Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thoughts on Michael Sam

As a fan of sports my number one concern for an athlete is can he play. Secondly I hope the athlete is someone cool who signs autographs and helps out in the community. I don't care about their sexual preference or their personal life. It is none of my business.

Michael Sam is an openly gay football player. He was a seventh round pick who played well for the St. Louis Rams. He made it to the final rounds of cuts. I'm sure he is disappointed at being cut. He very well could be picked up by another team.

Gay, bi or straight it does not matter. What matters is can you play. Michael Sam showed he could play, but not necessarily enough to make the team. I wish him well.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Return of My Rankings: College Football Rankings

Going to put my college football rankings on my blog this season. Kickoff to the new season starts in a couple of days. Games of the week: Thursday Texas A&M at South Carolina. Saturday's match up Clemson at Georgia. LSU and Wisconsin on Saturday. Here is how I have them ranked. Follow all season long to see how they finish.

1) Florida State University Seminoles The defending champions get to hold on to the top spot. They open the season taking on Oklahoma State in Arlington, Texas on Saturday.

2) Alabama Crimson Tide Alabama has been a consistent contender for years. The Tide hope to roll opening up against West Virginia in Atlanta on Saturday.

3) Oregon Ducks The Ducks open against South Dakota on Saturday. The Ducks same to be challengers out west year in and year out.

4) Oklahoma Sooners The Sooners start things off against Louisiana Tech on Saturday. Representing the Big 12.

5) South Carolina Gamecocks The Ole Ball Coach has been fielding solid college teams for year. This year's squad looks to be another good one. Opens the season Thursday hosting Texas A&M.

6) Ohio State Buckeyes I would have ranked Ohio State higher possibly second if their starting quarterback was not injured. Ohio States starts the challenge of their season meeting Navy on Saturday in Baltimore.

7) Auburn Tigers They had an incredible season last year. How well will they do this year? They start the season against Arkansas on Saturday.

8) Stanford Cardinal Stanford will be a challenger in the PAC-12. They open up with a cupcake game against UC-Davis.

9) Michigan State Spartans Might be a dark horse in the Big Ten but with the Buckeyes injury they might be a contender. Open the season against Jacksonville State which won't show anything.

10) Georgia Bulldogs open the season with a true test against Clemson on Saturday.

11) UCLA Bruins visit Virginia on Saturday. A PAC-12/ACC early season showdown.

12) Baylor Bears open against SMU on Sunday. A Texas show down early.

13) LSU Tigers have a monster opening in Houston against #14 Wisconsin on Saturday.

14) Wisconsin Badgers meeting #13 LSU on Saturday should be fun

15) Clemson Tigers The Tigers start the season with a showdown against #10 Georgia on Saturday.

16) USC Trojans open the season Saturday against Fresno State.

17) Notre Dame Fighting Irish open the season on Saturday hosting Rice.

18) Arizona State Wildcats clash with Weber State on Thursday in a tune up.

19) Texas A&M Aggies The Aggies kick off the season Thursday against #5 South Carolina. The first time these schools have met on the grid iron and it could be epic.

20) Nebraska Cornhuskers open the season Saturday hosting Florida Atlantic.

21) North Carolina Tar Heels tune up for the season with a visit from Liberty on Saturday.

22) Texas Longhorns the Strong era begins against North Texas on Saturday.

23) Washington Huskies open the season visiting Hawaii on Saturday.

24) Kansas State Wildcats should win the opener against Stephen A. Foster on Saturday.

25) Missouri Tigers starts the season against South Dakota State on Saturday.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Birthday Tori Amos!

Today is the birthday of Tori Amos. I can't believe she turns 51 today! I became a fan of hers through a friend. She shared the lyrics to "China" and I was hooked especially after listening to Little Earthquakes.

Here is China

This next song is simply beautiful and might be my favorite song by her. Check out 1000 Oceans..

I will confess I didn't like her with a band. Tori in my opinion is best with just her pianos or a guitarist accompanying her. But she is the artist and follows her own muse. Her latest album is more like the old, great stuff I liked the best.

Any way happy birthday and I look forward to more music!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Happy Birthday! Robert Plant

It has been all quiet on the blog side. Work has been very busy in the real world.  Any way I thought I would drop in and celebrate Robert Plant's birthday August 20.

He has a new album coming out next month Lullaby and ..The Ceaseless Roar. The exciting thing is it has new songs, not covers. The first since 2005's Mighty ReArranger.

About the new stuff..

The first single from the album done live..

This is a version of Led Zeppelin's "In the Light" covered by Robert Plant at one my all time favorite Robert Plant shows that I have been too!

I liked this song a lot as well..."Ship of Fools:

Oh well I hope he Celebrated..

Friday, August 15, 2014

Battle of the Bands #3: A Tribute to Jerry Garcia Jimmy Buffett Vs Warren Haynes

I'm back for another Battle of Bands, this will be my third one. This time around I will be honoring Jerry Garcia who was born in August and died in August.

Anyway here is how it works:

Listen to the song clips in the blog post. In the comment section vote for the one you like the best. Feel free to explain why you voted the way you did. The battles take place on the first and 15th and winners will be announced on the 7th and 21st. I will normally post the winner in the comments. Of course have fun and enjoy!

If you are still looking for more musical fun after you vote, you can check out these sites for more battles:

         Faraway Series   
         Your Daily Dose
           Tossing It Out
           STMcC Presents "Battle of the Bands"
           A Writer's Life In Progress
           Curious as a Cathy
The list of blogs participating is growing! Which is a great thing, a lot of diverse music. 

If you have one and I missed it let me know in the comments. If you just started your battle let me know in the comments.

The Grateful Dead had legions of fans called Deadheads and Jimmy Buffett has legions of fans called Parrot Heads. Fact is Jimmy Buffett liked the Grateful Dead as well. Here he covers "Scarlet Begonias."

Warren Haynes and his version of "Scarlet Begonias" with some symphonic help. I apologize I couldn't find a pro shot video.

Please vote in the comments and enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Racing: Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr

In racing you don't get out of your car unless it is on fire until your safety team arrives. Kevin Ward Jr lost control of his temper when he got out of his race car and walked towards Tony Stewart's car. Of course Tony Stewart is known to lose his temper. He may have purposefully caused Kevin Ward Jr to spin out. It's part of racing and Kevin Ward Jr might have every right to be upset.

I am going to lean on side Tony Stewart didn't mean to hit Kevin Ward Jr. Maybe he didn't see Kevin until it was too late. I would imagine drivers don't expect to see a person walking towards them during a race. Maybe Kevin Ward Jr distracted Tony Stewart. Then again known of this would have happened if
tony Stewart didn't cause Kevin Ward Jr. to spin out.

I am going to think it was an accident. It is a terrible tragedy. A young man, 20 years old has died who had a promising future doing what he loved. A successful race car driver Tony Stewart will have to live with the horror of knowing he killed a person. Even as an accident that has to be difficult to live with.

If only Kevin had stayed in the car. Perhaps racing needs to tighten the rules on people staying in the car. There are so many maybes and perhaps. It doesn't matter. It doesn't bring Kevin Ward Jr back.

I'm not posting the video of the crash. It is out there if you want to watch. Kevin Ward Jr may you rest in peace.

Monday, August 11, 2014

R.I.P Robin Williams

Starting off this post with some highlights of Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam!  If you haven't heard the news Robin Williams has passed away. You can read the depressing news here. It is a shame he died too soon at 63. I am sure he had a few more things he could have done to make us laugh again. I want to celebrate his life. The gift of his performances which he left us.

Here is his first appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson...

Many of us first discovered Robin Williams when he was on Mork and Mindy. You might recognize a younger David Letterman in this clip..

Maybe not the right time for this clip.Then again maybe humor is what we need. Here he performs in a skit with Carol Burnett.

So many movies to choose from.  I think my favorite might be What Dreams May Come. Ms. Doubtfire certainly was funny. What were your favorites?

Thanks for the entertainment may you rest in peace Robin Williams!

Bob Weir clears schedule

I didn't set out to follow up a tribute post to Jerry Garcia with a post about his old band mate and fellow guitarist Bob Weir. Unfortunately it just fell into place. Bob Weir just cancelled all his Ratdog shows through January of 2015. In April of 2013 I blogged about Bob collapsing on stage. No official statement has said it is due to health reasons but one would speculate.

"The Music Never Stopped"

Bob's former manager told Rolling Stone magazine "Bobby's been having health problems for a while and now there are plenty of people who support him and want to help him get the care he needs." 

Read more:
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Bob Weir performs "Hell in a Bucket"

Old habits coming back to haunt, new addictions, exhausted from the road, old age or some combination of them? Who knows. Doesn't really matter. Fans of Bob Weir, Ratdog, Furthur, The Grateful Dead want him to get healthy so songs can once again fill the air. Festival promoters, venue managers, want him to get well so he can tour.

"Loose Lucy"

We wish him rest, recovery, peace and positive vibes!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

The End of a Long Strange Trip: Jerry Garcia

I was in my car when I heard the news the Jerry Garcia had died. Harder still to believe it has been 19 years ago. The last two years I have blogged about him on his birthday.

I didn't think to do so this time. I remembered after I blogged about my battle of the band. I've written often about how I miss him. It is sobering to realize he died being 10 years older than I am now at the age of 53 from a heart attack.

I've got a "Touch of Grey"

Here is how Dan Rather and CBS News reported it..

Like Led Zeppelin and Robert Plant introduced me to "new music" at least to me. The bluegrass, the Americana music, the old time, the folk, or whatever you want to call it. Sure I had heard some before but he presented it in away that I got it.

"Whiskey in the Jar"

"Shinning Star"

Thank you for the songs, the improvisations, the solos, the memories and the songs that still fill the air. Something beautiful died with you that unfortunately can never can be replaced, Thank you though for letting me experience it if just for a little while.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happy Birthday to The Edge

David Howell Evans more commonly known as The Edge turns 53 today. The Edge is the guitarist for U2.
Of course you know I am going to celebrate his birthday with some videos. Since he is a guitarist let me start with a mix of some of his solos..

Here is a bit about his guitar rig for any guitar geeks out there...

Here is the song "Numb" which The Edge sings...

Here he performs "The Weight" with Jack White and Jimmy Page..

Here is U2 "With or Without You"

Thanks for dropping in and happpy birthday to The Edge!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Thoughts on: Disney, Jennifer Lee and A Wrinkle In Time

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle was one of my favorite books to read when I was a young child. It was cool to see when my son read the book and I am sure it won't belong until my daughter reads it.

I'm glad to see the book coming to the big screen. I am sure the movie will inspire more people to read the book. Will the movie surpass how you imagined the story as you read the book? It is possible and to some it will not. It isn't fair to ask a movie to do that. Your imagination is fluid, always changing while a movie is recorded. You as a reader have your own perspective on the story and the movie creators will have their own too.  How true to the book will the movie stay is another question to be answered.

Jennifer Lee had enormous success with her last project Frozen. Disney will have the talent and resources to enable Ms. Lee to create something special. Here is the trailer for Frozen..

I've heard some folks that are disappointed that Disney is making the movie. Perhaps someone else could make it. However, Disney has the ability to turn it into a blockbuster. It is a children's book and Disney has a way with making things special for children. I'll watch it with my daughter. If the movie doesn't go like my interpretation of the book maybe I will re-read the classic. I might not even wait for the movie, I might just read the classic to my daughter!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

NFL: The Year of the Neck Injuries

NFL has been battling concussions for the past few years. Changing rules to try reduce them. Some of the rules old school fans don't like as it takes some of the hard hitting away from the game. This year the issue appears to be neck and back injuries.

David Wilson, the 23 year old running back for the New York Giants might have played his last NFL game. His career apparently cut short due to a neck injury. You can read the story here.

Houston Texans running back Arian Foster considered retirement during the off season due to his back injuries. You can read the blog on the Houston Chronicle.

Neck injuries forced Green Bay Packers running back Johnathan Franklin to retire this off season. He was a fourth round pick by Green Bay in 2013. You can read the report in the L.A. Times.

Two running backs this off season /early training camp have had their careers called short. Another running back considered retirement due to back and neck injuries. I know there has been more throughout the leagues history. Just sames a lot so far this season. Of course football is a dangerous, hard hitting sport, that does take a toll on the players who play the game.