Because you can't handle the truth. We live in an odd world these days, and no day goes by without something contradictory happening. Or double standards occurring. The sheer lunacy of it all. Pointed out to you by yours truly. Enter the LoongTao!

Monday, February 06, 2006

For Whom The Bell Tolls

My condolences to the Gracie family. the Martial Arts world has lost a grand master, in Carlson Gracie. The Gracies hit the martial arts world by storm, back in 93 when they first entered the UFC, and proved their art of submission was superior, under the pretense that most, if not, all fights end up on the ground. The Gracies dominated for the 5-7 years, when most of the boxers began learning grappling in various forms, such as jujitsu (brazilian and japanese) , greco-roman (italian), sambo (russian), chin na (chinese), etc.


Rest Stop

You'll have to excuse me for the following. If you've read any of the previous posts, specifically the kitchen-related, you'll know. For everyone else, I apologize. After this, it will never be brought up again.

Which brings me to my point: GIVE IT A GODDAMN REST. Ok, let's clear this up once and for all. I couldn't give a rat's ass about the kitchen. My priorities are, in this order, mail, bank deposits, overnights, office supplies, security, facilities, then the kitchen, when I have time.

There will be NO re-allocation as long as there are some left. If there aren't, it's because there was a delay from the supply vendor, or it was out-of-stock. I do not take suggestions. Mind your own goddamn business.

Does anyone else remember the last person who was responsible for stocking? She probably quit because she got tired of "hearing it". But that was her own fault, as she performed her job in the morning, when everyone was here. I do it in the afternoon, so as to not hear it. Now I'm hearing it during the day.

If you guys spend half as much time doing your job as you do whining about the kitchen, you'd be millionairs and retired already. Half of you probably don't even pay it. And the rest is free! What's your goddamn problem? Shouldn't you have clients to call? For someone who gets paid once a month, and on commission only, you sure are spending a lot of time in areas that aren't your concern.

Here's the scoop: give it a rest or I'LL give it a rest. And if you can't figure it out, everyone else will suffer because of it.

we're done. I'm out.

The Iceman Cometh

As you can tell for me, it was a good weekend. I rooted for the Steelers, and they won.

But the day before was just as important. We had UFC 57 on PPV. The 3rd and final confrontation between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Randy won the first battle a couple of years a go. Chuck returned a year later to win, and take the Light Heavyweight Championship from Randy. On Saturday, it was Liddell v Couture 3.

A good friend of mine who used to fight in cage matches, was rooting for Randy, and would win in the first round. I said no, it's Chuck in the second round. Well, Randy and Chuck battled, and by the end of the first round, Randy had a cut over his left eye, and a possible broken nose, and was bleeding, as well. In the first minute of the second round, Randy faked a move, left himself open, and was clocked by Chuck. KO. It's over. The Iceman cometh, the icman knock you out.

But even on a sadder note, Randy chose that night to announce his retirement. Two-time Heavyweight Champion and two-time Light Heavyweight Champion. Not bad for a 42 year-old (Chuck is 38, also not bad.) Which ought to tell you, if you think I can't still bring it at 43...

If you don't start none, there won't be none; but if you want some, come get some.

(BTW, UFC is in the "business" of fight sports. They are not an advertising company, even though their income is derived from advertising, and box office proceeds.)

Stainless Steel

Well, well, well. Kudos to Pittsburgh Steelers. They pulled it off. Hey, what happened to Shaun Alexander? Aww, kept to under 100 yards. My heart bleeds peanut butter.

Awright, the controversey of the day, was that a touvhdown? Or inches-to-go? IT WAS atouchdown. No, it was clear when he was on the ground, he moved the ball over the line. Yes. Because he thought he didn't cross the plain. But if you looked closely at the replays, the tip of the ball crossed the edge of the white line, WHILE HE WAS IN THE AIR. It was called a touchdown, and the replay let it stand. The ground play after the jump is irrelevant. It crossed the plane IN THE AIR. Get over it.

Then, Seattle bumbles the last few plays, and all Coach Holmgren can do to explain it, as he's walking off the field was, "that wasn't a touchdown." Boo hoo hoo.

Sure, they won by more than a touchdown, so you could say it's a moot point, but you can't. That touchdown was a moral victory. If it hadn't happened, the game very well may have taken a different turn.

But it doesn't matter. Pittsburgh won, and Seattle didn't. I feel for them, though. Holmgren was a key player during the 49er dynasty days. So you still gotta give him props.

C ongrats, guys.

(BTW, ABC is a television network whose "business" is broadcasting, producing television movies, series, sports, news, etc. They are not an advertising company, even though that's where their income is generated from.)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Questions For The Ponderosa

Catchy, isn't it? I'm all for creating new definitions for old words. In this case, ponderosa are people who ponder, like myself. It's plural, of course. Singular would be ponderosan.

So today's questions involve geography. This is so fun.

Let's start with North and South America. Two continents separated by a small country called Panama. It also so happens to be halved by the Panama Canal. Although I don't know for sure they were separated before or after the Canal was built, so there is a case for a continent not necessarily being separated from others by water. But if Panama's canal divides North and South America, then what continent is Panama technically in? If it is one and not the other, how can that be? Unless we change Panama to be North Panama and South Panama, two separate countries. I mean hell, North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea are separate countries, but aren't separated by water. It certainly would be a first to have a country split in two, not just because of the Canal that runs through it, but because it also separates two continents! You heard it here first, folks.

Here's another. We have the European continent, which includes Russia, or also known as Eastern Europe, technically-speaking, but most don't refer to it as that. Maybe we could call Russia, the North East, because that's what they are. We have the Middle East, and the Far East, and even Southeast Asia. Although Japan is farther south than Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, ect., which are the ones considered Southeast Asia, but Japan is considered just Far East. Well, that is correct because it is farther east the the Southeast countries. How about the Phillipines? Far East, or Southeast Asia? Russia is over Asia and beside Europe. Why Europe and not Asia? Because Russians are not Asian. Makes sense. Another example of two continents NOT separated by water.

Back to the Middle and Far East. Now I've had this argument with a former associate from Pakistan and my neighbor, who thought he was a geographical expert because world maps and atlases were a hobby of his. But if you hear me out, while you may not agree, you have to admit it makes sense. And that's what the LoongTao is all about. Pointing out alternatives to the norm, that make sense, and hopefully changing history in the process.

Ok, I know Pakistan, to some, and most Pakistanis, is considered Far East. And so do atlases and maps. I don't and here's why. I also don't consider India the Far East, as well, which many might think is stretching a bit far. But if you think about it, Pakistan is above and to the left of India. Pakistan's neighbors are Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I classify Pakistan as Middle East, along with the others. Looks aren't everything, but in this case, a big part, along with their faith, which is Muslim, and their geograhical location. There's 3 different reasons right there.

India on the other hand, has a mix of Hindu, Muslim, and Buddhism. We all know Buddhism is divided up into various sects throughout the Far East (Tibetan, Chan for the chinese, and Shinto, rinzai and tendai for the Japanese), but the Hindu people are a completely different breed from Asian. If Buddhsim is the only tie that connects it the Far East, it's because all of the asian Buddhist sects started with a man named Boddhidarma, a hindu priest, who ventured east and trained a sickly group of monks in China, who eventually came to be known as Shaolin. He taught them how to meditate, breath correctly, and defend themselves, using techniques that resembled the movements of five animals, dragon, tiger, crane, panther and snake. The shaolin then continued with more animals and the rest is history, except that now India is considered Far East. (Notice to cat lovers: two of the five animal styles are cats. Yeeaaahhh)

So what would you call India? How about the Central East. Pakistan would go under Middle East. Russia would go under North East. And the former Russian republics would go to Eastern Europe. Or, Europe, in general.

If it's all about geography, then it should be about where all of them are situated. Whatever religion or faith you are, or whatever country you're fighting with over borders, is a moot point.

Take Kashmere. Now there's a can of worms. Both Pakistan and India lay claim to it. And they've been fighting over it forever. But if you take out the faith and appearance factor, and concentrate on just it's geographical location, where would you put it? Could it be Middle East - it's east of Pakistan. Could it be Central East - it's north of India. Could it be European - it's south of Europe. My god, what do we do with Kashmere?

Divide and conquer. If you can't fit in, you don't belong. (LOL - not to be taken seriously, folks.)

Voyage Of Discovery

Well it appears our solar system has a tenth planet. Oh, the controversey ensues. What to name it. Is it a planet? What about the others nearby.

There is an object that is round and cirlces the sun. Sounds like all of our planets. But we've had nine for eternity. But our ability to see further out hasn't always been there. So it is with this new planet. We are now in the process of enlarging our very own solar system. All textbooks, at least the science books, need to be re-written.

Here's the discrenacy, though. This tenth planet is twice as far from the sun as Pluto. That's a long way if you ask me. It orbits our sun, making it part of our solar sytem, but passes through the Kuiper Belt. There are many objects there that are large, round, and would be classified as planets, according to our standards. And one could even argue that Pluto is part of the Belt, although right at the edge, and was the only thing we could see at the time.

Do we relegate Pluto to the Kuiper Belt, or add the tenth planet, and possibly others nearby, that meet our criteria for planets? Either way, history is changing before our very eyes, at least when it comes to textbooks and curriculums.

Oh, this is an exiting time. I'm not even going to express how it should be classified because the process is ongoing, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Now if we could just build a spaceship that could take us there in a matter of days or weeks instead of light years, well then...


These are my closing statements on the "business" concept. While I stand by my views, I do acknowledge that that there is a different interpretation out there. I can see where it's coming from, but it's not what I'm talking about. The reason being, money comes in to play in the differing viewpoint, but is not in mine, which is probably the reason for the disagreement. So, as Judge Mills Lane says, "I'll allow it."

OK, so the movie theater was not the best example, well, sorta, it is. But Google is a better example. The theater is an example of a dual business. The business of showing movies, and the business in selling food. After thinking about it, since I worked not just in the theater business like my "business" partner, but also in the restaurant business, I got to thinking: if the concession areas are inspected by the same officers who inspect resaturants, for cleanliness and violations, then you could say they are in the food business. But you'll then have to classify primary or secondary, since the theater still makes money at the box office, albeit not much. So my view is: the primary is showing the movie, because that's why you're there in the first place, and secondary, the concessions, because that is from which revenue is generated.

Which brings me to my adjusted point, using Google, and the theater scenario, to a certain degree, as an example. And I think this is what my "business" partner was trying to say, but I still disagree, in part, because of the influence money has on the argumented point. Money shouldn't change what your business is, but since that is what all the fuss is about, the issue is dead because nothing will change.

Here's the new business concept:

"A company's product or service is it's business; If their income is derived from something else, then that is there business, But if the product or service makes money as well as something on the side, such as advertising, then it is a dual business, with primary and secondary focus".

And you can quote me, Webster.

See how money will change the appearance of what you're business is. Google business is it's search engine. It's income is derived from advertising. So many out there consider them them an advertising company. I don't. As do many others. We have our reasons. You have have your reasons. To argue is a moot point.

Which brings me to my next point: a generalization on debating an issue based on interpretation, then diagreeing, eventually arguing, and ultimately, making it personal.

After this debate continued in person, I noticed how it can quickly turn into an argument, which means although both sides have made there point (the debate), now both sides are more concerned with pushing there point (the disagreement), now they're repeating what they've already said, and not entering in new information, which makes it an argument. Neither wants to lose. The unfortunate part: when both sides get so frustrated, then it becomes personal. How? When one says, "Well, I think you're wrong".

Whoa. Where did that come from? I thought we were debating an issue that had different interpretations. I guess you thought yours was the correct one and there is no other. Well, I beg to differ. If there is another, it doesn't mean yours is not correct, it means that there may be others that are correct, also. You make your point but don't see mine, or at least acknowledge that another interpretation exists, or that since the other person is not budging, you're not going to pack it up and walk because neither side is going to win? You've just made it personal.

If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were a math teacher. And math is cut & dry. But when someone discovers a different pathway to the answer, and it's put to the test, and the answers always come up correct, the teacher doesn't care. You have to use his formula. Yours is not acceptable, even though it's been proven it works.

So in the interest of peace, I'm letting this one go. I stand my ground. Because that's what Chuck would want.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Ironic Weather

Never heard of it. Oh yeah, I just came up with it. Ironic weather is when you look outside in the morning, to see if it's raining, which it isn't, so you get dressed and leave the building to feel a mist. So you go back upstairs and grab the umbrella and trenchcoat and proceed to walk to work. It never rains because you're prepared, which, btw, is Murphy's Law.

By the time you've walked all the way to work, you're wet from sweat. That's ironic weather.

Of course, if you're Chuck Norris, you're sweating bullets.

Steelers Over Seahawks

This year's Super Bowl is going to be cool. Either team can win. No one-sided here. Maybe. Why? Cuz it's anyone's game. It all depends which team is on their game. Here's to hoping they both are.

As for my vote? It was tough. I like Seattle. Holmgren was in SF during the dynasty days. But I liked Pittsburg since I was a kid. Then there's Terry Bradshaw. I like him. Talks non-stop though. I think when it's his time to pass on, he'll be talking when it happens. And he'll STILL have a few words left in him, as the air leaves his dead body. Here's to hoping that's many years away. Terry, I got one word for ya: Decaf.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Ad Court Is In Session

(Disclaimer: While all of my past posts have been brutal, because it was always cut & dry, this one is a little different. It deals with the explosion of the internet and it's effect on how businesses do business, and how they are viewed. I've heard both sides, and have dropped the hammer. You may disagree, but I've already heard the arguments, and disagree with yours, as well. That's what it's all about. Just like I know my word is not law (only Chuck Norris has that distinction), it also means your word is not law either. And to assume it is, well, you're barking up the wrong tree. If you are so close-minded as to think yours is correct, unchallenged, almighty bottomline truth, you've lost touch. You've forgotten the freedom of opposing views when it comes to issues that are controversial, that subside in the grey area, something that was once something, but now could be viewed as something else, while still retaining that original something. Keep in mind, the first paragraph was my only topic, which opened up a Pandora's Box, which you'll see what follows immediately after.

Ever wonder why theaters tell you you can't bring in outside food? Sure, they tell you it's because they sell food there, too. Now, I guess you could argue that while yes, they have a point, but technically-speaking, their concessions aren't their primary business; the movie itself is. They sell concessions to make money. Is that there business? No. Yes, they're in business to make money. But they didn't open a concession stand. They opened a theater. Somewhere along the way, the movie studios gained more clout, and commanded more from the box office. The theaters lost money. Now, I'm not sure if they started selling concessions as a way to compensate for the lost revenue to the studios, or as an incentive to the movie-goer to patronize their establishment. But the bottom line here is that their business is movies, and the concession sales help finance the theater.

Now I've talked with several people on this, who seem to disagree. If you take McDonald's food into a Carl's Jr., yes, you can't do that, because Carl's Jr. is in the business of selling food, and McDonald's is a competitor. I was given an example of Google. Some say Google's business is as a search engine. Some say it is an advertising company. I could take the high road and say it all depends on what business you're talking about. But that wouldn't be me. From what I've heard, it all depends on who's doing the talking. If you're all about the money, and it's all about the dollar, I can see how every damn company out there could be considered an advertising company, so to speak. That's tunnelvision, my friends.

Google's product/service is a search engine, yes. They sell advertising, yes. No, they don't sell the search engine aspect. It is free to the consumer. This is why they have to sell advertising. This doesn't make them advertisers. The ones advertising are the advertisers. They provide a free service but as a secondary business, which is required to survive, is the selling of advertising. If their business is advertising, who's maintaining the site?

Another analogy used was the television industry. Good example. TV shows are produced. High ratings get high dollars for the ads during those shows. Low ratings cause less income and the shows are cancelled. But I doubt that's what it was all about in the beginning when they started.

The truth is, all of these industries' businesses are the the product/service they provide. Unfortunately, depending on that product or service, they need revenue to support it, so advertising is implemented. Somewhere down the line people have gotten greedy, and, subsequently, have decided to do it backwards with one thing in mind: money. So, the goal here is to make money but you have to figure out a product or service to provide for which to sell advertising, because advertising is the way you want to make your money. In that particular case, then yes, your business is advertising. Or is it? If your business is advertising, who and where are you advertising? See? You're selling advertising but your business is your product or service.

For all those out there that think Google wanted to derive their income from ad revenue and created a search engine to do it, fine. I think you're in the minority. I think they created a search engine because they thought they could create a better search engine, and were technically more savvy in what they were doing, and had some nifty extras attached to make them stand out. But to do so, they needed revenue. Enter advertising. It's a given in the internet world we now live in.

Here's another example: wrestling. WWE was cancelled off of Spike TV. At the time, WWE sold their own advertising. Now they're on USA. But USA sells their own advertising, so WWE lost 10 million in annual ad revenue. So what do they do, they step up production on their website, and advertise their site during televised broadcasts to increase site viewership Viewership increased, which brought in more ad revenue. So, while yes, their goal was to increase income from advertising to compensate for the loss by switching to USA, there business is still wrestling.
Overall, I think those who subscribe to the ad theory have lost track of the true meaning of the word business, and have allowed the almighty dollar to cloud their judgement as what we do as a business and what we do to support that business. Of course, one could blame the internet for changing how businesses are viewed. Is their business their product/service, or advertising, simply because there income comes from advertising? I think now, with the change in atmosphere and environment brought on by the internet, when you ask a company what their business is, they will have to cover both bases; "my business is air guitar, but my income is derived from advertising."

See what I mean?

There IS a difference.

I rest my case.

Chris Penn: We Hardly Knew Ye

I was saddened to hear about Chris Penn. Definitely under-rated. I've read many of the reports that came out after. Unfortunately, many were touting him as "Sean's younger brother". Too bad. Sure Sean's had his spotlight. But his roles are few and far between, especially now that he's also a director.

But just the same, they're the same bloodline. So it was pretty-much a given that Chris would have it tougher because of the older brother. I know. My brother was in the same boat through childhood and part of adulthood.

Nonetheless, he played his as well as any leading actor. I found myself preferring him to Sean on many occasions. Although I haven't seen several of his films, I liked what he did during the Tarantino years (Reservoir Dogs, True Romance).

Some of the reports listed his finest works, while others were quick to point out the dregs. I myself found it surprising that his work in Best Of The Best parts one and two, were never mentioned. The first one was excellent in it's portrayal of the tragedy of competition and the subsequent outcome, which, to this day, I still get teary at the end, and I've seen it at least 50 times. Chris played a brash cowboy sterotype who had a conflict with the lead actor, Philip Rhee, but by the end, mutual respect. It's about a competition between the Americans and the Koreans. And Philip Rhee's older brother was killed in the last competition. So you know where that's going. An excellent movie that I highly recommend.

Best Of The Best II is a shell of the first one. It's cheesy with the gladiator stuff and Wayne Newton comes off smarmy as ever. But for all the martial arts action in it, I love it. Philip Rhee, son of Simon Rhee, a grandmaster in Tae Kwon Do, not to be confused with the godfather of TKD, Jhoon Rhee, is a master himself. Unfortunately, Chris played the sacraficial lamb, to set up the revenge factor for Philip Rhee. It's still one of my favorites, even though I fast-forward to the Coliseum segments.

(BOTB III - even less martial arts, not very good acting by Philip, and a controversial story line, racism/neo-nazism, was a real turnoff. Oh, one more thing. Eric Roberts stars in all 3, as a friend and team member to Philip Rhee. Eric still can't act. So you'd have to filter him out.)

Rest in peace, Chris. We'll miss you.

Monday, January 30, 2006

OT - Over My Dead Body

So, your boss says you have to stay late or come in on the weekend. But you have plans. Oh no. If you don't, it reflect badly at review time. Geez. I have to give up my personal time to help my employer, and if I don't, I'm screwed. Well, you're screwed either way, so don't do it.

Here's why: I had a job with a CPA firm, a big one, by the way, which will remain nameless baecause they don't like you talking to the press. I almost got in big trouble because I did once; it was about increased workloads with less staff. Even though it was all facts, and they couldn't discount it, they knew I was right. Which is why I only got written up for talking to the press without permission. (I'll talk to whoever I want godammit.) Oh wait, I don't work for them anymore. IT WAS KPMG, formerly Peat Marwick. Ha.

Anyway, OT was required in March/April and October, major tax seasons, as a condition of employment. Well, by the end of the year, I ended up in a larger tax bracket. Of course, the amount taken out semi-monthly, was for a lower bracket. I ended up owing.

If you only do a few here and there, it won't make much of a difference. But a lot, you may see money now, but you'll pay later. So basically, you're even.

Who benefits from all this overtime? Uncle Sam and your boss. Not you. So next time,

Oh, by the way, have an excuse ready, just in case. A really bad boss will let you go for insubordination, which you could fight, and cost a lot of money up front, before you get paid. And half of that will go to Uncle Sam.

Geez, I'm confused just writing this. What a vicious Circle. Use the excuse.

Chinese New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy.

The time is almost here (Feb 11), when we will again have the opportunity to witness a San Francisco tradition dating back decades. Unfortunately, there is a black cloud over this one.

I'm referring to Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, in and of itself, is just another internal martial art, similar to Tai Chi, Bagua and Hsing I. These are slow-moving exercises and breathing techniques designed to balance the body, mind and spirit. Cool.

But over in China, where it began, the followers grew in numbers. The government watched.
The were worried by the sheer numbers. And rightfully so. Someone high up in the Falun Gong organization decided to use the "strength in numbers" for political gain. And the followers followed. And now, they're connected to newspapers and radio stations everywhere.

So, today, we have a problem. We have a martial art that is good for health and well being, being used in a political capacity. That's what the Chinese goverment was afraid of. So insightful, the Chinese. Hey, it's why I study the martial arts. Just remember, when I tell you something, and you don't believe me, you better think twice. I've been studying the arts and philosophies on and off for 20 years! The LoongTao doesn't take names, it only kicks ass. Plus, I've had the good fortune of being a parade participant on behalf of my kung fu school at the time, Tat Mau Wong's Kung Fu Academy.

Anyway, Falun Gong was rejected for this years parade. They're mad and are crying fowl. But last year, they passed out political leaflets, which was not allowed, and more people showed up than was planned, which stalled the parade. This is the largest parade in the country, folks. We can't have it being stalled on the streets of San Francisco.

So here is the LoongTao take: Falun Gong is fine if you're practicing the art itself in your home, park, or wherever, fine. But as an organization, you've destroyed the complete meaning and purpose of what was once, a beautiful art.

The LoongTao says, let's take it out back, so I can crush your necks with my right pinkie. Btw, I'm left-handed.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


San Leandro. Urban sprawl. Youth gangs. A teacher wins a lawsuit over teaching gay rights. Now they have posters up in each class promoting tolerance. It was believed that a few highly-religious teachers were not going to comply, for that reason. Media hotspot now.

As it turns out, all complied. The prinicipal said she appreciates their beliefs, but it is board policy.

Excuse me? You lose a lawsuit and everyone else has to look at this politically-correct, gay tolerance-promoting poster all day? That's crap. This has nothing to do with gay tolerance. It's all about covering your ass. The kids are still going to throw out insults and verbal abuse.

How about talking to the kids instead of putting up a piece of paper that is supposed to do the job for you. How about having the custodian put them up in every class. That's his job. Or yours. Oh, having each teacher put his/her own poster up is supposed to show that you're tolerant? I think not. Sounds more like a control issue for the prinicipal.

Besides, all you're doing is putting up a blank canvas for kids to mark up when the teacher is out of the room. I'd like to see these posters a month from now. Covered in graffitti. Some probably even torn down.

Personally, in my class, I would verbally-abuse any kid who exhibited any racist or homophobic tendencies. Put the shoe on the other foot. No wait, can't do that. The kid who insulted others would get upset and go the principal on me. No, how about I tell the principal, you want this up in my class, do it yourself. This isn't about the issues. This is damage control.

Where are the posters about suicide assistance? Teen suicides are up and 86% are males. I wouldn't be surprised if the principal said the posters would probably bring that percentage down, considering the possibility that many of the teen deaths are attributed to them being ridiculed based on their sexual preference.

Me? I wouldn't put any poster up. And I would use the premise that it's on principle. It isn't about gay rights or racism. It's not about promoting tolerance. It's damage control, after losing a million dollar judgement on the subject. It's politics, baby. You mean to tell me that if one teacher doesn't put up the poster, some kid is not going to see it, and thus, not become more tolerant of people's life choices? Uh, unless these kids spend the whole day in that one class, I don't think so.

No, no poster for me. Fire me. Wrongful termination. Then you can shell out another million. Then put the damn poster up yourself. (So I can draw a moustache on it)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Inner Self (1989)

I n n e r S e l f

Not born again
As in Christian
Life is renewed
The outside remains
If the inside’s unchanged
To alter
One must uncloud
The inner self

Others cannot help
In your quest
To digest
The journey’s abyss
Isn’t bottomless
To be aware
Realizing where
The fault lies
Within the confines
Of the inner self.

All the attitudes
Must change
Or rearrange
Caring a little more
Than before
Conscience in effect
Willing to detect
Before you err
Life will spare
The inner self

Once you clear
Light shines
The mind binds
With the self
In good health
You now control
The future soul
Life is about
Not being without
The inner self.

And I Wonder (1994)

And I Wonder

For a moment
I look at the stars
And wonder
And gaze
To the heavens above
And wonder
What lies ahead
For this self of mine
I wonder
Who might she be
Will she think of me
Or wonder
Of the heavens above
While the stars shine
And I wonder
Will she care
Like I’ve cared
To wonder
As I do
Are feelings as strong
As I wonder
If I only knew
Who she was
I wonder…

Monster Metal Truck Mania

Actually, it was two different shows. Metal on Friday and Monster Trucks on Saturday. I'd been to the Monster Truck rallies before, and this one was no different. My favorites were there. GRAVEDIGGER IS GOD. But I like Madusa, too. She's a former wrestler, and doing quite well. She tied fo rthe championship last year. BTW, Madusa is short for "made in the USA", which explains her colors being red, white and blue.

But the most fun was the night before. Metalhead mania at a local club here in San Francisco, the underground metal capital of the world (at least it was a decade ago).

Awright, so they were tribute bands. So what. I've seen the originals over and over and over. I've met the originals back when I worked in rock radio in the late 80's. Metallica, Slayer (my fave), Megadeth, Venom, Mercyful Fate, Scorpions. I don't claim to know them as they aren't friends of mine. But I've met them and some I've hung out with. Yup, drinking and talking metal. Way cool, jr. I got pictures so save your breath.

Anyway, the sad part is, it's 2006. All these bands still play, as they rule the metal world now as they did back then. But, they tend to play all the new stuff, and only 2 or 3 songs of the old stuff, which is what I want to hear. Why do you think there are tribute bands in the first place. Because the old fans don't go to the new shows. They want to hear the old stuff. And that's what the tribute bands play.

Damage, Inc covering Metallica, was pretty good. Guitarist missed a few notes, and a little sloppy, too. Singer didn't look or sound like Hetfield, but whaddya expect. He did okay on vocals. The drummer was excellent because he was right there with Lars. Loud and fast.

Children of the Damned, covering Iron Maiden, was really good. The guitars were dead on, and in sync. The singer was good, too, hitting all the high notes. Bruce Dickinson (original Maiden frontman) would have been proud. The cool part: I met the singer at one of his other shows (he likes to cruise the crowd for feedback) when he was singing for Screaming For Vengeance (Judas Priest tribute band). I even remember him telling me on the side he was auditioning for an Iron Maiden tribute band. I guess he got the job. Duh...

Blood Red, covering Slayer, was a missed segment. I arrived late to find their set was only a 1/2 hour. I was pissed. Slayer was my favorite. But it enticed me to go out and pick up a Slayer song book and start learning their songs and putting my guitar playing to good use. Wouldn't that be a kick. Me in a Slayer tribute band. talk about a dream job. Odder things have happened.