Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 24 - 30


New releases this week...
Toby Keith
Clancy's Tavern

This will be Toby Keith's 15th studio album. His first single off of this album, "Made In America," has reached number one on the country charts. This album was named after his grandmother bar in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Bottom line is that Toby Keith is one of the biggest stars in country music today and his albums always do very well. If you like his music, this is probably a safe purchase. 

Mylo Xyloto

This is the fifth studio album from Coldplay. This is one the most anticipated album releases of this fall. The first single, "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall," has already done very well. So far, this album has been met with favorable reviews. This has been described as a concept album. I personally have enjoyed their other releases and don't expect this to be any different. This is probably another safe purchase.

Kelly Clarkson

This will be the fifth album from American Idol winner, Kelly Clarkson. This album was supposed to be released in 2010 but was pushed back several times. Most people I speak to have a very polarized opinion of Kelly Clarkson. They either love the pop side of her or appreciate the darker, more recent material. Either way, she sings with feeling and typically writes about experience. This should be as good as her last album but we shall see. You may want to sample this one before you buy it.


The NBA Lockout
I am not going to take sides on this matter. I will only ask this.....Does anyone care that there may not be a NBA season? Most people will say no. College basketball grows increasingly more competitive and the tournament has been very surprising in recent years. I do care for the following reasons. Here are my problems with the current state of the NBA. First, the playoffs last year were incredible. They were competitive, close, unpredictable and worth watching. With no season, there will be nothing to switch back and forth with my hockey playoffs. Secondly, the NBA has perhaps the most to lose out of the big four sports. The NBA struggled to recover after last lockout and I imagine the same will happen when all is said and done. Also, the NBA has the greatest percentage of stars under 30 years old. Most of the talent in the league is young and have long careers ahead of them. The league will just lose a ton of revenue with this ordeal. I hope this ends soon.

The State of the NFL
With a shortened preseason, it holds true that the cream will rise to the top. I think most of us will be surprised at some of the records that teams around the NFL have. Here is my opinion on if these teams are legit or not.

Buffalo Bills (4-2) NOT
As much as this pains me to say, these guys are not legit. They are much improved from last year and do have some developing talent, but I feel they will get swallowed in the drive for the playoffs. I have to believe that the two wild cards will go to Pittsburgh/Baltimore and the Jets.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) NOT
This is one of the better stories of the year. Andy Dalton has come in and made Cincinnati forget about Carson Palmer very quickly. Experts felt that Dalton and Ponder were the most prepared to do well in the NFL. Dalton has proved it. In addition, this may be Marvin Lewis' best coaching job since he has been with the Bengals. I feel that the Bengals will be hurt by the fact that they are in a strong division. They will get beat up on by the Ravens and the Steelers.

Oakland Raiders (4-3) NOT
My opinion for this team only recently changed. I thought these guys had a real chance to win the division, but I think this chance went away with Jason Campbell's injury. The matter only gets worse. They traded away almost all of their draft picks for next year with an "all in" attitude to get Carson Palmer. He is definitely a better solution than Kyle Boller, but it will take too much time to adjust to playing again and learning a new offense.

San Francisco 49ers (5-1) LEGIT
This team has been on the rise and perhaps had only been missing strong quarterback play to become a contender. Well this year, Mr. 9 lives, Alex Smith, is playing some good ball. This team has assumed coach Harbaugh's "chip on the shoulder" attitude and is playing aggressive, mean, smart football. These guys are for real and have a strong chance to run away with this division.

Detroit Lions (5-2) LEGIT
This team has a ton of young talent with limitless possibilities. They are good and will contend. My problem is this....their division. They won't win their division and therefore need to battle for one of the wild card spots. With Chicago nipping at their heels, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia all contending, this is going to be a war down the stretch. I hope they can pull it off but I think they are still a year away from being a contender.

Washington Redskins (3-3) NOT
Any Bears fan knows the trials and tribulations of Rex Grossman. He can throw for 400 yds and 3 TD's one week and throw 5 picks the next. This won't suit the team and Shanahan won't stand for it. They have put John Beck on the battlefield the last couple of weeks with limited results. This team is mediocre anyway and are being helmed by two back-up quarterbacks. I think they benefited from a short preseason and had a quit sprint out the gate....unfortunately they have no stamina.

Lastly, I have to believe that the Eagles are going to get it together and contend, the Colts are a totally different team with Manning and the Panthers are going to be a team to fear, even at 2-5.


Forever Lazy
Has anyone seen the new infomercial sensation?....the Forever Lazy.....Well, it is kinda like a full-body Snuggie. It comes in three colors; pink, blue and gray and sells for about 30 bucks. Now before you say, WTF? I do have to point something out. The Forever Lazy comes with front and back flaps so you don't have to disrobe to do your business....I know...genius. This feature alone makes me at least a little bit more tolerant to a bad idea. Has anyone sat on a cold toilet seat and thought, hey, this experience would be much better with a blanket. For practical reasons, you can't cover yourself with a blanket while your on the toilet...there are far too many risks for droopy fabric. I by no means endorse a product like this, but I would be hypocritical not to admit that some features of this intrigue me. I could see myself lounging around with nothing on underneath this. I can't imagine this idea catching on but hey, I said that about the Snuggie. Enjoy the commercial!

80 Proof Gummies?
A new trend is sweeping the nation: alcohol infused gummy bears. Teens are apparently soaking their gummies in alcohol and then eating them at school. If your teen has been buying gummy bears or had a sudden spike in the interest of should be aware. Let's be honest, even if the school and parents find a way to prevent this from happening, kids are going to find a way to consume alcohol. I am just sensible enough to admit that kids are smarter than us. We are more wise, but they are more savvy and resourceful. They have access to any information they want at the touch of a button on the Internet.....we had to rely on our creepy uncle to teach us stuff like this. The best thing to do is talk to your kids and be a parent....just being there for them is half the battle.

Word of the Week
This week we add the word PORTFOLIO. This is just not a word you use in conversation. I know some jobs require you to develop or prepare one but in every other instance, this word is not OK to use.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

October 17 - 23

I am switching up my blog. I have been on hiatus for some time. I didn't really like the direction this site was going. I began to feel burdened to complete this weekly when I initially started it for fun. I decided to include some more ideas that I am familiar with. I hope you all enjoy, and as always, I welcome your input.


R.E.M. takes a rest after 30+ years:

 R.E.M. decided to call it quits after 30+ years of musical contribution. They released this statement on their website on September 21st, "To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening." They formed in Athens, Georgia as an integral member of the college rock scene. They should be appreciated for paving the way for the alternative and indie rock movements. I think you have to identify them as one of the best, consistent and influential American bands of all time. No doubt, many of you have an extensive R.E.M. play list. Most people know the words and always sing along whenever the songs come on. My only regret is that I got into R.E.M. a little too late. I missed most of their early, classic albums and have only enjoyed them in retrospect. Thanks for the music.....

New Releases

Jane's Addiction
The Great Escape Artist

This is the fourth studio album and the first in eight years by Jane's Addiction. This album has already produced two singles, the second of which is entitled, Irresistible Force. I absolutely love this song. I highly recommend checking it out. From what I understand, this is true Jane's Addiction sound with some modern influences from bands such as Radiohead and Muse. This was a strong effort from the band to put together a solid, memorable album. Perry Farrell, lead singer, stated that he wanted the record to "have a groove impact and hit you like an atom bomb. We've been doing that, so I feel like I'll die happy after this record." Check it out and let me know what you think.

Songs of the Ungrateful Living

I will be the first to admit that my input about this album is biased. I have been a huge Everlast fan since his days with House of Pain. I have liked his solo albums as I enjoy the rough mix of rock and hip-hop. This kind of music is not for everyone so be careful. I couldn't find much information about the album but I imagine that you would be better off sampling the album before you buy. Nonetheless, I am still giving it a thumbs up based on who it is. Enjoy!

Montgomery Gentry
Rebels On the Run

This is the seventh studio album by hugely successful duo, Montgomery Gentry. Not much information has been provided for this album. However, one interesting note; inside one lucky CD will be a golden ticket to win a custom Demented Cycles motorcycle. 

Patrick Stump
Soul Punk

This will be the debut album by former Fall Out Boy front man, Patrick Stump. What impressed me most about this album is that he did everything on his own for this album, including, performing, composing, writing, playing over 10 instruments and producing this album. WOW! The album is already getting strongly positive reviews. I only hesitate to give this a thumbs up because I am personally, somewhat resistant to the quality of modern music. I most likely will give it a try. 

Lalah Hathaway
Where It All Begins

The First Daughter of Soul releases her 6th studio album. Again, I may be biased because I am a huge fan of Donny Hathaway. Either way, this girl can sing. If you like classic R&B, you should like this album. If not, stay away or sample the record. 


This week the NFL lost one it's biggest personalities when it lost Al Davis. For me, the loss was bittersweet. In one sense, the man is a legend and the face of the Raider franchise. He was one of the pioneers of the game and perhaps the biggest driving force behind the merger of the NFL and AFL. He is exactly what is missing from the game today, an owner who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. In the other, the man perhaps held on too long and became irrelevant to today's NFL. His bold statements and draft picks have handicapped the Raiders since the fall of their glory days. He was also known to hold grudges, even to the point of handicapping the entire franchise. Which ever side you choose, the man was an integral part of pro football for decades. I also think it is a shame that Sports Illustrated could not include him as a cover story. He may not sell magazines but he is at least worth a mention. Instead we got Jimmy Johnson....whatever. RIP Al.
1929 -2011

He's not a rookie mother, he's a Newton:

It's official, Cam Newton has already been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations Cam!! I guess I would expect people here in Charlotte to be quick in anointing him a savior, but it seems that others around the country are steady piling on the Cam Newton bandwagon. In all seriousness, why not? The man has come in and made a mediocre team competitive, has a huge arm, and has the ability to extend plays. In addition, through five weeks, he has thrown for over 1600 yds. and been responsible for 12 TD's (7pass/5rush). This is a good looking, confident kid with a world of potential. If the Panthers were smart, they would sign this kid for life and surround him with a plethora of talents to keep him interested and hungry. We could see a perennial contender.


Apparently there is a new fad emerging in the fast food culture. It is called the, and forgive me readers, the McGangBang. Now the interesting thing is that this comes in breakfast McGangBangs or lunch/dinner McGangBangs.

For the breakfast version, you take

For those of you keeping track at home, that's a sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle, with a chicken biscuit smushed in between. The lucky customer in the picture was conscience enough to order hash browns as

The lunch/dinner version is...

This is a McDouble with a McChicken smashed in the middle. I have not been brave enough to try either version. Maybe that is why I am available to write this blog today. Hey, I know, what's worse than a fast food sandwich......two fast food sandwiches crammed together against their will. Evolution my friends.

Be careful of the path you choose....
He could have been someone completely different.

Let's face it, there are some words and phrases you just shouldn't use in everyday conversation. I am starting a word wall to include all words and phrases that should be omitted from your vocabulary. Some of these words push gender line expectations, some are overused in today's culture and some words are just plain stupid. The first installment on the word wall is "Dicey." Ex. This situation is getting a little dicey. No good! Time to retire this word...