30 September 2008

Tuesday's Fortune: 30 September 2008

MEAL: 1 order (8) Crab Rangoon + 1 small order Chicken Lo Mein = $6.80 + $1.20 tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

27 September 2008

What We've Got Here Is A Failure To Live Forever

Legendary screen actor Paul Newman died yesterday at the age of 83 after a long bout with cancer.

Now, you might think the title of this post is a bit crass, and even this beefcake picture I've chosen to include is perhaps not the most dignified, but I assure you, I've only got the upmost respect for Mr. Newman.

My mom, may she rest in peace, adored Paul Newman all her life, and when we see this picture of an insanely handsome man, it's easy to understand why. I think we tend to forget that celebrities get old like everyone else, and maybe we tend to forget that once upon a time, they were the Ashton Kutchers and Zac Efrons of their generation. Except that Newman was a sublime and award-winning actor.

But dammit if Newman didn't often play against his good looks, preferring to take on the roles of questionable characters and lowlifes when he very well could have taken the easy way out with those looks and become nothing more than another handsome leading man in romances and romantic comedies. No, instead he carved out a stellar career in any number of bonafide classics, along the way racking up an impressive 10 Academy Award nominations...My personal favorite would be Cool Hand Luke, in which he played the titular character, a prison inmate who bucks the warden's heavy-handed oppression, which includes in one unforgettable scene, the eating of 50 hard-boiled eggs...

Of course, we can't discuss Paul Newman without mentioning his food company, Newman's Own, which has donated all of it's $175 million (so far) profits to charity over the years. It is rare for anyone to excel in ONE field of endeavor in our lives, but Newman did it twice.

Then again, he also had a great career as a part-owner of a auto-racing team, not to mention being married to Joanne Woodward for 50 years, which is an extreme anomaly in Hollywood, so it would appear just about everything he touched was golden...

Yeah, all in all, my mom, and so many more women of her generation, had exceedingly great taste when it came to Paul Newman...May he rest in peace...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

26 September 2008

Sideways Killmen's Dazzling Maneuver

St. Louis Math Rock pioneers, Dazzling Killmen, made this promotional video for "Medicine Me" back in those hazy Grunge days of 1993...

Math Rock...huh...

The alternative to Seattle, I suppose...Rising outta the midwest and surrounding areas...Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Louisville...Just as much flannel and hair, but 75% more drumming flair...Trickier rhythms, weirder chords...Less screaming and moaning, literally and figuratively, and not as many drugs getting in the way...

Basically, a bunch of white guys with the typical heavy rock gear, approximating Jazz for a select few aging and slightly delusional Indie Rock bon vivants and zine critics...

Guys like me who maybe got bored with their Jethro Tull records, and were bitter and spiteful towards nearly every last fucking band outta the Pacific Northwest circa 1993 because they were getting the shitty major label contracts that me and my friends had dreamed about since puberty...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

Sideways Bow Sighting Maneuver 101

Now, I suppose I should do a search for instructional videos RE: the skinning and gutting of furry animals.

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , ,

Extreme Nostalgia Invasion

Working for a superhuge multi-national conglomeration that makes and sells a seemingly infinite variety of goods and services, including gaming systems, has it's advantages. For example, a free PSP system, and free UMD games from time to time...HOTCHA!

So, yeah, recently, I got my dirty mitts on this game, Space Invaders Extreme, and as someone who literally came of age at video arcades (The Electric Connection!), I was definitely excited to give this game a whirl...I dropped many a quarters into the original Space Invaders arcade game, and I could hang with just about every other dude in the Electric Connection, except for those two or three that made Space Invaders their game...

If I had a game, and I'm not sure if I did, because I jumped around from machine to machine, including extreme amounts of time at the Foosball table, I'd hafta say my game was Galaga...

Now, Galaga was just a more colorful and sophisticated version of Space Invaders, and when you get right down to it, this new 30th Anniversary Edition of the original Space Invaders looks and plays more like a high-tech version of Galaga than it's actual namesake...

Which isn't a bad thing, really...Space Invaders Extreme is brash and colorful and loud and fast and absolutely 100% non-stop, which means ya gotta hit pause with some regularity in order to give yr eyeballs some rest...

Which isn't to say this game doesn't translate to the relative small PSP screen, because it actually looks phenomenal, and plays well...No, believe me, it's the pace and and the colors the graphics that will fuck you up...

If you enlarge this pic, it's about actual-size...Now imagine solid Techno Music blazing away, while invaders and UFOs of all shapes and sizes and colors attack and attack and attack, unrelentingly...Endlessly...

Anyways, if you happen to have a PSP, or Nintendo DS, this modern remake of a classic and simple gaming concept (move Left and Right + Fire) is a fun and frantic diversion, and if yr as old as me, there's that added enforced nostalgia...Even a little goes a long way...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

25 September 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 86

Dazzling Killmen: Face Of Collapse: "In The Face Of Collapse" [mp3]

As I've been telling my coworkers lately, I'm glad that my family had a sizable vegetable garden when I was a kid, and I'm really glad that I was raised to hunt and fish, and I'm super glad that I learned all sorts of survival skills in the Boy Scouts...And I'm also grateful that my grandpa Frank told me stories about the Great Depression (about his American history in general), because I'm not sure how bad this economic meltdown is gonna get in the next few weeks and months and years, but I won't be surprised in the least if it all goes completely to hell, and we all are forced to hunt and gather to get by...We all laughed about Sarah Palin being able to field dress a moose just a month ago, and here we are...Who's laughing now? Who's gonna be laughing last?
I'm exaggerating, of course, but then again, one only needs to Wiki "the Long Depression" and "the Great Depression" to get a flavor of the possible...
I think alot of us are currently in a fog regarding all that serious shit that's going down on Wall Street, and most of us are telling ourselves it can't happen here, but as those two links so clearly tell us, it certainly can happen here, and really, it's going to happen from time to time, and now's as good a time as any...
In fact, today's circumstances are alot like the circumstances of The Long Depression. Replace the overbuilding of railroads with the overbuilding of new homes, and the stories are just about the same...Crazy speculation by the big banks, plenty of fraud to go around, and a very select few, the "robber barons", those captains of industry, get crazy fucking rich, live like royalty, and generally rub it in everybody else's faces...In the midst of 24 years of economic turmoil among the working classes, this was "the gilded age", as Mark Twain called it, and doesn't it all look shiny and familiar?
It can happen here. It has happened here. It's gonna happen here, sooner or later. I don't know about you, but I'm gonna sight my compound bow this weekend, after the Packers game...
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Another Moment With Chuck & Sheila

24 September 2008

Sideways Sunsets

Four versions of "Waterloo Sunset" here, and believe me, I could post a whole bunch more, which speaks to this whole Ray Davies godhead thing I've been on this week...Anyways, that first video above is The Kinks themselves, natch...Next, we've got Ray Davies with Damon Albarn of Blur...As an added bonus, and quick verse and chorus of Blur's "Parklife" thrown in for good measure...

Here we have Elliot Smith...A very heartfelt and tender version, if a spotty recording...RIP, Elliot...

And finally, we have a band called Hai Lua, performing the song live all the way on the other side of the world...Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam...A great song will travel the world, and you know what? I think I might like this version best of all...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Paranoia Mix

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

23 September 2008

ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Three

Despite the victory, this week's fantasy football action was pretty damn boring. Our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS and their opponent, APPLESAUCE, underperformed at seemingly every position...Plus, Chris Cooley didn't accidentally post any pictures of his sausage on his blog, and James Farrior didn't give the finger to the Eagles' fans, though he probably should have flipped one to the Steelers' offensive line, who suck so bad right now that they couldn't keep my old high school's defense from running roughshod all over poor Ben Roethlisberger's ass...


Anyways...Jay "Fucking Cuts" Cutler fell back to earth this week, which means he still put up damn good numbers. It would appear Denver wants to play high-scoring longball this year, and that's perfectly fine with me. "Cuts" is golden right now. "Cuts" is also a lame nickname, innit?

Terrell Owens...Sigh...In a perfect world, TO woulda had a huge game in a losing effort to my beloved GREEN BAY PACKERS...Instead, Charles Woodson shut down TO almost completely...If the ROUGH RYDERS would have lost this week, I'd be pissed at Terrell right now, but we won, so I won't worry for at least another week...If he has another subpar performance against the Redskins next Sunday, then I'll get pissed and weepy...

Speaking of the Packers, WR Greg Jennings continues to rack up the yardage, but has yet to score a touchdown...I predict he'll score twice next week in Tampa Bay...

Frank Gore had a damn fine game against the inept Detroit Lions, leading our beloved ROUGH RYDERS in scoring this week, with an impressive 53.2 FP...Right now, Gore may very well be the most dependable RB in the NFL, and in Mike Martz's potent offense, Gore can only get better...

McFadden? Stewart? Stewart? McFadden? At this point, I can pretty much flip-flop these two rookie RBs, as they're both sharing carries on their respective teams...Darren McFadden gets more carries and yardage, but Jonathan Stewart gets it at the goal line, and he's returning kicks...Stewart is probably the smarter choice at the moment, but McFadden is the one who is more likely to break out for a huge game, like he did in Week Two, when I had him on the bench...

Defensively, nothing out of the ordinary...James Harrison appears to either suck or shine, and this week, he sucked. Quentin Jammer was a good pick-up, as he appears to be a quick DB with a good nose for the ball...Marcus Trufant continues to disappoint...So does Nick Barnett...My defensive players are certainly something I'm going to be looking closely at through this BYE week part of the season...It would appear I'm "halfway there" right now, but I definitely gotta find a couple of diamonds in the free agency pool, because the difference could be an extra 10+ points a week, and every point counts in a high-scoring league like the FICL...

Anyways, our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS embarrassed APPLESAUCE this week by a score of 235.39 to 173.34, and it was never even close...

Onward, to Week Four and the undefeated BLACKANDBLUE team...I'm feeling pretty good right now about this matchup...BLACKANDBLUE is going dowwwwwwwn!

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday's Fortune: 23 September 2008

MEAL: 2 Roast Pork Egg Rolls + 1 small order Chicken Lo Mein = $6.75 + $1.25 tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

20 September 2008

Nearly Broke My Sideways Maneuver

M-A-N-E-U-V-E-R. Sideways maneuver.

Lola versus Powerman. See previous.

Greatest songwriter off all time? Maybe...All I know is that I've heard this song a thousand times, and I might hear it another thousand times, and I'll sing along to the end every single time.

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

19 September 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 85

The Kinks: Lola Versus Powerman & The Moneygoround: "Powerman" [mp3]

I still remember that sunny summer afternoon in 1995, when Geoff, the manager of Atomic Records, over on the fashionable east side of Milwaukee, pulled a handgun on me as I inspected the import CDs in the glass case/counter.

"The cash register's already yours," I said with a cracked voice, but Geoff barked back, "Who's the greatest songwriter of all time?"


"Tell me who the greatest songwriter of all time is, right now, or I'm gonna empty this thing in your face."

"Jesus, Geoff, put that fucking thing away."

"I'm not joking, Hank. It's quite simple - I've got a gun to your head, and I'm asking you to name the greatest songwriter of all time. Just answer the fucking question."

I sighed heavily, and for dramatic effect...

"Alright, I'll say Mozart is the greatest songwriter of all time."

"Wrong!" Geoff screamed, "Try again."

I considered The Ramones t-shirt he was wearing. I don't think Geoff likes The Ramones. In fact, I think he wears the shirt as some sort of ironic "punk" statement. Irony sucks, and Geoff still has that gun pointed at my head. Maybe if I stall long enough, somebody's bound to come bounding through that heavier-than-fucking heavy door, and that bell is gonna ring and wake Geoff from this insanity, and either this scene is gonna come to and end with a whimper, or we're all gonna go down together in a bloody hail of bullets. Well, six bullets at most, I suppose, but then again, I have no idea what he has in his pockets. He probably has some cocaine in one of his pockets. I'm pretty sure Geoff likes cocaine. Man, managing a small but legendary indie record store must pay pretty fucking well if he can afford coke...I can't afford coke...I can't even afford these fucking Fugazi bootlegs...Who fucking charges $18 for a fucking Fugazi CD? Who fucking pays $18 for a fucking Fugazi CD? I betcha $14 of that goes straight up Geoff's nose...The Ramones...Who the fuck does he think he's fooling?

"Quit stalling, Hank...And don't give me another bullshit answer like 'Mozart'. Let's keep this in the 20th century, shall we?"

"Irving Berlin."

This answer pissed off Geoff so much that he laughed.

"You've got to be shitting me."

"Well, sorta, but maybe not...I dunno...The dude wrote thousands of songs, and dozens of 'em have become standards. White Christmas. God Bless America. Puttin' On The Ritz..."

"Well, that's only three, and the answer is wrong anyways."

"This is ridiculous, Geoff. Alright. You're favorite band is Depeche Mode, so I'll say, whatshisname...Martin Gore."

"Good answer, but that's just pandering. Martin Gore doesn't count. C'mon, one more time - Who is the greatest songwriter of all time?"

What a bullshit question, I thought to myself, or possibly out loud. Completely subjective, but Geoff expects some sort of absolute truth. Greatest songwriter of all time? Lennon and McCarthy? Jagger and Richards? Bob Dylan? Tom Waits? That guy from Abba? Elvis Costello? Robyn Hitchcock? The boys from REM? Paul Westerberg?

"Me and the gun are waiting, Hank."

Finally, I blurted out "Ray Davies."

"Ray Davies?"

"Yes, Ray Davies."

Geoff stood there motionless, staring at the wall of show flyers behind me, for what seemed like an eternity but probably just fourteen seconds. On that sunny summer afternoon I couldn't fucking believe that I was the only hipster doofus on the fashionable east side of Milwaukee that just wanted to flip through NEW RELEASES and talk trash with whichever hipster doofus was working the counter that afternoon, which just happened to be store manager Geoff that day, who still had that fucking gun pointed straight at my noodle.

"Ray Davies, huh?"


"Meh, good enough for me."

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Meanwhile, In Brussels...

Big ups to Liberal Catholicism, I say...

Yeah, you Benelux countries are alright...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , , ,

17 September 2008

A Word With Moshammer's Ghost


Function: noun

Etymology: Mexican Spanish, from Nahuatl āhuacamōlli, from āhuacatl avocado + mōlli sauce

Date: 1920

1: pureed or mashed avocado seasoned with condiments, sometimes with magickal, mystical qualities, holy guacamole

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week Two

Jay "Fucking Cuts" Cutler!!!
Cuts Cutler!!
76.60 FP!!!!!
Alright, enough exclamations...Not so much color...
The dude lit it up at home against the supposedly vaunted San Diego Chargers defense, and he got some super fucking help from referee Ed Hochuli, who fucked up a crucial call late in the 4th quarter when Cuts fumbled...Cuts went on to throw a touchdown, and then throw another for a 2 point conversion, and the Broncos surprised and sickened the Chargers...So big ups to Ed Hochuli, for fucking up the call in favor of our beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS, but more importantly, because he manned up and admitted the mistake...He's a great and solid NFL referee, and while some sort of penalty might be called for, we all gotta forgive and forget...Well, all of us except the Chargers and their fans...
So, Jay Fucking Cuts Cutler made all the difference this week, making our victory over the formidable and historic NestOfDeath much more impressive than it actually looks...
I gotta note, on NestOfDeath's side, Anquan Boldin lit it up in the Arizona desert for 38 FP, and you certainly don't remember, but I do...I remember how Fucking Anquan lit it up for 41.2 FP in last year's championship game, which was a huge reason why I lost that game to Just Another Team...Oh, I remember, I've got the TAG to prove it...I've got the silver trophy, Thee Fractioneer's got the gold...Bitterness? Oh yeah...I see anything Arizona-related on the opponent's team, and I get a bit pissed and a little nervous...One of these years, before it's too late, I oughta draft Larry Fitzgerald or Anquan Boldin...
Fuckin' Anquan!
Otherwise, everyone on the offensive side of our beloved ROUGH RYDERS exceeded the projections of the shady Yahoo! oracles...
TE notes...While I pulled a genius move by starting Jay Cuts Cutler this week and from now on (15th round pick, bitches!), I pulled a potential boner by cutting Cuts' best friend and TE Tony Scheffler, and picking up Chris Cooley off the free agency meat market...
Speaking of Chris Cooley and meat, did you see that pic of the tip of his sausage that he mistakenly posted on his blog? Well, here it is anyway... Since I gave up on Ocho-Cinco this year, I guess Chris Cooley's sausage will have to do in terms of unexpected hijinx...On the other hand, I find this image much more disturbing...

The jokes just kinda write themselves...I'm gonna leave 'em alone...

Anyways, on the defensive side of things, there were some disappointments...Nick Barnett was quiet all afternoon against Detroit, racking up a pathetic 1.5 FP, but in a cunning move, NestOfDeath had picked up the Packers' other LB, AJ Hawk, and he had a damn fine game...

Atari Bigby fucked something up during the game, although the Packers are saying it was "cramping"...Either way, he had one sad, sad tackle before leaving the game...Sadly, I may be dropping him next week, although the cunning NestOfDeath has just picked up Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, who I had been eyeing...

Elsewhere, Marcus Trufant broke a bone in his hand in practice yesterday, James Harrison came crashing back to earth and mediocrity, and James Farrior fucked up his back in Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns, and is listed as probably next week...On the bright side, he did give the finger to the Cleveland fans...Decisions, decisions...

Another decision, perhaps not too difficult...Jonathan Stewart has played well and put up respectable fantasy points so far, but Oakland's Justin Fargas fucked up his groin in last Sunday's game, and it looks like Darren McFadden will get the start, if not most of the load, this coming Sunday at Buffalo, and that's potential dynamite because McFadden exploded this week for 164 yards on 21 carries, plus a touchdown, racking up 46.30 FP while sitting on my bench...

It's a damn good thing I didn't need his FP to win this week's matchup...

The beloved WINONA ROUGH RYDERS are now 1-1...

Onward to Week Three, and a team called applesauce...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

Don't Wanna Know If You Are Green Day

Green Day have had their moments, but I can't say that I was ever a very big fan...And considering how I feel about concept albums, you might think I'd at least like their American Idiot album, but I found it kinda trite...Anyways, they always had a certain melodicism to 'em, and a certain tone that makes this Husker Du cover sound about right...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

16 September 2008

Don't Want To Know If You Are A Sideways Maneuver

Nothing much to say here except I always thought bassist Gil Norton rocked one of the finest moustaches in rock history, and did it with furious style.

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday's Fortune: 16 September 2008

MEAL: 1 order (4) chicken wings + 1 small order Curried Chicken & Onion = $7.05 + .95c tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

14 September 2008

Ninja Cat Filler

Random websurfing led me to this...Believe me, please, I have never done a YouTube search for "stealth cat action" or "ninja pussy"...If you've ever owned a cat, or have spent any amount of time playing peek-a-boo with one, then this video is nothing new...

Hines Ward!

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , ,

12 September 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 84

Husker Du: Zen Arcade: "What's Going On" [mp3]

Ahhh, Zen Arcade...Back in the freshman dorms at UW, the opening drumroll of the opening song on this album ("Something I Learned Today") was enough to send my roommate, Saint Jim, running from our dormroom in fear and loathing...He hated Husker Du, and as much as I loved 'em, I positively adored them because they helped me get our room to myself pretty much whenever I wanted...That's something I learned within the first week or two of school that year, and the knowledge served me well...It's not that I hated Saint Jim, I actually loved the guy and we got along pretty damn well, but when yr living on a dorm floor with 63 other people, and going to freshman lectures with 600 students in those intro classes, and working in a school cafeteria with 100 others at any given time, and drinking in overcrowded bars on State Street, one will do what one can to get some peace and quiet...

Of course, there will be balance in the universe, and Saint Jim only had to slip Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends album on the turntable to get me running from the room with a scream, so it all worked out in the end...

Anyways, I always loved this song, "What's Going On" more than any other tune on Zen Arcade because it marked the turning point in the story Husker Du was telling on this concept album about a teenaged boy who runs away from his fucked up home only to realize that the real world outside his home is even more fucked up...Harsh lessons for the protagonist, and fertile fodder for an 18 year old like myself, moving away from home for the first time, nevermind that my parents were pretty fucking cool, and I never had any complaints or misgivings about my childhood. Like the protagonist, I did learn quickly that the world can oftentimes be an extremely cruel place, littered with damaged and damaging people...Cynicism's gotta start somewhere, right?

The song itself is brilliant in my mind because the sloppiness of the playing itself (trust me, these guys are hella better musicians than this song reflects) ably represents the protagonist's mental breakdown, and the doubts and cynicism that have begun flooding his mind...The kid's having a fucking breakdown, and dammit if the song isn't falling apart as well...Stuttering drums, piano vamps cluttering the space, gang vocals that aren't very "tight", shambolic guitar soloing, a false ending...It's all here, and it's all great stuff, from a great band, on one of the very finest rock'n'roll albums ever made...A Punk masterpiece that totally redefined what hardcore could be...Between this and Minutemen's Double Nickels On The Dime, Punk would never quite be the same again...A MUST!

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

Some Random Thoughts About Sarah Palin

1) When Sarah Palin said at her church a couple years ago that the war in Iraq was "a task from God", did she not know that the Christian God and the Muslim God is the exact same God? Taking this further, it would seem that Muslim fundamentalists who wish to see Israel and the Jewish people wiped from the earth do not realize that their Allah and the Hebrew God are one in the same as well? If there really is a God that actually pits different groups of believers against each other, that's not a God I want anything to do with...My only point here is that legitimate spirituality has been bastardized, if not outright destroyed, by organized religion, politics, and basic human ignorance. My conclusion here is that Sarah Palin's own spirituality is malformed and lacking in any sort of depth or nuance, just like most fundamentalists of any religion.

2) Hunting wolves from an airplane is not hunting. It's akin to the type of quail hunting Dick Cheney was doing when he shot Harry Whittington in the face, wherein a covey of quail are released from a cage very near the hunter, and a successful kill is all but guaranteed. Let me put this another way, you've heard the expression "shooting fish in a barrel"? Well, that's exactly what shooting wolves (or any animal) from an airplane is...Now, I grew up in a family that hunts, namely whitetail dear with bow and arrow, and small game with small-calibre rifles, and all I can say is the kind of wolf hunting that Sarah Palin is proposing is not only morally questionable, but it's simply fucking lame. There is no "sport" to the endeavor. In other words, the animals don't stand a fucking chance. Now, you might take issue with any sort of hunting, for any sort of reason ("won't somebody think of the animals"), but I was raised and taught to have respect for the animals I was hunting, and part of that is to give the animal a sporting chance, so to speak. The kind of hunting that Palin apparently does, and Dick Cheney certainly does, is lazy, and speaks volumes to their character as human beings. They can't be bothered to actually work for their kill. The ends justify the means in these scenarios. They don't care how the animal was hunted, just that it's carcass is now field-dressed and draped across the hood of the armored Secret Service SUV.

3) While it's true that Pit Bull breeds account for approximately a third of all fatal dog attacks in the United States (according to the CDC), I believe that most of our beliefs about the viciousness of Pit Bull breeds arise from media hype and bad publicity as much as anything else. We are talking here about a dog that is widely bred for illegal dog-fighting, and since this is the case, it shouldn't be surprising that Pit Bulls are responsible for so many fatal (and non-fatal) attacks. The truth is that Pit Bulls were first bred for dog fighting not only because of their tenacity and physical strength, but because they show a propensity to NOT attack their owners, nor Pit Bulls of the opposite sex. If you'll allow me to be literal and humorless here, when Sarah Palin joked that the difference between hockey moms and pit bulls is lipstick, what she is in essence saying (even though I know the joke isn't meant in this way) is that she is willing to viciously attack "the enemy" (in this case Democrats and Liberalism) while remaining completely faithful to her own handlers (in this case Republicans and Conservatism, specifically John McCain and his campaign). Thus Sarah Palin, characterizing herself as a Pit Bull, is willing to play hardcore partisan politics, which stands in stark contrast to one of McCain's stronger messages on the campaign trail, that the "change" he seeks in Washington is one of cooperation and non-partisanship between Democrats and Republicans. In this light, it would seem to me that one of the major reasons McCain chose Palin as his VP running mate is so that she can do the "dirty work" of being his attack dog, so that McCain himself can appear to remain above the fray of attack politics and the ongoing partisanship that has so deeply polarized not only our national politics, but the American populace in general. Of course, this strategy is nothing new in Presidential politics (and might even be one of the reasons Obama selected Biden), and so one can only conclude that not only is McCain not an agent of fundamental change in the way politics is played in Washington, but that he and Palin represent nothing but more of the same. Maverick, indeed.

4) And what about this whole "hockey mom" thing? It's a variant of "soccer mom", obviously, and it connotes a middle-class white woman, usually married, who literally drives her children to assorted activities because she values her children and family above all else in her life. The term has been used by female politicians over the past decade or so to suggest that they are just like the average woman voter. In the case of Sarah Palin, or any other female politician who uses the term, I must call "bullshit". Anyone who aspires and attains the office of Governor of a state simply cannot value her children above her own political ambitions. If that were the case, Palin would not have actively sought a public office that is exceedingly time-consuming, that has undoubtedly kept her away from her family far more than most other jobs. In fairness, any politician, male or female, who's office is that "important", spends an inordinate amount of time away from family. They may value their family, but by the very nature of the political world, they can never value that family more than their own ambitions and power. Otherwise they'd never get into politics to begin with, but would hold a "normal" job that brings them home to that family at the end of each and every day. Sure, plenty of politicians have risen from a "normal" life and lifestyle, but they left that life behind in pursuit of their ambitions. When a politician tells us he or she is just like us, don't fucking believe it for a second. The rarified air of state and national politics does not reflect the reality of "normal" life in any way, shape or form. If Sarah Palin becomes our Vice President, how much actual time do you think she is actually going to spend with her children, whether she wants to or not? How much time (nevermind "quality time") do you think Bill Clinton spent with daughter Chelsea during his 8 years in the White House?

5) Back to religion and faith...While Sarah Palin was born Catholic, her family joined the Pentecostal Church when she was four years old. Two things to consider regarding the Pentecostal Church - many adherents believe and practice "speaking in tongues", which is a strange phenomenon that has more in common with snake-oil salesmen and vaudeville acts than actual spirituality (in my opinion) and secondly, and more importantly, Pentecostals believe that one cannot enter heaven based on good deeds alone, but must accept Jesus Christ as their savior. I have always found this brand of Christianity troubling, because to me it exemplifies a spirituality that has no roots in community or morality. If one can attain salvation through mere faith, one is not compelled to adhere to any sort of morality. In other words, one can be an asshole in their everyday life, treating others like shit, and still go to heaven. To me, this is the antithesis of Christ's core teachings, which include the idea of caring for the poor, the hungry, the meek, and those people unfairly persecuted in life. In other words, at the core of Sarah Palin's religious beliefs, one is not compelled or required to care about, or care for, those who need help the most. In general, Christian fundamentalism, as it is practiced in the United States, adheres to this belief in faith over good deeds. If you believe, as I do, that too many Christians are not very Christian in their behavior and beliefs, it is because they simply do not believe they need to be good or moral, to find salvation. This is a basic tenet of the religious right, and is a central reason why the Republican Party, which has been strong-armed by the religious right for the past 20-30 years, is not the party of the "common man". They simply don't give a shit. It's akin to saying, "I got my salvation, you get yours." They are not their brother's keeper, and as such, will never help to make America a better place. Anybody remember Hurricane Katrina and the plight of those stranded in New Orleans? That situation was as sad and dire as it was because of beliefs such as these. This is not to say that all fundamentalists do not practice good deeds, but that their core belief absolves them of that practice, and far too many take advantage of the loophole, so to speak.


Barack Obama and Joe Biden may very well not be the answer to our current woes in this country, but they're a decidedly better option than John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

11 September 2008

ROUGH RYDERS 2008: Week One

Well, babycakes, here we are - Week One of the 2008 NFL season, and therefore, Week One of exciting WINONA ROUGH RYDERS fantasy football action...

And yeah, there was some action, although I am sad to report that our beloved ROUGH RYDERS came up 3.83 FP short, thus losing our first game of the season...On the bright side, we exceeded projections, as projected by the shadowy peeps working at Yahoo!, while our opponents, Scarecrows, didn't quite meet their expectations...

3.83 FP...That's one more looong field goal from Stephen Gostkowski, but then again, the Patriots all but fell apart after Tom Brady went down with a season-ending knee injury...On a sidenote to this, I've got Randy Moss on my other fantasy team, The SUPER DOOM UNIT, and he didn't do anything of note after Brady went down either...

3.83 FP...That's just a couple more short-yardage catches from Marques Colston, except he fucked up his thumb at some point during that game, and now he's out for the next 6 weeks...That's a huge blow to my team, as he's a threat to go A-List legit this year, and my team is currently quite thin at wide receiver...In fact, my only backup is Anthony Gonzalez, the third or fourth option in the Colts' offense...I gotta make a decision here, whether to go fishin' for another receiver, or sacrifice one of my DBs...See, the thing is, we still have all the BYE weeks to navigate, and that doesn't leave much room for movement...

3.83 FP...That's a couple more completions and a couple more first downs for QB Ben Roethlisberger, but Pittsburgh and Fast Willie Parker (another member of The SUPER DOOM UNIT) had things very well under control, and Roethlisberger fucked up his shoulder a bit anyways, and only threw 14 passes the entire game, all of 'em in the first half, if I'm not mistaken...As you may remember, the Pittsburgh Steelers are my second favorite football team after the beloved GREEN BAY PACKERS, and as much as I like Big Ben, I've already decided I've gotta go with Jay Cutler as my starting QB until he proves me wrong...

3.83 FP...That's a couple more receptions from TE Owen Daniels...But the Houston Texans were going up against the Steelers DEF, so his underwhelming performance wasn't unexpected...Since I'm starting Jay Cutler next week, I might have to start Bronco TE Tony Scheffler as well....

3.83 FP...That's an aweful slim margin in a insanely high-scoring league like our FICL...The loss is bitter, of course, but for the most part, I was happy with my team's performance...I'm happy and I think I'm gonna be proud that I was able to snag RB Thomas Jones in the 8th round of the draft...All ten of us made a big mistake letting him last to the 73rd pick...As I think I mentioned in my draft notes, the additions of Alan Faneca and Brett Favre to the Jets' offense, is gonna help Jones running game open up and bounce back from his extremely disappointing 2007 season...Hold thumbs that he stays healthy, though it looks like I've got two capable backups in rookies Darren McFadden and Jonathan Stewart...

Finally, a big shout out to Steeler LB James Harrison, who put up a huge 16 FP, racking up 3 sacks, a forced fumble, 7 solo tackles and 2 assists...

Our beloved ROUGH RYDERS may have lost this week, but historically, we've lost more Week One games than we've won...Call it poor coaching...

Onward, to Week Two, and the formidable and historical NestOfDeath...No one gets out alive from that one...

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , ,

Sideways Shoot Shoot Maneuver

Well, I had a hell of a time finding a UFO video that actually had decent audio, which is actually a fairly common YouTube problem. It would seem there are a whole lot of people out there that are using video-editing software without really knowing what they're doing...Or, they're not cleaning up and encoding these videos at all before posting them, which is just as annoying to me, personally...Now, I realize that sometimes the source material is substandard to begin with, but that's still no excuse for complacency...

Whatever happened to trying?

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , ,

09 September 2008

The Frayed Ends Of $200 Socks

When I jokingly called Metallica "poseurs" to get a rise outta my buddies back in high school, I never realized how prophetic my meaningless criticism would become. What's next, pap photos of King Diamond exiting a Dolce & Gabbana in Milan?
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

Tuesday's Fortune: 09 September 2008

MEAL: 1 order (4) Curried Chicken Wings + 1 small order of Pork Lo Mein = $6.85 + $1.15 tip
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,

06 September 2008

Something 4 The Weekend # 83

UFO: Phenomenon: "Rock Bottom" [mp3]

So, I was at Best Buy earlier this week, on a futile search for a Pig Destroyer CD, when I noticed that the UFO bin was stocked full of their recently re-issued albums from their most creatively-fertile era, 1974-1979, when Michael Schenker was the lead guitarist.

This album, Phenomenon, is from 1974, and is Schenker's first with the group. He was only 17 at the time of the recording, and had already been a member of the Scorpions since the age of 14, when he made the move from Germany to the UK and joined UFO.

Now, I was a pretty big UFO fan at the age of 12 or so...Their biggest album, Lights Out, was my introduction to the band, and eventually, I accumulated all their albums featuring Michael Schenker, who I was amazed by because of his skill level at such a young age. I mean, he wrote and recorded this particular song, "Rock Bottom", when he was 16-17 years old. Talk about a phenomenon.

Otherwise, there isn't really much more to say except that UFO were definitely one of the most important links between "Hard Rock" and "Heavy Metal", and aside from a couple of hits here in the US, they never quite got their due, although they certainly enjoyed great success in their homeland. In a different world, they would already be in the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame, which doesn't really mean anything, except for me to say that they deserve far more acclaim than they've ever been credited with...Plus, I always thought Phil Mogg was a great singer.

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , ,

02 September 2008


So, I was drunk on the WBST airwaves a couple weekends ago, playing a load of Guided By Voices tunes and trying to keep my shit together...This month's EVERYTHINGATHON! is 60+ minutes of that debacle, nothing more, nothing less...
For those of you who might want to drink a bunch of Golden Showers as you listen to me drink a bunch of Golden Showers, the "corrected" recipe is as follows:
Place exactly FOUR ice cubes in a ROCKS glass.
Mix 2 shots of RUM, preferably DARK RUM,
1 shot of BANANA LIQUER,
and top off with 7-Up.
Yeah, nothing says UW is back in session more than getting completely hammered on a completely frivolous and stupid cocktail, while classic Lo-Fi Indie Rock blares in the background...
Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday's Fortune: 02 September 2008

MEAL: 2 Roast Pork Egg Rolls + 1 Small order of Pineapple Fried Rice = $6.45 + $1.55 tip

Hotcha! Hank

Labels: , ,