Archive for October, 2012

Okay, I’d say this has reached crisis proportions.

October 29, 2012

Why? Because apparently it’s gotten to the point that the extremely reticent George Strait has spoken up about where country radio is today:

I wonder where my stuff is going to fit in these days. I still enjoy recording, and I think I’ve got a lot of fans out there that still want to hear songs of mine on the radio. [The hits are] not as easy as they used to be. That’s just the nature of this business, but when you listen to the radio today, I’m trying to figure out, Where do I fit into this thing?

It’s a fair question, and one we all deserve an answer to — Strait himself most of all. Look. I know he’s getting older. I don’t care. He doesn’t deserve to be pushed off the radio in favor of the next big thing. He’s still making good music and I cannot be the only one who thinks this. I realize this sort of thing isn’t even close to objective, but when people like him are still selling records and concert tickets, that really ought to be an indicator that they’d be a good draw on country radio, too.

And of course there’s the requisite “it’s always been this way, there are a lot of people considered traditional country now that weren’t back then” — but that’s not true, and it’s utterly disingenuous to try to pass it off as such. Ronnie Milsap is considered traditional country now? And Alabama? No, they are not. I would venture to say they are only cast as such because they are played along the real traditional country singers of the past like George Jones and Ricky Skaggs. But country? Not really.

Really, when you have to ask if the rock and pop influences at any given time are good for the genre, that ought to be a crystal-clear indicator that they aren’t.

(h/t Country California)

Meme time!

October 28, 2012

So I saw this meme with some Rush albums and thought I’d make my own. Maybe a little inside baseball here, but what the hey…


Another day, another error..

October 28, 2012

…in the San Antonio Express-News:


What’s the error, you ask? That is not an HEB Plus, that’s what. I drive by that store every day and have been in it more than once. The closest HEB Plus is at New Braunfels Avenue and IH-37, a little more than 3 miles away.

Those layers of fact-checkers come through again!

Who’s disrespecting the office NOW, hmm?

October 27, 2012

So a couple of weeks ago, I made the comment that Joe Biden barely had the brains to tie his own shoes. I got this response:

That’s your Vice President, Pistolero, show some respect for the office.

Of course I thought that was a pretty asinine thing to say, because, after all, disrespecting the office and disrespecting the person holding the office are two different things — at least I would think they are. At any rate, I saw this

(Charles Woods, father of murdered Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods) said that Mr Biden had acted inappropriately, asking the Woods family in a ‘loud and boisterous’ tone, ‘Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?’

…and just had to ask myself, “Who’s trashing the dignity of the office now, hmm?” Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but I would bet money that she’d never have done anything like that.

Layers and layers of fact-checkers!

October 27, 2012

From this morning’s San Antonio Express-News:

Texas 130 is a brand new, wide, divided highway, connecting south Austin to Seguin, and all the small towns and hamlets in between.

Ahem. Highway 130 runs from Seguin to Georgetown. Georgetown is north of Austin. Beyond that, building the road to run into IH-35 on the south side of Austin would have negated the entire point, which presumably was to relieve some of the unearthly congestion on IH-35 in Austin.

But remember! Official media outlets are better than blogs because they have fact-checkers! Or something.

Just follow the manual and you’ll be fine…

October 24, 2012

…or, I Get Referrals, “best 180 grain handload for 10mm with accurate no.9”.

Make with the clicky. To be honest I didn’t have that much experience with the 180-grain bullets. The ones I ran with were the plated bullets, but they did just fine; as I recall, I was getting about 1170-1180 fps with 12.5 grains. My favorite bullet was the 155-grain Hornady XTP. I loaded those in front of about 14.8 grains, good for about 1370 feet per second. I ran them through a Kimber Stainless Target II and a Dan Wesson Razorback, both very accurate guns. I think my fave was the Dan Wesson. Sure miss that gun…

Still trying to put my face back together after this.

October 23, 2012

…or, So, there was this other band I saw the other night besides Queensryche…

…namely, German heavy metal band Accept. And to be honest, they were phenomenal. I didn’t know any of their songs besides “Balls to the Wall” or “Restless And Wild,” but they rocked those two and all the rest like it was 1983. Original frontman Udo Dirkschneider isn’t with them anymore, but his replacement, Mark Tornillo, is a dead ringer for him, vocally speaking. I seriously did not know Tornillo was not the original singer. I was thinking the other day that I would be interested to hear what Tornillo-fronted recordings sound like…

…and lo and behold, I heard this number on Sirius last night:

That, my friends, is the title track from Stalingrad, Accept’s second album with Tornillo. (I am given to believe the first album with Tornillo at the mike, Blood of the Nations, was really good too.) Between this and their set at the South Texas Rock Fest, I must admit I am in awe. I seriously did not think it was possible for a band to throw down that hard after 30 years. I am definitely gonna have to pick this one up!

Wow, how about those Houston Chronicle endorsements?

October 21, 2012

First Ted Cruz, and now Mitt Romney? The Romney endorsement is particularly scathing:

The Chronicle’s backing of Barack Obama in 2008 broke a 44-year string of endorsing Republican candidates for president. Like so many others, we were captivated by the Illinois senator’s soaring rhetoric and energized by his promise to move American politics beyond partisan gridlock and into an era of hope and change.

It hasn’t happened. Four years later, President Obama’s deeds have failed to match his words, much less his specific vows to cut the national debt by half and bring the nation’s unemployment rate to 6 percent…

The piece goes on to mention the president’s demonization of the energy sector and the fact that the Chron warned him against that back in 2008. I don’t know why they were so taken aback by that. It’s not as if it should have been a big surprise. At any rate, it’s good to see that they see through the whole “it’s Bush’s fault” mantra on the economy.

But considering the whole energy thing, I can certainly understand if some people would think the San Antonio Express-News completely sold out San Antonio and South Texas. Funny how they thought the passage of the health care act was a good thing, considering that, as the Chronicle pointed out, the Democrats exhibited the very lack of bipartisanship the Express-News decried earlier in that very editorial.

I saw a comment that said it looked as if the Express-News piece had been written by one of the Castro brothers. Can’t say as I disagree.

Friday music musings, 10-19-12

October 19, 2012

You know, once upon a time I thought Brad Paisley was pretty good. But now that seems, as the Dixie Chicks put it once upon a time, a long time gone. I had seen some bad reviews for “Southern Comfort Zone” and it came up on Sirius today, so I thought I’d see if it was that bad. It was. Hey, Brad? Not everybody in the South wears ball caps and watches NASCAR. Come to think of it, anyone who’s been paying attention knows that NASCAR’s appeal went beyond the Mason-Dixon line a long time ago.


It strikes me that some artists suck no matter what band they’re in. Prime example: Paul McCartney. Whether it was with the Beatles, Wings or all by his lonesome, I have always found him to be quite overrated. I tend to think if he’d never been a Beatle, he’d have never made it big.

Sammy Hagar, on the other hand…I am not a fan of Van Hagar at all, but I think Hagar kicked ass in pretty much every other project he’s been involved in, from Montrose to Chickenfoot. Especially the latter. For a dude in his 60s, he still sounds damn good.


I am really quite amused at the Tater-fellators who get all het up about Queensryche doing all the old stuff with Todd La Torre because TLT had no hand in writing it. Never mind all the other genres whose artists sing other people’s songs; pretty much the whole point of the formation of Rising West (and, perhaps to a lesser extent, the replacement of Geoff Tate) was to bring those old songs to Queensryche fans the way they were meant to be sung. I just don’t really think it’s a big deal that La Torre didn’t write those songs. He can sing them as they were meant to be sung, and ultimately that’s the thing that matters the most. I remember seeing a comment on Facebook from this guy who was particularly exorcised about the band doing, as he put it, “Susan’s own ‘Jet City Woman'” (Susan, of course, is Tater’s second and current wife). But the thing about it is, that song was not written about her. It was written about the woman he was married to before Susan…

Speaking of Queensryche with Todd La Torre, check out these clips from last Saturday night…

“En Force”:

“Child of Fire”:



“Roads to Madness”:

Side note: Man, I was glad to see The Warning (my fave QR album) get so much love, even if they didn’t play “Deliverance” or “NM 156.”

“I Don’t Believe In Love”:

“Take Hold of the Flame”:

“Silent Lucidity”:


It really was a night I’ll never forget, but it’s damn cool to have those videos to revisit!

Oh, hey, yet more CPS malfeasance!

October 17, 2012

This time in Abilene!

Police investigators seized computers, cell phones and files from Texas Child Protective Services offices in Abilene on Tuesday as part of a widening probe into accusations that top officials directed workers to withhold child abuse files and photographs from law enforcement after the death of a child….

…Abilene detectives interviewed 12 CPS employees in the weeks since Tamryn’s death and believe that several supervisors “have intentionally and knowingly concealed, altered or destroyed records and other documentation material to this investigation because of the damaging nature of the documents.”

But remember, friends! Child Protective Services only has the best interests of Texas children at heart!