Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Give Us This Day, Our Daily Carbohydrates

I have fond memories growing up of an elderly lady that would come by my father's work and would take us children with her to go feed the ducks. She would go to stores and pick up old bread that wouldn't normally be sold, tear it up in pieces and throw them towards the pond the ducks had staked out. During this time, I found the joy of scrunching up slices of bread into a little dough ball and eating it. I think it even tasted better. Something weird about taking it from the soft fluffy (Wonder white bread) risen slice and creating a tough and knobby mass. It just seemed to taste better that way. Anyhow, I don't think I've done that in decades. You have people cutting bread products out of their meals as they lower their carbohydrate intakes. Just reminding me that not only do ducks get to crap wherever they want, they don't think about diets.Posted by Hello

Monday, March 28, 2005

Raving Madness

I got to thinking recently that I call this an area for my "rants" but I really don't hate that many things. Sure, I dislike a lot of veggies but I won't be the first to ban them from the planet. By the way, don't expect to see a blog about broccoli. I do hate purposeful misinformation, corruption, hate crimes and violence against women which I believe most people do. Those will always be there and I can expect myself to talk about them sometimes. The word "rant" means to speak or write in an angry or violent manner. It also means to rave - which is to express with extravagance. It could have probably solved a lot of problems if had I called it Gruntings Of An 80's Nut because on those off-days where you don't feel like writing you could just type "Ugg ugg grrah ungh."

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Toad The Wet Sprocket - 5 Live

I've never been a big live album person. I remember hearing a lot about Toad The Wet Sprocket when I was listening to KUNV's Rock Avenue and even caught the video for "Is It For Me" on Night Tracks. But it would be their follow-up single, "All I Want," that would propel the group to stardom. 5 Live was a 5-track EP that was used to promote their most successful album Fear. The EP contains some of their early singles as well as a few album tracks from Fear recorded live in 1991 the old Anaconda Theatre in Isla Vista, California and the Wiskey A Go-Go in Hollywood. The precision guitarwork on "One Little Girl" alone made this collection my favorite live recording and the other tracks are great. This is a must have.
Posted by Hello

Friday, March 25, 2005

I Before E And Sometimes III: What's In A Name

I'm definitely one of those confused sorts when it comes to my name but I pretty much answer to anything. I was born Martin E Hennessy. My father was Martin Edwin Hennessy. To keep me from being a 'junior,' my mother decided to give me a letter for a middle name which changes it just enough to not be an exact match. But of course, I'd always be a 'junior' to the family. I would be called Marty because everyone called Dad that and of course 'junior' would follow often.

My father is probably one of the most amiable and personable people you will ever meet. Hence, he knows a lot of people through his profession and he is held in high respect in the community. Yet, the name 'Marty' became an albatross as well as a long shadow. When I entered High School, I decided to make my break from it. Everyone I was introduced to since then would only know me as Martin. It was exhilarating to feel like I had a personality and reputation of my own.

I would break away even more during this time with early BBS chat areas (around 1986) and develop different handles or screennames. This carried over into my passion for writing in which I took the name Varlet Graves (the early meaning behind which was being a mischievous servant of the graves). I would later throw the variant of Marten before Varlet Graves... which even later evolved into Marten Thomas Graves (M.T. Graves... just sounded spooky.) After I stopped my poetry and short story writing, I would just use the name Marten among friends (thinking there was less of a chance they'd try to shorten the spelling of that to Marty.)

While I had the pseudonym going for me in writing, I had to distinguish myself on paper also. For the longest time, I just wanted to change my name. A talk with my father's mother about our family history changed that slightly. My father was named after my grandfather's brother who had died as a child from lead poisoning. In my mind, that meant there weren't just two of us... I was a third but just not in the standard sense. So I opened my bank account (which I still have) as Martin E Hennessy III. That still exists on a lot of my paperwork which helped when I moved in with my father for several years. Mail was easier to separate and less weird bills wound up in his name or mine. But until recently, I have stopped using III on any paperwork other than bank statements.

It seems that it took several attempts at finding my own identity away from a name to find out that I was me all along and that my name is important to me. I still just go by Martin and will even smile when I see a Marten here or there. But seeing as I've used so many in some of my writing and site work, I figured that it would be good to clarify and finally get down in writing. I think I'm just one step happier in my own skin than I was back then.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

At Least The Editorials Section Tells You What To Expect

I don't know why but this just ticked me off today:

I'm watching the news on CNN and the anchor introduces coverage of Ashley Smith's press conference where she received over $70,000 in rewards for helping apprehend Brian Nichols. "My life is testimony that God can use us even in the midst of tragedy and miracles do happen," said Smith. She would also continue to mention that her faith helped her through the situation and closed saying, "I would just like to say thank you all very much. I'm very honored and God bless you all." Upon returning from the conference, the female anchor tosses in a quick quip about how she feels like she has just left church. They then go into a biography on Smith.

I am not defending Smith's talking about her faith here but a news anchor should be held to a higher standard. If you are going to report "news" on a "news channel", learn what reporting is and what an editorial is. This just has me pissed off at not just the network but the way the media likes to throw a little jab in here and there but still claim themselves as a credible source for information.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Smells Of Home

Speaking of Mom, tonight I decided to attempt a recipie variation. Everyone knows how picky I am. But, there are times that I wished I sat in the kitchen when Mom was making dinner so I could not have to go without later in life. 15 years later - I'm missing her spaghetti, french toast, ultra-flat pancakes (she figured out recently that it was a crepe) and meatloaf. Spaghetti was always interesting for me because I loathe green bell peppers. Mom would either chop them really long and pull them out of the sauce later or chop them so small that I wouldn't notice. (This is the same woman that tricked me into believing that liver was just a really bland steak that needed ketchup -- figured that out when I was 22.) Anyhow, I've always knew something was missing from making spaghetti and tonight threw big slices of the bell peppers in. Of course, I yanked them out after cooking. I realized two things... I only needed half of the bell peppers because it is a very strong flavor and that it really does remind me of home. Now for the other recipies.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Path That Leads You

Crazy week and things might slow down sometime but I feel like I'm missing something when I'm not babbling. Anyhow, I picked up a copy of the double-CD Essential Willie Nelson the other day. When I popped in the first disc, it reminded me that I really owe a lot of my musical diversity to my mother. I can clearly remember my mother having Alabama's The Closer You Get in the cassette player of her car. I also remember her having Willie Nelson's Always On My Mind on vinyl. I have always believed that to really talk about the music of the 1980's that you should include all genres. Kenny Rogers was a crossover success as was Dolly Parton, Eddie Rabbitt and Garth Brooks. By not including them, you are ignoring a big part of what really was going on with music at the time. But, you will not see an 80's station create a format that shows a true mix of that diversity. There are a lot of people that define 80's music by the songs "I Melt With You" and "Tainted Love" but doing so excludes a lot of great music. It was a time with a little band named the Oak Ridge Boys were able to score a Top 40 hit with a song titled "Elvira." I remember hearing that song on a little radio in the shape of the trash can of Sesame Street's Oscar "The Grouch" that I got for my birthday that year. I still get a kick out of the "Ooom Papa Mao Mao" parts. Maybe, I was the right person to do a newsletter about the music. Thank you, Mom.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Kids Come First

During work on U.S. 95, the Nevada Department Of Transportation uncovered one public school's dastardly plot to promote their female teacher's special handling of young male students with a new slogan to keep many from becoming altar boys.

The above statement is an embellishment of a non-truth with a little social criticism on top for easier digestion. Posted by Hello

Fighting The Useless Fight

I've come to the decision that there really isn't an easy way for me to become great at Web design and graphic creation for my sites and even this drab little blog. Yes, I would love to have some of those skills implanted kind of like a compact flash card to be removed when not needed. But that isn't going to happen. After all, I'm a content creator not a designer. It seems as we get older we discover all the other skills we wish we had time to invest in and gain but know that it isn't a reality. (For some reason this reminds me of an RPG game where you have to saw wood to gain points in woodworking mastery.) So, I'm probably going to have to hire out at some point to clean things up around here and I don't feel too bad about it. I'm a creative creature at times but I'll always be limited in my capacity for growth if I hope for a compact flash upgrade. I see hiring someone to redesign some of my work as getting a maid. Sure I can clean my house but a maid will do it faster, more effectively and in a little outfit that reveals more than it should (if you pay them enough.) Then again, as much as I'd love to hire out... that streak in me that says "I can find a way around that" steps in. Is the 'Never Give Up' attitude just delusion or just another control issue?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Look Doc, They're Retractable!

Today was the day for my latest doctor's opinion. Notice that I use the word opinion. I just think that there aren't enough medical facts out there. This doctor's appointment was rather quick as the first words out of his mouth was "oh yeah, definitely looks like a hernia." "See this area here is a little puffy." I continue to show him that the area isn't puffy and that my testicles like to play hide-and-seek. After coughing for him a few times he said that it isn't a hernia but a deep skin cyst. (That's 3 different opinions for those counting.) He did say that we can wait and see if it shrinks down on its own or "we can go numb the area now and extract it." I told him it'd be better to wait. So, I'll be going back to the other doctor on Monday to clear me to go back to work on Wednesday. Can't wait to see how this all pans out but rest assured that it will all be based on solid medical opinion.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Tongue In Cheek

I wonder if they've ever had a poll or study on how often people accidentally bite the inside of their cheeks. I just took a huge chunk out a few days ago. Of course it's now swollen a bit, raw and sensitive but I believe that I get them a bit more often than some people because I have what I call fangs on my lower jaw. Does everyone get happy with their teeth and mouth while eating at times that their cheeks want to join the party? Just gotta wonder.

"Yin And Yang (The Flowerpot Man)"

I don't believe everything I hear from car salesmen, auto mechanics, loan officers, lawyers and politicians among others. So, I tend to wonder why people gravitate to one source for their news. Being a music journalist, I've always feared showing too much bias. So, I tend to put even the unflattering stories about 80's artists in the newsletter and on the Web site. But, yes... not everyone is so worried about bias. I remember seeing a poll of college students that asked "Why do you want to be a journalist?" An overwhelming majority answered that they wanted to affect public opinion. Opinion? In reporting? I've always believed that there is a reason for Yin and Yang. Seeing only Yin leaves you partial and without the whole picture. Without someone reporting Yang, you can really start believing some scary things. They call that propaganda. So, I tend to watch CNN equally with Fox News. (Kinda reminds me of how I try to chew the same number of pretzels with one side of my mouth as the other.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

50% Is Failing, Right?

You do a lot of thinking when you know you are going to be on an operating table in the future. My only thoughts were about: the time it'd take to heal and what the ceiling is going to look like. It seems that I really went about things ass-backwards. I was working on my lawn on Wednesday to fix some dead areas with new seed which left me really sore the next day. I wound up taking about 600mg of ibuprofen to make running around work easier. On Thursday night, I discovered the lump/bump when taking a shower and thought it was just a knot. But after it enlarged after work on Friday and Saturday, I went to UMC Quick Care which is covered by my insurance. They diagnosed said bump/lump as a hernia. My job requires the ability to lift up to 75 lbs. and has no light duty. Fun, fun. Upon retrospect, the only way I could have not noticed the hernia would be when I took the ibuprofen which may have dented the pain to where I might have not noticed it. Which makes it work related. Anyhow, I filled out the appropriate paperwork and went to get it looked at by Workmans Comp doctors. They determined... it was a node. Huh? What the hell is a node? But seeing that I had a prior diagnosis he has asked for a surgical determination. So someone else is going to put his hand on my groin. What does this mean? Well, it's 50/50 that they will do surgery and I might be returning to work within a week (which could be good on the bills standpoint.) But it also goes to show you that 50% of doctors don't know what they are doing and that isn't too exciting.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

That Isn't Supposed To Be There!

I was at home one night on the computer and had something like a charley horse feeling in my groin. I actually thought that I twisted my right testicle. But over the last few days, it wound up developing into a lump. Now, I've only had one surgery in my life (I don't count stitches) and it was to remove my fingernail and repair the nailbed after breaking it in a door. Tonight, I decided to go in and find out what the lump was. I figured that if it was bad that I'd like to catch it before I lose a testicle or something. It seems that I do have a hernia there. The bad part is that my job requires heavy lifting which can't be done with a hernia (causes further tearing and intestinal exposure) and would have to be limited after the surgery. So I'm going to be off work for a little bit so it's a good time for me to consider the redesign of the 80's Music Central website. I'm going to have to find some templates and mess around. But I'm sure all will be good and I'll be back on my feet shortly.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

NFLWS - National Football League Withdrawl Syndrome

I have to say that the NFL post-season was amazingly hard to deal with for a professional football junkie like myself. I actually was hoping that the XFL would do well so I could have 12 months of football to look forward to. I usually check sites about transactions and NFL issues about 3 times a day (even when I'm not playing fantasy football.) But since the creation of the NFL Network, my DTs are becoming less noticable. The coverage of the NFL Combine was concise and edited well. It helps that you can go back and rewatch things with the Tivo also. How bad is the addiction? Guess who's going to be home screaming at the TV during the NFL draft? Yeah, that'd be me. I took some vacation days. Nothing like cheering for your favorite team's 7th round pick! I'm wary of an intervention someday but I'll live the junkie lifestyle until my blood stops pumping. I need a helmet when I type this stuff.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


There is something to be said for karaoke. You see it everyday... people driving on their way to or from work singing in their cars. "Sing your life..." said Morrissey and yes, vocalizing our saddest and most exciting moments is important. (Hear that flies live a short life because they can't sing.) I personally like to go out there and sing songs people haven't heard before. It's like playing DJ for a bunch of friends but also having the escape clause of "It really does sound like that!" Then again, I just like a lot of strange songs from the U.K. especially 80's new wave. Haven't been out there in awhile but I'm still eyeing this new karaoke CD that I picked up on eBay a few months ago (has 17 Depeche Mode songs on it... you can't go wrong there.) What I probably love most about karaoke is, that when you have a bunch of people that normally go, you tend to back each singer and cheer them on even if they just sounded like they had marbles in their mouths and frogs in their throats. Call it a very disturbing community feel.