Thursday, December 15, 2011


I have a crush

 It started when Spud sent me this...

She's back up for Gotye.

So naturally I looked into who that wonderful female voice was and that
lead to this video where she performs as vocals for a Daft Punk kind of band called Miami Horror...

and then to these videos, her own music...

(this one's my favorite)

Here is that first song wonderfully performed live... (watch her hands)

Some added thoughts about Kimbra...

She isn't a diva. Lets instrumental parts fill where you want to hear more of her voice unlike other female vocalists. She doesn't use sex to sell her talent. She definitely doesn't need to. Her classy style is quite sexy enough in a wholesome way.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Here we are in the Holiday season with it's music and all. Almost every time The First Noel is sung you will hear the name Israel pronounceable Is-RYE-El. I have heard it pronounced the way everyone says it in real life, but not very often. Why do you think this is?

Now, you can't unhear it!

Yeah, I didn't know Crash Test Dummies did this either!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


On this day Haile Selassie was born in Ethiopia... and so was my wife, also in Ethiopia. So for her birthday we met her folks at an Ethiopian restaurant that we hadn't been to yet. The food at RAS is excellent and is served in great portions. It is a bit spicier than other restaurants in the are that we used to frequent. There is an abundance of space inside the facility as well as for parking behind the building. Access is very convenient right off of West 7th or coming in from Davern. The owner was extremely friendly and has been in St. Paul for twenty years. His family opened RAS three years ago and has seen great business. He is sure to get more from our family. We were quite impressed.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Father & Son and Fight Test

Here's a post with a bunch of good and similar music...

Wayne Coyne (of the Flaming Lips) said this of the two songs:
I want to go on record for the first time and say that I really apologise for the whole thing. I really love Cat Stevens. I truly respect him as a great singer-songwriter. And now he wants his money. There was a time during the recording when we said, this has a similarity to "Father And Son". Then we purposefully changed those bits. But I do regret not contacting his record company and asking their opinion. Maybe we could have gone 50-50. As it is, Cat Stevens is now getting 75 per cent of royalties from "Fight Test", We could easily have changed the melody but we didn't. I am really sorry that Cat Stevens thinks I'm purposefully plagiarising his work. I am ashamed. There is obviously a fine line between being inspired and stealing. But if anyone wanted to borrow part of a Flaming Lips song, I don't think I'd bother pursuing it. I've got better things to do. Anyway, Cat Stevens is never going to make much money out of us.'
It's my (probably bias) opinion that the Flaming Lips song is the greater of the two. It seems to me the Coyne's spirit about it all is the better one.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I found myself between audiobooks and looking for something to listen to quickly. The first CD that came to my hand was Pearl Jam Ten. It's been a long time since I gave the album a good listen. Sadly it's lost a lot of the magic it held for me back in 1992. And it held a lot of magic for me then. It's angry tone meshed well with my angsty high school dramas (which weren't that many, really). To me this was THE ALBUM of the Seattle music scene. And I loved every moment of the CD. My music interest has come a long way from those days. Now the album is rather dull- not interesting enough. I have a much more critical ear for production and Ten's production level seemed standard, not too creative. I'd like to know what my opinion would be if I could somehow listen to Ten for the first time now. Or is it's place in my history an inseparable part of my music opinion and interest now? This I do not know.

Pearl Jam's predecessor, Mother Love Bone, is the better band in my opinion. The music was more interesting and had an element of humor that Pearl Jam lacked. Mother Love Bone was essentially a '70s glam rock band in the '90s and this is probably why I like them better. Pearl Jam took themselves too seriously, at least for the debut album. I dismissed all albums by Pearl Jam after this one as I was moving on in my music interest and they were not living up to what Ten was to me. It's clear now that this was no fault of theirs and entirely mine. To which I conclude that I ought to give the rest of Pearl Jam's catalog another try.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

6 Years and The Happy Gnome

We've been married for 6 years today. Cara secretly made reservations at a restaurant called The Happy Gnome! This place had a huge menu of beer and very good food. I ordered a dark beer mixed with coffee which was very good. And for dinner Cara had bison steak and I had lamb ribs. Fantastic. Comfortable place.

After dinner we lazily walked around Harriet Island which neither of us had ever visited before, made our way all the way to the end of the mighty pier, watched a couple of red-necks catch a pretty big catfish, watched a tugboat push 9 barges upstream and finally went to retrieve our kids from the Browns. A very nice evening.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Even Better?

Peace Graffiti by MechanicalLazarus
The dramatic events that lead to some strife at work is way back in my rear view mirrors. The cool thing about the aftermath is that the person that I fought with and I seem to be closer than we were before that confrontation. Not that we're best friends and helping each other move or anything, but there is genuine small talk.

For example, he talks about how a high-school sweet-heart found his number and sort of tries to seduce him and how he ought to resist. I feel close enough to agree and encourage him to resist. I wonder if that encouragement is exactly why he tells me these things.

I can only guess why he shares these things with me. I'll keep on giving him my honest opinion about them since that seems to be working and what he wants.

At any rate, I told him I was glad things are cool between us and he agreed.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Eagle River

Life in a Northern Town. This video was shot in the summer of '93 and edited in '98.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Here's an interesting thing. A friend of mine is taking a few days off because he's having a baby tomorrow. His wife is scheduled to have a C-Section because their baby is breech and a week overdue. Even though everything should be fine, he is anxious because in his homeland this condition was almost always fatal for the mother. Think of that. She will be fine simply because she lives here and not there. Do we even realize how nice we have it?

This must be an extension of the earlier post about taking things for granted.

This is a nice alternative to the news I heard this morning- a man who delivers the diesel fuel to our bus company returned today after three weeks off. He was off because he had come home to find his wife dead on the floor in their house.

What would you even do?!

Another employee of our company recently found his grandson dead in their basement, he'd committed suicide.

A day of extremes. Make sure you tell your family you love them. Don't go to bed angry with anyone. Reconcile as soon as you can. You never know what day is your last.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

School Bus Drivers

In my line of work we can often see the absolute worst behavior the kids of today can provide. Transporting students to and from school is a job with a lot of responsibility. Each school bus driver is responsible for the safety of every single child on their bus. The demands on a driver's attention are just plain overwhelming. To be aware of everything around that size of a vehicle is daunting enough. Then add the other drivers in a metro area like the Twin Cities. On top of that there is the weather (which is becoming less and less of a problem every day this time of year, thank God). But the worst distraction for a driver on a school bus are the very students they're working so hard to protect and transport.

The attitude that manifests in some of these kids is astounding, vulgar, disappointing, and sometimes down right evil.

When there is a problem with behavior on a bus, the driver's only course of action, really, is the almighty Write Up. That's all a driver can do. Threaten to do it, and then actually write them up. Whether or not the write up has any effect or consequence for the student is entirely up to the school and/or school district. It's sad when the school falls short on that end of the process. This just shows the student that there is no negative effect for them for their actions on the bus. Almost every time I've had to write up a student with that horrid attitude, their reaction is- "Go ahead! Write me up!" I've heard that so many time.

The sad thing about this is there are plenty of adults who are exactly the same. This rant exists because of an incident at my work this evening with one of these bus drivers. A very minor situation of not following a simple simple company rule- a rule that exists to help all the drivers and their ability to safely maneuver these large buses in a very small yard and park in a way that allows the next drivers room to do the same. This one driver didn't follow this stupid little rule. No level of informing him that he had to worked. It very quickly blew up into a vulgar shouting and threatening scene! Not by any action, but by word I was actually threatened! They wanted to resolve the argument outside, physically! This person drives your kids home every day! The remarkable thing in the end is upon mentioning a write up for the behavior, his response was EXACTLY as a students would be- "Go ahead. Write me up".

Parents: make a point to meet your kid's bus driver. Divine what kind of person this is. There are a lot of wonderful people driving school buses. And then there are...

This rant is about the problem students. While it is a real problem, there are hundreds of students that ride the bus with no problems at all. Those that abide by the rules, treat others with respect, sit safely, and act mature are wonderful and deeply appreciated by all bus drivers. Thank you to every one of you kids who fit that description. You make this job quite rewarding.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mood is a Choice

Here is the idea today: Do you realize the effect you have on the people around you?

I work with someone who seems miserable. I suspect the circumstances really have nothing to do with me, but are outside the work place. The problem spills over to the co-workers and effects all they encounter. I allow this to impact me more than I ever should. Nothing I do is ever good enough and they are able to find something wrong with my best efforts. I go out of my way to try to improve the relationship, but that is either not recognized or not appreciated. Everyday I need to work with them and its something I do not look forward to every time. I even take delight in relaying information that might upset them!

This morning a short conversation with them was completely different. I could sense a happiness in voice that has been missing for several months. For the first time in a long time we seemed to be on the same wavelength.

What amazes me was the effect hearing that had on my mood and attitude toward the person and for the day in general. I wonder if they felt as much relief as I did. Did they recognize my reaction? Did the conversation flow easier today for them as it did for me? Does my attitude to them have the same effect on their day? These things I do not know. But I do know that it's all so much better when the mood is positive.

What frustrates me about this is that I strongly believe most of this comes down to choice (whether we realize that or not). And that means this person is, probably subconsciously deciding to be miserable. Even though they'd probably rather not be miserable if they only realized it was a choice!

Maybe none of it is choice and it's all beyond our control determined by chance and chemicals! Perhaps some people just are not compatible.

There must be some kind of science or study to psychic wavelengths or something along those lines that explain how some people can communicate near flawlessly and understand each other so well, while other people cannot, just simply cannot no matter how much effort is put in. Maybe it depends on body chemistry and/or circumstances.  I suspect it is heavily influenced by your role and position in your family, like where you line up in your sibling's birth order if you have siblings at all. A few years ago I worked with a school bus aid on a route and we enjoyed this kind of communication and kind of had a theory mapped out about it. It'd be cool to find out if there really is this type of study.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I like how if you focus on one word and say it over and over, the word sounds really strange. I suspect its a take it for granted thing. When it starts to sound strange you have broken this and are no longer taking that word for granted.

Take it for Granted is an interesting phrase, actually. I think I take that phrase for granted. Who granted it?


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