Musings, Nits, and Praises: September 2008

Musings, Nits, and Praises

A farrago of all things deemed blog-worthy by a music-loving, poetry-writing, humor-seeking English teacher

A Layman's Version of the Economic Crisis

I possess only really a cursory knowledge of the jargon and workings of personal finances, so when it comes to national economic matters, I need things explained in simple terms:

The Buoyant Basset

Though Baxter could hardly be considered the Michael Phelps of dogs, he faired pretty well with his foray into swimming on Labor Day.

Since Baxter's only prior experiences with water in non-bath situations had consisted of walking into ponds up to his chest, we had to coax (well, coerce really) him into the lake.

Once I let him loose, though, he proved to be a quick learner, aided by his big paws and loose skin and fat.


As the presidential race continues, the spinelessness of TV news journalists (print media has been much better) becomes increasingly apparent. You would think that reporting facts and lies about facts would not be a particularly difficult thing to do. Instead, facts have become nearly irrelevant as the media has kowtowed to political spin.

No-Information Voting

I'd like to think that with our access to information expanding all the time that more people would actually take notice of articles such as this one:,8599,1839724-1,00.html

However, I surmise a depressingly large portion of our electorate accepts without question whatever talking points are floated by either party's pundits, content to vote on identity or single issues.

A Hook Not Quite Strong Enough to Bring You Back

“Gonna get wild if it’s okay,” John Popper sings on “You, Me, and Everything,” the lead single from Blues Traveler’s North Hollywood Shootout. Yes, that would be okay—great, in fact. It’s too bad the song, an ode to the thrill and freedom of the open road, feels more like getting stuck behind an elderly couple creeping along in an RV than thundering down an open highway with the windows down and the radio blaring.

Unfortunately, much of the album shares the song’s tepidness. Programmed drums and uncharacteristically vague lyrics dampen the impact of album opener “Forever Owed,” a rumination on war inspired by Popper’s USO trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, while “Borrowed Time” matches hackneyed observations on mortality with a piano accompaniment dripping with sentimentality.

The laid back “Love Does,” one of the few tracks highlighting Popper’s trademark harmonica work, and “Orange in the Sun” are nothing if not catchy, and the power-chord feast “The Beacons” and the rough, swaggering “How You Remember It” show the band can still ratchet up the intensity, but little of North Hollywood Shootout sounds as fresh and spontaneous as the band did at the height of its powers in the mid to late ‘90s.

"We've Always Been at War with East Asia"

One of the funnier segments from The Daily Show this week:

As funny as it is, it's too bad it takes a comedian to point out the blatant hypocrisy the traditional media (the TV journalists anyway) either ignore, miss, or are too timid to point out.

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