Monthly Archives: March 2013


I was a late convert to Rush. Before I had massive exposure to 2112, Moving Pictures or even Fly by Night I was entranced by Presto while walking home from St. Joes, Spring 1990, perhaps 1991. I wasn’t even sure it was Rush at the time. The guys who did Tom Sawyer and Working Man are busting out acoustic guitars?

It has retained its lofty perch in my mind and heart and like all music that rests in such places it has evolved over time. “I’m not one to believe in magic/but I sometimes have a second sight” At one point in time this vibrated for me and I couldn’t really place it. Oddly enough I had two experiences at Rush shows that convinced me our brains are as much a great unknown as outer space and the ocean.

The first incident was in Rochester, New York, the Winter arena Vapor Trails tour. Greg, Matt, Mike and I had experienced the summer version at Darien Lake. We were all so blasted at the end of that one that my wife was holding me up by my belt loops. I couldn’t stand, but I was of good enough voice to scream “Play Presto!” at the top of my lungs…. So in Rochester I decided to eschew alcohol and just enjoy v7 c greenery. One of my chums joined me for a quick session. After two passes I got antsy, Danger Will Robinson antsy.

Me – we gotta go
Name redacted- nah man, you’re being paranoid
Me- no man, let’s go!

And we left… just as security entered. It was the most edgy rush feeling ever. No I don’t feel I can use it at will, nor do I attempt to nurture it, though I probably should. But I believe it is possible. So does my Brother in Law, who was there the second time.

Again, a Vapor Trails stop at an Indian Casino in Washington State. My wife, her sister and Jim, my brother in law. To get to the venue you had to walk through the casino. We passed a roulette table and I said “Hmph, I would’ve put some money on 19” as the dealer spun the wheel. Jim grabbed my arm in disbelief. “How did you know?” The hell if I know, though Jim eyed me like I had three eyes the rest of the night.

Yeah so while they were fleeting moments,  they happened. Being extremely empathetic, sensitive has something to do with it, so I hypothesize, but who knows? I do know those lines feel personal now, when before they were abstract.

The rest of the song speaks to my struggle to have an impact on the world, in a micro sense, not macro. It encases my folly “I had a dream of the open water/I was swimming away out to sea/so deep I could never touch bottom/what a fool I used to be”, my promise, my growth, my short comings and my place in the world.

“If I could wave my magic wand
I’d set everybody free”

Presto Rush

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Posted by on 03/26/2013 in Dirt


Anthropomorphic introduction Freaky Friday style

My daughter watched Phineas & Ferb for breakfast every morning, sometimes with a side of cereal, sometimes a hard boiled egg, often homemade cinnamon toast- always decaf tea. I would pry my morning greeting out and get ready to go rouse boy, who typically is in spaz mode first thing.

Monday evening I came home to a shaken daughter. She was emotionally wiped out. My wife finally got out of our 7 year old that a dog in the Freaky Friday Nickalodeon commercial had frightened her. Being that I was frightened of many things as a child I immediately connected with her. It is a throw away image to many for too many reasons to name. You put a cartoonish mouth on a dog, with pointy teeth, and it can take a sensitive, artistic girl and throw her off.

She was very edgy all week. We tried everything. Talked to her endlessly. I predict she will cry hard at Beaches, or her generations version. I was on edge too. I plug in at work most of the time. I was 100% l last week. We all have problems to deal with, but who wants to hear griping about a misplaced basket when your child is suffering?

On Tuesday I went in hard with talking. Perhaps I should’ve done voices for her, at least I’d have had something. I know one thing now, stories of my difficulties with fear didn’t engender a sense of camaraderie , a verbal flask if you will, no, it produced more terror. Casey at Bat, my Buffalo Bills losing four straight Super Bowls, no my failure trumped them. But like those Bills and Chumbawamba I get up again…

Wednesday was an early night. She was still extremely sensitive. We hugged her, kissed her, tried to assure her. I shook my fist at the production team for that commercial and the show itself, Dog with a Blog. My shaking skills are such I have great endurance from years
of practice. I decided to try and appeal to her favorite things.

A Monster High doll. Bribery, perhaps, but I was trying to jump start my child. This was getting scary. So after work on Thursday I visited Target. I acquired the daughter of the gargoyle (from the Scaris line) Surely this will get my peanut on track. Eh, she didn’t open the doll until Friday, but she opened up that  evening after a bath and a few summit talks- an agreement to wake up positive. The kicker, after four days Tom fucking Bergeron and America’s Funniest Home Videos brought a smile, to a giggle, to a laugh. Eh, a thank you to Tom and AFV. She glanced at me, asked why I wasn’t watching the show. Oh I was watching the show, the shine of her eyes, the love in her laugh, my soul was smiling and my heart was full.

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Posted by on 03/26/2013 in Dirt


Game of Thrones- alt realm coming to TV

At a recent press event (maybe the premiere?) GRRM , series creator George RR Martin, let slip that a character that is still alive in the books will meet their end this season. It took me back to the late summer early autumn of 1986. A teaser at the back of X-Men #210 said three X-Men will fall. My brother, our friend and neighbor Mark and perhaps others were having one of the final pool days of the year and we were talking about it. I SAID “I hope Kurt, Colossus and Kitty aren’t the three!” That’s right nerd precog at times. Sure the show has already departed from the source material a few times, but this is new ground. I read the comments from GRRM and I had deep concern for a favorite and almost hoped one of my most reviled was the target the statement alluded to- I speak of Brienne of Tarth and the artist currently known as Theon Greyjoy. Brienne is near or at the top of my favorite characters, depending on the day. I really enjoy Jaime as well, once his POV entered the story. Did he do some distasteful things- no doubt. I think his journey is too informed by Brienne, but I guess that could be wishful thinking on my part. No matter how well they craft her on TV I am guessing she will be cut at some point before her time in book Westeros. Theon. Please let it be Theon. Sure he suffers as he should, but he is just detestable. Other not so instant thought candidates- Sansa, Arya (I pray to the heart tree no), Bran and perhaps Gendry.

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Posted by on 03/23/2013 in Dirt


The masochistic nature of capsaicin cream

I’ve been dealing with some interesting nerve pain for over a year. Tests have been done, a couple therapies engaged and nothing in the way of consistent relief has been found. Treatment is limited because NSAIDS do not touch the pain. Tylenol is like shooting a BB at steel. Web searches were launched. Many sites were viewed. Out of all the over the counter available products I had tried all but one- capsaicin cream.

The first time I slathered the cream on I was underwhelmed. Then 15 minutes passed and I recognized this solution is barbaric bait and switch of discomfort. Muted, though not gone is the gnawing, radiating pins and needles pain, replaced by a heat that rivals that which Hell Spawns are made. High Potency says the tube… it is not an ample enough warning. I am surprised it doesn’t say consult your barber instead of physician.

That being said it is in the limited arsenal, reserved for the worst of the worst days. It is effective in these small doses, but I can’t imagine using it on a regular basis. I am looking into application via ingestion. Some say it can help via hot sauce or other products spiced by peppers that contain capsaicin. Thankfully spicy food is agreeable with me, though I need to upgrade my arsenal. Franks Red Hot doesn’t bring enough scovilles.

Is it done

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Posted by on 03/13/2013 in Dirt


Fitzmagic Era ends, Buddy era on its last legs

Buddy Nix had a phone call recorded today. During the call it became apparent that Ryan Fitzpatrick had an uphill battle to stay the starting quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. He would also have to drastically restructure his current contract just to stay on the team. By 4 PM the Bills released Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Fitz era at QB was set up to be a positive- good guy who has shown some promise but never handed the reigns to lead the Bills, what is more Buffalo than that? And how can you get worse than Captain Checkdown, master of the five yard pass, leader of the Council of Trent?

It started very well. Fitzmagic had us believing, even while losing often in 2010. Stevie and Fitz developed chemistry as the season progressed and close loses to Baltimore, KC and Chicago were better efforts than Bills fans had seen strung together in years. A Stevie Johnson drop kept the Bills from taking out the eventual Super Bowl loser, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Things were looking up for the Bills, then October 28th 2011 pen, paper and expectations rewrote everything.

Fitzmagic began to dwindle shorty after his big 6 year 59 million dollar deal was signed. I don’t believe Fitz ever gave less than everything he had every Sunday, but the pressure of living up to his deal appeared to make him press. He went from slinging the ball like a Vegas magician does misdirection to fumbling the dove in his pocket like a carney hack. By the 2012 season his timing with Stevie was shot and he started to behave Trentonian. That is right, like the two Darrens on Bewitched the Bills had two Captain Checkdowns. To make matters worse the offense labored on his distressed shoulders while CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson played part time roles, CJ while averaging over 6.5 yards a carry. The third best player in the offensive backfield was the focus.

Fitz is the most loveable of the post Jim Kelly Bills quarterbacks. He was the most easy to root for and came across as one of the most genuine Bills I have ever cheered for. At this point we need so much more than that. Like every QB since Kelly he failed at leading us to a playoff victory… only one has even taken us there since.  Fitzmagic was like smoke and mirrors on the score board and the standings. It wasn’t enough in the end.

Tarvaris Jackson, could be the answer. 1st or 2nd rounder to groom? I hope so. Maybe a flier on one in the fifth or sixth round too. The team has many needs, but the main one is under center.

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Posted by on 03/12/2013 in Gamehenge


A Few Shades of Meh

From the first time I heard  the Dinosaur Jr. album Where You Been in the mid- 90s I was hooked, on the album. Green Mind, on the shelf. Without A Sound? I am without a good excuse for not listening more. Almost two decades of listening to one album while eschewing all else Dinosaur Jr. Thankfully two years ago I decided to look at under considered music that I already owned. Since the time I had the dust rubbed out of my ears I have purchased six Dinosaur Jr./J.Mascis albums and a pair of singles. None have disappointed and more than a few songs have enchanted me.

Mascis has a vocal quality that shines as an instrument whether it be a kick up of the warble, employing falsetto or a quasi mumble of truth and dejection. There is a sardonic nature to many of his songs. On Goin’ Home he growls to nice mellow background,with flourishes of acoustic guitar and some organ. Not The Same has to be the most morose song employing falsetto I have ever heard, yet so beautiful. Outta Hand is stunning instrumentally and heart wrenching vocally, until finishing with an air of resignation. Ocean In The Way has the aural quality of, well an ocean. The pace of the song takes on the air of a wave from formation to crescendo.

I get caught up in a song, even album for stretches. My current favorite Dino/J music is off the 2011 release Several Shades of Why. The title track is stunning and while live performances of Several Shades of Why are good, none match the album versions depth. The violin adds so muchto the song they feel too part of the song to be left absent. Pay the .99 to purchase the song via your favorite digital music purveyor. Not Enough has a happy beat to a heavy theme. It hits me the same place Half A World Away by R.E.M. does.

Deeper in the album now I find every song has at least a few nuggets I marvel at and most have made their way into my daily stock pot of musicIs It Done breaks at the halfway point and J. lays himself bear only to then swaddle himself in a fuzzy electric blanket. It is a song that shines with its play between uncomfortable vent and the security of plugging in.

J and I agree there.

And so on…

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Posted by on 03/11/2013 in Dirt