Sunday, June 27, 2010

A most excellent musical obsession.

Normally, I don't fall this hard for songs (with the exception of this one), but this pair of ridiculously awesome power-pop songs from the early '70s just has me absolutely HOOKED.

The band is Raspberries, from Cleveland. The lead singer (at least in this part of the band's history) is one Eric Carmen, who you probably know if you were alive in the late '80s and you either (a.) were a girl, (b.) knew a girl, or (c.) just really liked movies that had characters creepily nicknamed "Baby":

Ooooooooh, such '80s production! "GET ME MORE REVERB ON THAT SNARE!!!"

Tell ya what... sometime in the near future, I should do a lyrics-deconstruction for "Hungry Eyes." I hope it turns out as weird as Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" — especially since Jennifer Grey's character in the movie, Frances "Baby" Houseman, was listed at the ripe old age of 17.

UPDATE: I watched the rest of the second video for the first time in a long time, and had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN about the ridiculous "saxophone solo." Just watch it, ok?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summertime (essentially), and the livin' is easy (for the most part).

At about 4:30 pm, on my way out to the parking lot, I looked around a bit to make sure nobody saw me (the place was pretty empty, but you never know), thought a bit about the logistics of the manoeuvre, as I had never really attempted it before... and I jumped up and clicked my heels together (as best as one can while wearing sandals).

Exams? Done.

Marks? Submitted.

Life? Returned to me.

Sure, the next few days I have to go in, clean stuff up, plan for next year, haul old equipment to the dumpster, check over textbook lists, and possibly cover for my co-department-head whose mom is battling an illness and do her end-of-year stuff, too.

No matter, though. As long as the ten-month treadmill of classes and marking and classes and marking is stopped, I'm a happy guy.

Thank you, Alice. You are quite right.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This, I didn't need.

I called up my grandpa, who turned 90 today. I congratulated him on the birthday, and he talked about the get-together my family had on the weekend (which I couldn't attend because I was busy playing 7 baseball games in less than 36 hours).

"It's so great to have a family. You oughtta get yourself a pretty young thing to settle down with and start a family of your own. You're getting older, you know."

Great, now the nonagenarians are getting on my case.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Heard this played on Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap tonight on the CBC while coming home from Day 1 of our annual June baseball tournament. Thought I'd share it.

Fun piece of trivia...

Q: Who played lead guitar on this track?
A: Ray Parker Jr., who wrote and performed the theme to Ghostbusters.

I know I'm sounding old and curmudgeonly, but... can Lady Gaga hold a candle to this? Really, can she?

Monday, June 14, 2010


Sure, you may not agree with Ted Nugent's libertarianism, his thorough love for hunting, his brashly outspoken and uncritical support of the Right To Bear Arms (despite coming from a city which has an unbelievably high incidence of gun-related crime), or his omnipresent cowboy hat (these days).

But damn, this fella could play some guitar. That's him with that gorgeous hollow-body Gibson tucked way up under his arm during his time with the Amboy Dukes, and while, no, he's not playing live, hardly anybody did that on TV back when this song was new. And no, the lyrics aren't that interesting (nor do they make much sense), but... as I mentioned before, GEE-TARRRRR. The tone absolutely slays me.

I swear, if I could make a guitar sound like that, I'd totally quit my day job.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

One-sentence random thought #12.

I wish the store up the street which was closest to me sold cool stuff like lap dances and Tostitos Medium salsa; the wrought-iron outdoor-furniture outfit has now been replaced with a business that sells Persian rugs.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Visit Toronto, and the shores of Great Fake Lake.

If you've been anywhere near Toronto for the past few weeks, you wouldn't have been able to escape talk about this whole G20 meeting deal.

A guy on my baseball team is an officer with the Toronto Police, and he says they're going to be on for 13 straight days, 12-hour shifts. Today they started putting up security fencing — three-metre tall chain-link fencing, on top of concrete barriers — and people are going to have to show ID to get in and out of the secure area around the Convention Centre (with a suitable airport-like delay for good measure).

And, most notably, the Phillies-Jays series, which was to feature the return of Roy "Mr. Perfect" Halladay to Toronto, was moved to Philadelphia. The Jays will get home-field advantage and the game will be played under American League rules, but with tens of thousands of people cheering against you, it won't feel like much of a home game for the Jays.

(Not that I care. Go Tigers!)

Now, the thing that has made most peoples' eyes bug-out on this one is the staggering amount it's going to cost for all this stuff: $1.1 billion, at last count.

Yup. That's billion, with a big, fat B.

Nearly all of that ($933 million) is just for security.

For a three-day meeting.

So, obviously, it's a great idea to build a fake Muskoka-area lake inside a big building at the CNE, to the tune of $2 million. I mean, you're already going ten figures, what's a couple mil here and there? Build that lake... for reporters... to apologize for the fact that the G20 had to be moved from Muskoka to the city.


What's our debt these days again? It's big, right? Yeah, it's big.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

This is what the 27th out of a perfect game looks like.


So, Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from throwing a perfect game. (Despite the fact that there have been two so far this season, there have only been 20 since 1880. This season has been really, really weird for that.)

The 27th batter, Cleveland Indians rookie Jason Donald, hit a ball to the right of Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Galarraga dutifully went over to cover first base to take the throw from Cabrera and step on the bag, which he's doing in the picture above; the ball is safely in his glove.

First-base umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe.

Perfect game over.

No-hitter over, even.

The record books might show that Armando Galarraga pitched a masterful 9-inning shutout, with one hit allowed, no walks and no hit-batsmen, with no fielding errors behind him. But we all know he really pitched a perfect game: 27 up, 27 down.

It's okay, buddy. We still love you.

UPDATE: A bit later, after the game...
"I just cost that kid a perfect game," Joyce said. "I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay."

"It was the biggest call of my career," said Joyce, who became a full-time major league umpire in 1989.

Joyce faced a group of hostile Tigers — led by Leyland — between the pitching mound and home plate after the final out and was booed lustily by the crowd of 17,738 as he walked off the field.

"I don't blame them a bit or anything that was said," Joyce said. "I would've said it myself if I had been Galarraga. I would've been the first person in my face, and he never said a word to me."
Still stings, though.