Archive for May, 2012

One reason I am glad I am not a music journalist.

May 30, 2012

I don’t have to write pieces like this. I don’t know what Hector Saldaña’s opinions on Queensryche really are, but I don’t think I could talk about things like the band’s “relevance” and Geoff Tate’s solo antics with a straight face. And considering Tate’s later attitudes toward heavy metal and its fans in general, I would have come out of that interview with no tongue because I would have bitten it clean off.

“Hey Geoff, what the hell’s the deal with you calling rock and metal fans boneheaded? Funny to hear you talk about relevance when your band hasn’t had a hit record in over two decades. Why exactly is Queensryche not doing much of anything in 2012? Could it have anything to do with Michael Wilton’s disassociation of himself with anything having to do with the last record? What the hell happened to you, Geoff?”

It pains me to say all that. The band’s first six albums remain favorites of mine and some of the best metal ever made, period. But sooner or later truth must be faced.

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No, they didn’t…

May 28, 2012

A few years ago, I remember going to the big Memorial Day celebration in Orange. The Patriot Guard Riders were part of the program, which had to be moved inside because it was raining to beat the band. So the riders didn’t get to make their grand entrance as planned. But they still came. That didn’t surprise me, but I almost lost it when their chapter president addressed the crowd and told them why the riders came in spite of the rain. She said of the fallen soldiers, “They didn’t get an opportunity to choose the weather they fought in, or to choose whether or not to go.”

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that, for the rest of my days. None of us should.

Just a word…

May 23, 2012

…about Extend A Suites in San Antonio, at 9735 Interstate 35 North, just north of the Loop 410 west exit…

Don’t stay at Extend A Suites at 9735 Interstate 35 North in San Antonio. Or if you do, lock up your stuff. If you don’t, the housekeeping staff at Extend A Suites at 9735 Interstate 35 North in San Antonio might steal it. We had to stay at Extend A Suites at 9735 Interstate 35 North in San Antonio for a few nights and my iPod classic turned up missing. And I’m pretty sure no one else got in there, because if it was someone else they’d likely have jacked mine or Sabra’s computer too. I’m guessing they thought I wouldn’t miss my iPod, even though it was a $250 piece of equipment, where I would definitely have missed the MacBook Pro.

So…yeah. Stay away. There are other places that are less likely to steal your stuff that you worked hard to get the money to pay for.

You might be a tool…

May 23, 2012

…if you sing for a living and refer to your type of music as a format instead of a genre:

Eric Church happily avoiding the mainstream scene

Really? From what I’ve heard of Eric Church he’s about as mainstream as they come. And I daresay artists who talk in terms of radio formats as opposed to genres don’t have any business talking about how non-mainstream they want to be. Does anyone really think Waylon Jennings or Merle Haggard talked about how mainstream they didn’t want to be? Or, hell, how about George Strait and Alan Jackson? If they did I sure as hell never caught wind of it. They let their music do the talking as opposed to the bullshit bad-boy posturing we see from the likes of Church and Brantley Gilbert. Church can say what he wants to about Miranda Lambert — and indeed he has — but she has never presented herself as anything other than what she is. Which is a hell of a lot more than can be said for him. Which, in turn, leads to the question: Who’s really the inauthentic one here?

(h/t Country California)

There he goes again…

May 20, 2012

Nelson Wolff, that is. I loved what one of the commenters said: “So if we dont have a 100 million dollar light rail that goes from the Pearl brewery to downtown we are going belly up.”

You’d sure as hell think so, the way Wolff talks. Seriously, I just don’t get it. How in the hell does he keep getting elected? Wolff talks about a “brain drain,” and while the concern over such is understandable, he’s bitching about the wrong things. Less money for education funding and research and that’s the state’s fault? Why is it not the fault of the imbeciles in Washington for wrecking the economy to fund various & sundry vote-getting schemes?

And about that recent bond issue — why couldn’t the projects funded by that money been funded another way? Why, for example, couldn’t the city have paid for those infrastructure improvements out of the city budget instead of wasting money on things like politically-motivated street name changes? I don’t get it, I really don’t. I have expressed frustration before about this city’s own elected officials talking about it like it was some two-stoplight town instead of the second-largest city in Texas and the seventh-largest city in the United States.

But that, really, would be an insult to the smaller towns. Why? Because I used to live in a smaller town — Orange — and I know the things city officials talked about vis-a-vis city improvements. Instead of whining about streetcars and lack of government funding, they talked about things like improving the local schools so the local industries wouldn’t have to go recruiting workers from India. Granted, Orange may be different from San Antonio — but I don’t see how such a thing couldn’t help things considering, once again, the size and amenities of San Antonio. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Wolff thought the lack of streetcars was why AT&T left for Dallas, with the way he obsesses over such petty crap. Why in the hell does he keep getting elected?

Overheard riding along the northbound IH-35 frontage road…

May 14, 2012

…as “Have Mercy” from the Judds is playing on KKYX:

Me: “I like Merle Haggard and George Jones too, honey. Please don’t doubt my fidelity.”

Sabra: “If I managed to marry you in spite of your favorite song, you’re good.”

Me: “HAHAHAHA!”

Child Protective Services?

May 4, 2012

More like Child Predatory Services:

CPS worsens husband’s grief over slain wife

To wit: Keith Schuchardt, in addition to having to deal with the abject horror of having his wife slain and newborn son kidnapped, also had to deal with being blindsided by Child Protective Services. He told them the truth, gave them the benefit of the doubt — assuming, like everyone else who’s never had to deal with them, that they really do look out for children’s best interests — and they took the baby away and mandated that he stay in his uncle’s care for three to six months. All of this, mind you, was despite the fact that CPS never found that the kid was in any immediate physical or emotional danger. Not only that, but CPS also told Mr. Schuchardt that if he lawyered up, the kids would stay in CPS custody. How’s that for an illegal threat?

I did get a kick out of this, though:

“I can’t imagine anyone on our staff saying that.”

The above quote, of course, was from CPS “media specialist” Gwen Carter in regards to the whole “if you get a lawyer, the kids stay with us” thing. I understand columnist Patricia Kilday Hart was trying to get both sides of the story here, but honestly, did anyone expect Ms. Carter to admit to any wrongdoing or illegal behavior whatsoever by her agency’s investigators? She told the media what those predators pay her to tell them.

And in comments:

CPS allows the bad parents to keep their kids and the good parents are the ones who are targeted. I don’t understand this.

I said it in reply to that, and I’ll say it here: That’s just how they roll — harassing mothers who don’t sweep their floor and leaving alone the kids who get beat by mom’s boyfriend, or as the case may be, dad’s girlfriend’s husband. And kids go abused and get killed almost every day because of it. As I have noted before, you see the results of CPS screw-ups just like this on the front pages of this state’s major metro daily newspapers on what seems like an almost-daily basis.

No, CPS doesn’t have the best interests of the children at heart. They operate by and large with no standards and no accountability to anyone. I would bet money that the outcomes of the cases they take (at least before the cases get to a judge) are predetermined before the investigators even initially knock on the parents’ doors. This may well be a very high-profile case, but you know it’s not the only one. It’s just too bad all the others don’t get any space in the papers — which, considering the agency’s high-profile failures, is to say the least quite unfortunate.

Bitterly clinging to the Big Lie…

May 3, 2012

…that’s O. Ricardo Pimentel once again, as he takes to banging the drum once again vis-a-vis the long-debunked contention that guns from United States shops are fueling the carnage in Mexico. Apparently Pimentel has either never heard of proof by assertion, he’s a firm believer in Adolf Hitler’s Big Lie, or both. And anyone who’s really paid attention to the particulars of Fast and Furious knows that it was the furthest thing from a noble strategy. If it was all about stopping the guns the ATF wouldn’t have lost track of them after they crossed the border.

On second thought, it’s all quite understandable, though. When you’ve been consistently been rebuffed by the legislatures, the courts and the people for the last 20 years, you hang on to what you have, even if it is a filthy lie.

Speaking of establishment candidates…

May 2, 2012

…another one of them is going to be challenged this go-round.

Via David Codrea at The War On Guns, I find that former Arizona sheriff Richard Mack is going to be challenging longtime congressman Lamar Smith. A perusal of Mack’s positions is very encouraging; he’s pro-gun (in fact, he was the first county sheriff to file suit to get the Brady law overturned), in favor of small government and tighter border security, and supports lower taxes & spending. Lawrence Person at the BattleSwarm Blog (which I really need to add to my daily reading list) has more on Mack and Smith here.

I was inclined to disagree…

May 1, 2012

…but ole Joesix might be on to something here:

Meghan McCain is the future of the Republican party.

You might be saying, “Pistolero, are you outta yer gourd?” Well, not quite. Hear me out.

It’s quite clear that the Republican establishment doesn’t really give any more of a shit about the people than the Democrats do, as evidenced by, among other things, their ignorance of and thumbing their noses at the Tea Party — you know, the folks who by and large delivered them the House of Representatives in 2010 — and the anointing of Mitt Romney as the 2012 GOP presidential candidate. They’re just a bunch of spineless go-along-to-get-along do-nothings and have been since at least 1996. (Really, Bob Dole was the best of the GOP bunch that year?) I have said it before and I will say it again: Meghan McCain is little if anything more than a younger, better-looking version of her go-along-to-get-along father. And it doesn’t look like the Republicans are going to change their ways as far as this goes anytime soon. So in a way, he’s right.

However, I do beg to differ with this:

Conservatives are shooting themselves in the foot every time they attack her.

No they’re not, because Meghan McCain really isn’t a conservative. It seems that at every turn she attacks real conservatives and sucks up to flaming liberals. Sure, she and her supporters will cast it as being all maverick-y like her daddy, but it’s really just another way of trying to ingratiate herself with the people who have gotten this country into the mess it’s in. She has said she’s a conservative, but it strikes me that her words and actions to date have shown her to be anything but. Just like her father, she takes whatever ideological position will get her more influential friends and into the Beltway cocktail parties. Conservatives would be shooting themselves in the foot if they didn’t call her out as the poser that she is.