destiny. It was a big risk. When asked what our nation had after signing the Constitution, Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it." It was the great experiment, a risk. Kind up like walking drunk and barefoot on an 8 foot tall wall... maybe with the added risk of being blindfolded. We celebrate risks like that.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

No, Not That Kind Of Spanking

Sometimes we think polar opposites only happen along party lines but there has been a war brewing over how you discipline your child. Heck, you can say the debate goes back as far as when the phrase, "spare the rod, spoil the child," was first uttered. One side believes that any act of violence only generates more violence... so they deem it child abuse. The other side seems to share common religious threads that cite references to disciplining a child on the rear with "the rod" and that it worked for them as children. Studies have been done on non-physical disciplines and corporal punishment which have contradicted each other leaving evidence out there for and against spanking.

My own personal feeling is that the rise of alternative discipline has created children who have lost the fear of being chastised from authority figures (mother, father, preacher, teacher or police officer.) I know that I have learned from several swattings in the past but also know those were very few. But, I'd like to hear where you stand. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Live 8

I've gained many beliefs about economic and political issues in the last few years and although I don't think wealth distribution of this magnitude helps a continent that still needs to borrow money, I do think it is good to show compassion.

I remember July of 1985 very well. We were on a trip to Idaho and stayed overnight in Ely, Nevada. This is halfway from Vegas to our destination. We didn't have MTV in the house at the time (times were tough.) But, I remember being glued to the hotel room television as some of my favorite bands took the stage. The message was there "help feed the children." The bands performing played 2 songs at the most and quickly let another act hit the stage. Many musical genres were covered and there was time for several serious moments about the issues at hand.

20 years later, Live 8 brings together more countries as 9 venues stage performances with the intention to persuade the fans to contact their government officials and ask them to forgive debts owed to them by African nations. Tons of artists take the stage performing about 3 songs each. The television broadcast airs on MTV and VH1 in an 8-hour block.

My take? I'm sure most of the performances were great if we were able to see them. 3 to 3 1/2 hours of this was commercials. Several artists were shown ending one song and performing most but not all of another. Some of the performances that didn't get shown: Pet Shop Boys in Moscow, Deep Purple in Barrie, Motley Crue in Barrie, Gordon Lightfoot in Barrie, Barenaked Ladies in Barrie, Blue Rodeo in Barrie, Bruce Cockburn in Barrie, The Tragically Hip in Barrie, Sarah McLachlan in Philadelphia, Def Leppard in Philadelphia, Duran Duran in Rome, A-ha in Berlin, Chris de Burgh in Berlin, Roxy Music in Berlin, Crosby Stills & Nash in Berlin, The Cure in Paris, Annie Lennox in London and UB40 in London. That's a whole lot of performers that could have gotten even a sample of their music in there. Instead, Madonna performed 3 songs and one of them was shown again at the end. Stevie Wonder played 3, Green Day played 2 (but got replayed also), the Black Eyed Peas played 2 (and were replayed later), Linkin Park performed 3 (granted some was with Jay-Z) and Dido played 2. Sure, we expected and got more songs from Paul McCartney and U2. I lay most of this blame for bad editing, inane banter from hosts, interviews, over commercialization and missing performances on the stations. The highlight of the show remains the 3 tracks performed by a reunited Pink Floyd (which ended on a cut off version of "Comfortably Numb.") Yes, I will still buy this when it comes out on DVD because I might be able to hear what wasn't aired and the entire songs.
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Friday, July 01, 2005

Edit To 2004's Christmas List

Some of you may remember my Top 10 list of what I'd like to see under my Christmas tree last year. Well, although the wish list is over, I have to say that Miss Lindsay Lohan will not be on next year's list. She was #6 last year but as you can see from this picture, aliens have replaced her with a young anorexic Sharon Stone clone. I believe that if the ransom is not met, she will probably drop to about 80 pounds and need assistance from nightclub to nightclub. Until they recover the real Lindsay, she is off the list and #7 to #10 will move up a notch with the final spot filled by Meg White of White Stripes. I remain thankful that this abduction didn't come while she was under the tree as I may have accidentally thrown her out with some of the dead tree branches.Posted by Picasa