Meep Meep…

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A funny pic, from Insta-P.

Hey, Obama is simply thinking long-term, securing his legacy. Remember, Ike was widely criticized for always golfing while he was in office, of being the AWOL President. Yet now everyone agrees he was much more hands-on than people gave him credit. Meep. Meep.

Signed, Obama’s greatest fan:

Andrew Sullivan.

Yahoo! I Won!!!!!

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I got this in my e-mail today. Man… I’m the luckiest man in the world!!!!!

You won $550,000,00! Yahoo! Mail congratulates you!
Yahoo! Mail Messenger
You won $550,000,00!
Thursday June 17th 2010
Get ed traffic to your web site!

Yahoo! UK & Ireland

Dear Lucky Winner,

This is to inform you that you have won a prize money of Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand UDS($550,000) for the Prize promotion which is organized by YAHOO AWARDS & WINDOWS LIVE. Yahoo selected all the email addresses of the people that are active online, among the millions that subscribed to Yahoo, Msn, Gmail, Hotmail, Juno, Aol, yahoo.com,att.net,roger,mail.mn ,Comcast,sbcglogbal,earthlink,verizon,bellsouth and few from other private/companies e-mail providers. Ten (10) people are selected quartely to benefit from this promotion and you are one of the Selected Winners.

PAYMENT OF PRIZE / CLAIMS

Winners shall be paid in accordance with their Settlement Centres. Yahoo Prize Award must be claimed not later than 10 days from date of Draw Notification. Any prize not claimed within this period will be forfeited and returned to its source as unclaimed.

Stated below are your identification numbers:

BATCH NUMBER: …………MFI/06/APA-43658
REFERENCE NUMBER: ……….. 2007234522
PIN: ………… 1207

You are expected to contact our co-ordinator Dr. Bratt Richards Via E-mail: Drrichard_bratt1234@rediffmail.com
and send your winning identification numbers with the following informations as to enable our co-ordinator, Dr. Bratt Richards,facilitate the release of your fund to you.

1. Full Name………………….
2. Country……………………..
3. Contact Address………….
4. Telephone Number………
5. Fax Number………………..
5. Marital Status………………
6. Occupation………………….
7. Sex…………………………….
8. Date of Birth/Age …………………………
9. Identity card(carte identite) If any ……

Congratulations! once again.

Yours in service,
Mrs Jane Andersen
SECRETARY TO THE CO-ORDINATOR)
——————————————————

But then, at the end of the email, I see this rather strange notice:

WARNING!
You must keep strict confidentiality of your Prize Award claims to yourself until your money is successfully handed over to you in other to avoid disqualification that may arise from double claims. Yahoo Awards Team shall not be held liable for any loss of funds arising from the above mentioned.

OK. So there’s a typo….. And this legal notice doesn’t read all that legal…. And non of the officers listed above even have a Yahoo e-mail address. Oh, who cares! I’m $550,000,00 richer!!!!!

I’m the luckiest man in the world!!!!!!

Levi And Bristol – Together Again?

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Man, if true… Andrew Sullivan’s going to be pissed!!!!!!!

The “Temblor” Controversy

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Is “temblor” the correct word to use when describing a seismic event? As it turns out, several of my bass playing brethren over at Talk Bass are also geologists, and they say no.

In 1978, when I was about 13, my family moved from Texas to California. When I heard a news reporter saying the word “temblor” I thought at first he meant to say “tremor” and just make an on-air mistake. When I heard it repeated over the years, being a California transplant, I just figured that’s what they call Earthquakes here.

I moved from Dallas to Lemoore California (yeah, I know…. where?). Having experienced a few tornadoes, I was ready to experience my next natural disaster, an Earthquake! I was bummed because they said we never get Earthquakes in the San Joaquin Valley. Seven months later, while in 8th grade algebra class, we were sitting in the portable classroom (why do they call it a “portable”, they never move them) taking a quiz or something, when the girl behind me started to shake my desk…. Except it couldn’t have been the girl behind me, because (a) she was absent that day, and (b) everyone else started looking around too wondering what was going on. Then, someone pointed to the hanging retractable screen that was swaying nicely. “Earthquake” someone yelled.

Some panicked and got scared.

Me?

My thought….. “Oh My God…. This is Soooo COOL!!!!”

It seemed no one ever mentioned that if the quake was big, you could feel it a long distance away. This quake was centered in the Mammoth Lakes region, and would be the start of a swarm of quakes, the largest being a 7.2 a year or so later.

After that, I was hooked. As long as nothing falls on me, I love the things.

The closest I’ve been to the epicenter of a large quake was the 6.5 quake in 83, centered in Coalinga, a town just 40 miles from Lemoore. I was looking under my mom’s car, trying to pinpoint the source of the oil leak, when the car started shaking a bit. I thought my mom was playing a joke, but when I saw she was standing several feet away, I scooted out from under the Maxima. I probably never moved so fast! Man, that was a big quake. You could see the streets rolling. By that time I had done a lot of reading on the mechanics of quakes, and could feel the difference between the P wave and the S wave. What I didn’t know was that this quake would become an important one seismologically because it confirmed the existence of blind-thrust faults was much more prevalent in California than previously recognized.

Anyway, I loved Earthquakes so much I went back to college in 98 to study seismology. The bummer is that I couldn’t handle the calculus, so now I’m a geology school drop-out. Oh, and I also don’t recall ever hearing a professor using the term “temblor”.

PS. Do I ever get scared during an earthquake? During one aftershock of the Coalinga quake, a 4.9’er, we were in the high school auditorium rehearsing a play. With all the heavy stage lighting banging away up in the fly space, yeah, that was scary. And yes, I flew out of that building like there was no tomorrow.

PPS. Yes, my San Diego guitarists did e-mail me last night to rub it in about the latest Ocotillo aftershock, which he felt and I didn’t. Man, I have to get out of Fresno. I miss all the fun!

The Problem With The News – The Pea Under The Thimble.

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There is news concerning Rand Paul and his lack of membership in the American Board of Ophthalmology. The article opens like this:

Rand Paul, who touts his career as a Kentucky eye doctor as part of his outsider credentials in his campaign for U.S. Senate, isn’t certified by his profession’s leading group.

After being a member for about ten years, disagreements with aspects of ABO re-certification policy led him to walk away from that organization and form a rival group, the National Board of Ophthalmology. His actions, as described in the article, sound well within a libertarian character; that would be something an independent libertarian might do. Note there is no hint in the article that there is any question concerning his competence as a surgeon. The thing that is interesting is that neither group, the ABO and the NBO have nothing to do with state certification.:

Neither group has anything to do with medical licensure, which is handled by state boards.

So, what is this story about, and why is it so important to be a member of this group? From the ABO homepage:

Founded in 1916, the American Board of Ophthalmology is an independent, nonprofit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists (eye physicians and surgeons) in the United States… …The mission of the American Board of Ophthalmology is to serve the public by improving the quality of ophthalmic practice through a certification and maintenance of certification process that fosters excellence and encourages continual learning.

But it also notes this:

It is not the purpose of the Board to define the requirements for membership to hospital staffs or to gain special recognition or privileges for its diplomates in the practice of ophthalmology. Neither is its purpose to state who may or may not practice ophthalmology, nor to define the scope of ophthalmic practice. The Board does not seek to obtain special privileges for its diplomates over other qualified physicians. The certificate of the Board does not confer any academic degree, legal qualifications, privilege, or license to practice ophthalmology.

And according to the FAQ page, they don’t have any investigatory responsibilities either. So what is the function of the organization? It appears to be something like a union. I’m not knocking the organization at all. They do perform a very useful function in the medical community… for those who wish to participate. But membership to this organization is not mandatory, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul’s NBO membership get’s a nice boost due to this publicity.

PS. The granddaddy of them all, the AMA, also falls into this type of medical union-ish club.

Headline Of The Day

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From the MSNBC front page today:

Newsweek: How should U.S. battle Muslim extremism?

OK, It’s been NINE YEARS since 9/11… And people wonder why this magazine is teetering on the brink of publishing extinction.    But hey, at least they’ve finally gotten around to asking the question. Some still haven’t.

“Pink Champaign On The Ceiling, Pink Champaign On Ice”….

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Those are my accidentally mangles lyrics to the song “Hotel California”, sputtered in front of a large audience while performing with my post-college band Tribe Called Mike.  That was over twelve years ago, and the Sonic-Mate still won’t let me forget it!!!  🙂

Over at Talk Bass, one of the young bass players is about to go on stage and play in front of people for the first time.  He writes:

my friend asked me to play bass with him on the drum and his brother on guitar at his open house a week from today. prolly to most of you this would be nothing but ive never played in front of more then like 6 people before and now im playing in front of like 200 people….and my god am i nervous

The first time on stage can be really tough. People are usually nervous on stage because, more than anything, they are stressed about making a mistake, messing up. Two things to keep in mind.

(1) Most of the mistakes you’ll make (and make no mistake, you’ll make ’em, we all do) will be tiny ones. Almost everyone in the audience will never hear them. You’ll notice, but it’s because you are a musician and are acutely aware of every little thing you’re doing. There may be a few other musicians in the audience who will notice. But if they’ve also played on stage, they’ll have empathy because it’s happened to them too.

And the major ones?

(2) In 1984, my older brother went to see Bruce Springsteen at the San Diego Sports Arena. During the song “Born In The USA”, The Boss, one of the most experienced performers you’ll ever find, forgot the words to the song! And this was on the “Born In The USA” tour!!!! What did he do? He joked about it with the audience and moved on.

Because I had some stage experience as an actor when I was very young, I didn’t have much of a problem being in front of people (which is strange because I was VERY shy as a kid). But I always had a fear of forgetting my lines. As a bass player, that fear carried over and my fear was indeed making a mistake while playing. My first band, Outta Hand, (the trio of Mikes that would later reform to become Tribe Called Mike), the drummer and I shared lead vocal duties. I used to beat myself up pretty good when I made a mistake, either bass-wise or VOX. My bro had already told me the Springsteen story years earlier, but me, being hard headed, didn’t understand the lesson.  It took a while, but I have to say that when I eventually absorbed the moral of the Springsteen story, that helped my performance confidence and competence so much. I found I was making less mistakes on stage because I was no longer anticipating and anguishing over it. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like making mistakes (hate is the right word), and work hard not to. But, if the Big Boys, those guys who, you know, do this for a living, can forgive themselves for making an “Oopsie” on stage, then I, the raging unprofessional, who does this at best as a side job, well, I can cut myself a little slack.

This leads me to my last point…..

(3) RELAX!!!!! Have a good time!

Say What? Andrew Sullivan Get His Own “Quote Of The Day”

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He has a feature on his blog called “Quote Of The Day“, generally reserved for something dumb or outlandish that recently appeared in print or on the internet. Well, today, he get’s to be the recipient of his own award. Here is the quote he featured as “QOTD III”:

“Her work is her life is her work,” – Charles Fried, a Harvard Law professor, on Elena Kagan, a woman with no romantic life since college, no pets, no retreat and apparently a private life devoted solely to the elites.

Here is Andrew expanding on the thought:

The profile today is almost a parody of Washington careerist insularity – with everyone in power in cahoots with, or related to, everyone else, and everyone just loving one another to death. The idea that Kagan represents real experience of the real world is, quite simply, ludicrous. She is the polar opposite of Clarence Thomas – as bright as he is dim, as protected by liberal elites as he is brutally exposed by them.

Now, you may disagree with some of Clarence Thomas’s decisions from the bench… But “Dim”? And which liberals have exposed him? Would that be Timothy Noah, who not only apparently started the “dim bulb” meme rolling, but  doesn’t have anything  of substance to say about Thomas’s history on the bench in his Chatterbox gossip column.  Or does Andrew mean this “takedown” of Thomas by Harry Reid, who BTW, not only didn’t apparently know much about the case he cited, as he got major facts wrong, but who also doesn’t seem to take the time to read the legislation his own Senate is passing. Plus, more than a few lawyers, you know, those guys who, unlike two bit gossip journalists and flailing Senators, actually have to read and decipher legal opinions and judgments to make a living, seem to have high regard for Thomas’s body of work.

So here’s to you Andrew Sullivan, for qualifying to have your very own “Quote Of The Day”.

PS. How soon will Reid’s comments on Clarence Thomas come back to haunt him in the upcoming campaign? (Sharron Angle… Hint, Hint)

Time Out

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I won’t be blogging for the next three days. I’m going to be recording three songs, and I can’t do internet stuff and record at the same time.

Be back in a few days.

Say What?

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First,  James Cameron got turned down by BP to help fix the oil spill, and now it’s another Hollywood genius  Kevin Costner’s turn to get the cold shoulder by the Government….

Ah, but wait. When I first saw this headline I thought it was just a bunch of typical hypocritical Hollywood actor grandstanding. But as it turns out, Costner has been quietly putting his money where his environmentalist heart lies. And BP is taking a serious interest.

Kevin Costner, I salute you. I wish more rich environmentalists would be like him.