Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Top Music for January

Well, not all of January, just the past week. I'll try to update this every month and I'll put it on the sidebar as well.

Top Artists

  1. Abby Someone

  2. Ben Folds

  3. Slappy is Jebus

  4. Barenaked Ladies

  5. Ben Folds Five

  6. Danny Barnes

  7. Sue Foley

  8. Willy Grigg

  9. James Harman

  10. Warren Zevon

Top Songs

  1. Diamond - Abby Someone

  2. Fall Down (Crappy Radio Mix) - Abby Someone

  3. If The Shoe Fits (Wear It) - James Harman Band

  4. Got My Mojo Workin' w/Who Do You Love - Slappy is Jebus

  5. All in One - Willy Grigg

  6. Falling Fast - Willy Grigg

  7. Brian Wilson - Barenaked Ladies

  8. Trusted - Ben Folds

  9. I Want Candy - MC Chris

  10. Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank - Barenaked Ladies

Rankings based on number of plays. Your mileage may vary.



A Second New Blog Today?

Readers here will know her as That 1 Gal but at Confessions of a PeriMenopausal Goddess, she goes by Bellona of Avalon.


So not only do two folks I know start blogs on the same day, I also register the first comment on each.




Doin' the Blog-Rounds

From 5ives:

Five ideas I’ve had for family theme restaurants

  1. B.F. Skinner’s Original Stuffers - The poultry skin of your choosing is stuffed with a la carte selections from “th’ fixin’s bar,” deep fried to a golden brown, and served with your choice of fun “Dippin’” sauces.

  2. Bobby B. Butterworth’s Old Fashioned Dairy Funshack - A frozen quarterpound stick of salted creamery butter is hand-battered, “flash fried,” and served with your choice of fun “Dippin’” sauces.

  3. Long John Silvers’ “Dripper” Hut - Offshoot of the fast-food seafood franchise offers “mini-buckets” of their leftover fried shortening flecks, served with your choice of fun “Dippin’” sauces.

  4. Mouth Meat Mel’s - 450º pizza — sure to immediately scald the roof of your mouth — is served with your choice of fun “Dippin’” sauces. (note: first-time members of “The Mel’s Mouth Meat Makers” receive a colorful “I damaged the delicate tissues of my mouth at Mel’s!” adhesive ribbon)

  5. Dippin’ Dippin’ Dippin’! - The “Dippin’” sauce of your choice is served with your choice of fun “Dippin’” sauces.

Plenty more where this came from....



Lord Help Me!
There's a Button Pushing Monkey Beneath My Feet!

The Head Monkey
Just a heads up, there's a new blog in the neighborhood. It's called Button Pushing Monkey and it's being operated right under me!

To quote the Head Monkey, it's a blog about, "Things that rub my buddha, Or piss me off depending on the day."

I can get behind that.

Check it out.



...But It's Not OK If I Do It...

I don't get paid for the things I'm best at. I suppose this is a tired old post on this blog, particularly on the MBW. Some of the things I'm good at, it would be illegal to pay me for them. The others, well, I've tried to get jobs doing them, but nobody will hire me for them.

So I'm stuck in TV. Not the fun and cool creative side, but the dull and ordinary operations side. I'm stuck in TV because, besided delivering pizzas, it's the only skill that I can prove to anyone that I actually have. My pizza delivery days are over folks.

There's no reason that I couldn't be doing graphics at an ad agency or newspaper besides that I can't prove to anyone that I can do that type of job. A goofy little web site isn't proof enough, I don't get paid for doing that, so it can't possibly be valid. I can't get a paying job in a field until I've had a paying job in that field. Fuck, I feel like I'm just out of high school and looking for a job again.

There's no reason that I couldn't be writing for a newspaper besides that I can't prove to anyone that I can do that type of job. This goofy little we site isn't proof enough that I can write well since I don't get paid for it.

That's actually where this is coming from. I read some stuff in an online edition of a newspaper and an associated web site last night. Two things struck me. First, I'm writing more on this stupid little blog in any given week than some professional writers. You know, people who get paid for writing. Second, in one instance, an article on a subject that I've written on many times on this blog, was done much more poorly than I would ever think of writing anything. AND IT ENDED UP BEING PRINTED IN THE DEAD TREE EDITION.

I'm way past the fact that I'm never going to get paid for writing. That's fine, I accept it, but when I see shit being printed, stuff that I could do a much better job at, well, it just pisses me off and I do what I do best, I bitch.

So I'll complain. It won't do a damn bit of good. And I'll just sit here and get angrier and angrier. Then I'll get over it and go on with my life. From what I've learned, that's a prerfectly acceptable way to handle things. Unless I do it. Fine for everyone else though.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Broken Machines

I was just over at Broken Machines, the blog brought to you by Slick, a frequent contributor to The Globex Corporation Newsletter.

I'd seen the following before, but I always liked it and thought I should just steal it and post it here:

Phrases to Abolish

  • You the man!

  • You do the math

  • Win win situation

  • My bad

  • Been there, done that

  • Not a happy camper

  • No brainer

  • Bang for the buck

  • Sounds like a plan

  • You snooze you lose

  • Git r done

  • Are we/you having fun yet?

  • Think outside the box

  • I’m all about _________

  • Bad hair day

  • _________ has issues

  • OK, I didn't steal them all, head over to Broken Machines to see the really good ones.




    Positive About Tina Fey

    She doesn't think she's sexy, but come on, look at her!
    If it weren't for Sue Foley and my fake relationship with That One Gal, I think I would decide to be madly in love with Tina Fey.

    I know you don't really decide stuff like that, that it just sort of happens. It would also be easier if we lived anywhere near each other, she wasn't married and she had any idea of the existence of one "Blind Orange" Julius. Thems, the breaks, though.

    I first noticed Tina Fey as the anchor on Weekend Update on SNL. Yes, as with all women I find attractive, the first things I noticed were purely physicial. She's sort of "dorky cute" with the glasses and not over the top good looks. Then I noticed she was funny, funny as hell, with a very odd sense of humor. As an aside, while we're contemplating another Top 10 List on The Globex Corporation Newsletter, here's my Top 5 List of my favorite SNL Weekend Update Anchors:

    5. Kevin Nealon
    4. Norm MacDonald
    3. Chevy Chase
    2. Tina Fey
    1. Dennis Miller

    Second to Dennis Miller? Come on, Dennis was and is a complete genius!

    But Tina Fey isn't too far off. I started seeing her on talk shows and found out that she was not only host of Update, not only a writer, but she was the first femal head writer in the history of SNL. A good one at that. During her tenure the show was well paced with short sketches that didn't drag on too long after the initial joke got tired.

    She would occasionally show up in sketches as well. One about a stage show for the children of Vegas gamblers featured her as a stripper. Not a great sketch, but Tina Fey was a stripper in a sketch! Oh the memories!

    Ashleigh Banfield
    My favorite Tina Fey sketch appearance was about going away party for Tom Brokaw. Different cast members were playing the parts of news anchors. Tina walked into the party and someone, a little confused said, "Hey Tina Fey."

    It fit, I suppose, Tina Fey was a news anchor of sorts.

    Fey replied, "I'm supposed to be Ashleigh Banfield! Oh, this is why I don't do sketches," and ran out of the room. Brilliant.

    As a sketch writer, there's one sketch that always stands out to me, one I looked for before attempting to write this but couldn't find, a sketch about a Civil War officer returning home after the war. One Colonel Lingus. Wonderful use of the language, if sophmoric at times. Struck me as funny, anyway.

    As a writer she's fantastic, the movie Mean Girls, Lindsey Lohan aside, was witty and I really enjoyed the subject matter. Her new show on NBC, 30 Rock, about the head writer at a sketch comedy show, is quite funny, something that I hope continues for a number of years.

    Yeah, there's all kinds of wonderful things about Tina Fey as a writer and performer, but who am I kidding, she gets a Positive Tuesday post because I find her really attractive.

    There are currently no plans for a Tina Fey Photo Saturday....


    Monday, January 29, 2007


    Fake Gambling - Super Bowl Style

    I've never bet a Super Bowl. My thought was always that I never bet 100% of the games on any given week, why should I do that on Super Bowl Sunday? In truth, I don't like the 7 point spread in this game, but I had to bed something, so I picked one.

    The cool thing about the Super Bowl is that you can bet on anything. They're called Proposition bets, or Prop bets and they are wagers on things that happen before during or after the game, things involving players and non players alike. With that in mind, the last $900 of the fake money is on the line this Sunday:

    First, the normal stuff....

  • Indianapolis (-7) vs. Chicago - $100

  • Indianapolis vs. Chicago OVER (48.5) - $100

  • Some stuff a little out of the ordinary....

  • Coin Toss TAILS - $50

  • Team to win Coin Toss CHICAGO - $50

  • I love this one!

  • Uniform Number of First Player to Score Touchdown OVER (61.5) - $100

  • Game time! Bet on players and specific events

  • Total Sacks (Both Teams) OVER (3.5) - $100

  • Peyton Manning Passing Yards OVER (273.5) - $50

  • Peyton Manning Rushing Attempts UNDER (1.5) - $50

  • Marvin Harrison Receiving Yards OVER (78) - $50

  • Adam Vinatieri Total Points UNDER (8.5) - $50

  • Rex Grossman Passing Attempts OVER (33) - $50

  • Number of Times Rex Grossman is Sacked OVER (2) - $50

  • And the completely non game related stuff...

  • Time for Billy Joel to sing National Anthem OVER (1:44) - $100

  • Preliminary Nielsen TV Rating UNDER (41.6) - $100

  • BOJ's Week 20 Stake: $900
    BOJ's Week 20 Wagered: $900

    I found even stranger bets on news sites (Prince falls while perfroming at halftime pays 100-1) but I tried to keep my prop bets to ones I could find at actual betting sites.

    So that's it, the last of the fake money. No, I will no bet on the Pro Bowl...


    Sunday, January 28, 2007


    If I Should Fall

    Lloyd Edward Elwyn (Ed) Robertson
    Jason Bott?
    I was driving to my sister's house after work one night, no small feat as she lived just east of Kansas City, I lived just north of St. Paul and I got off of work at 10pm. The car was loaded up with caffinated beverages and a few CD's to listen to on the trip.

    I was south of the I-35 exit for Forest City, an old residence (#20) and was listening to Barenaked Ladies' excellent live album Rock Spectacle when a song I had heard many times before came on.

    It's funny how you can hear a song so many times and not listen to it. Confined to my car, hopped up on caffeine, I actually listened to the words Ed Robertson (who is a dead ringer for Jason Bott) wrote. The song was originally from their third release, Born on a Pirate Ship, not an entirely forgetable effort, but certainly not the equal of their first release, Gordon, which remains one of my favorite albums to this day.

    Even on Pirate Ship, this song had completely stayed off of my radar until sometime around 3am on a lonely stretch of I-35 in Iowa:


    I look straight in the window, try not to look below
    Pretend I’m not up here, try counting sheep
    But the sheep seem to shower off this office tower
    It’s nine-point-eight straight down I can’t stop my knees
    (NOTE - 9.8 m/s squared - terminal velocity)

    I wish I could fly
    From this building
    From this wall
    And if I should try
    Would you catch me If I fall?

    My hands clench the squeegee, my secular rosary
    Hang on to your wallet, hang on to your rings
    Can't look below me or something might throw me
    Curse at the wind storms that October brings

    I look [straight] in the boardroom; a modern pharoh’s tomb
    I’d gladly swap places, if they care to dive
    They're lined up at the window, peer down into limbo
    They're frightened of jumping, in case they survive

    I wish I could step from this scaffold
    Onto soft green pastures, shopping
    malls, or bed
    Then with my family and my pastor and my
    grandfather who's

    I look straight in the mirror, watch it come clearer
    I look like a painter, behind all the grease
    But painting's creating, and I’m just erasing
    A crystal-clear canvas is my masterpiece

    I wish I could fly
    From this building
    From this wall
    And if I should try
    Would you catch me
    If I fall
    I wish I could fly
    from this building
    From this wall
    and if I should try
    Would you catch me if I fall?

    [When I fall
    When I fall
    When I fall
    When I fall
    When I…..hmmm..mmmm.]

    It was great food for thought in the middle of the night. It's great food for thought every time I hear it. On the surface it's just a song about a hi-rise window washer. Fear of heights? Probably, his thoughts seem to be on falling. Or are they on accidental falling? Is this a man pleased with his station in life?

    I take differnt things from this song every time I hear it. My favorite lines have always been:

    I look straight in the mirror, watch it come clearer
    I look like a painter, behind all the grease

    He's just a window washer, a job he isn't too proud of, too happy with, frankly scared of. I'm sure it's not how he imagined his life would turn out. He imagines himself as an artist, but the analogy doesn't hold up.

    But painting's creating, and I’m just erasing

    ...Or does it?

    A crystal-clear canvas is my masterpiece

    A window washer isn't going to change the world. A master control operator won't either, most of us won't on a large scale. We've all got our masterpieces to create, though.

    Steve Thorpe and I were talking about music once. I was amazed by another musician and remarked that I wasn't as good as him and that I felt bad about that.

    "Do what you do." Was Steve's reply.

    I realize that he wasn't just talking about music or songwriting, he was talking about life, his, mine, everybody's.

    Do what you do.



    A New List

    From time to time, I do lists on this blog. A couple of times I've let folks I know get in on the act, letting them submit their own lists. It's a lot of fun, and something I'd like to do more of.

    So I started thinking about the next list tonight at work. We discussed it a little bit, but I still haven't decided what to go with for the next list. That's where you come in. You've done a good job of voting on the best Songwriter's list (Jason? What's up with that?), so I thought I'd let you get into the act on the choice.

    Vote for your choice of the next list on the Globex Corporation Newsletter. You can vote, as usual, in the sidebar. If I like the results, I may use it for our next list!


    Saturday, January 27, 2007


    First Timers

    I originally wrote this on July 28th, 2005. I re-read it for the first time last night. This is one of the main reasons I blog, to be able to recall memories like this. It was one of the most intriguing things I've ever seen, and it brought a smile to my face last night as the memory came back.

    You're never going to change the world by playing at an open mic. That's a pretty simple statement, I suppose, but it could hardly be any truer. You're not going to effect any great social change or influence the price of a gallon of gasoline by simply deciding to play in front of people. That doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try, though.

    I've been lucky enough over the last month or so to see lots of people play in front of folks for the first time. I can't tell you what a cool thing that is to see, to watch someone to nervously attempt to entertain an assembled crowd. I've never seen anyone not affected by it to some degree, they're all nervous, but I've never seen someone not leave the stage with a big smile either.

    A couple of months ago it was Amanda Conway at Dunn Bros. You could see how nervous she was. She had obviously played quite a bit of guitar and had sung a lot. That's most of the skill you need when playing in front of people, but another important thing you need to learn is how to sing into a mic. Amanda could sing, the mic gave her a little difficulty, my guess is she didn't practice through a PA at home. Hey, who does? She's been playing at Dunn Bros every week now since then, she's one of my favorite performers. She has a sweet voice and writes most of her own material, her lyrics straightforward, but just quirky enough to keep my attention.

    Three weeks ago I filled in for Joe as host of the Border's open mic. I'll admit that I don't get to that show as much as I should. Part of that is that I don't enjoy playing solo as much as I used to and TSA works on Tuesdays. Still I headed down and was pressed into "hosting" duties. Even a simple small show like Border's makes me respect the host of these things. The big thing is to keep everyone happy. It was looking like I wasn't even going to get to play, which I was actually OK with, but I found a slot for myself at the end of the night.

    It was about then that a young mother with two kids approached me. I had seen her there every time I'd attended this show. Some people show up to these things because they like the music. I'll admit that if I were to have some horrible harmonica tragedy, I'd still show up to open mics just to listen. But her name was Amber and she wanted to play. "I don't play guitar or sing too well," she said, "but I have a couple original tunes I want to do."

    I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, but she didn't play guitar or sing too well. It was her first time ever playing in front of people, nobody ever sounds their best under those circumstances. She was a better guitar player than me, though, and she was definitely good enough to do this in front of people. Her songs were really magical, very personal.

    The thing about Amber is that I imagined her coming to Border's every Tuesday, packing her kids and her guitar into the car, thinking that this was the week she was going to play. For what ever reason she kept putting it off, the nerves simply getting to her. I don't want to take any credit for her decision to finally play, but I'm very happy that she decided to finally give it a go while I was hostng. If I had anything to do with her decision to play that night, I feel immeasureably better about myself as a person. Still, it doesn't change the price of gasoline here in Rapid City.



    Cancer Therapy 'Shortens Penises'

    Yet another way in which life is monumentaly unfair:

    Eighteen months [after treatment] researchers assessed the men again, and found a decrease in average stretched penile length from 14.2 to 8.6 centimetres (5.59 to 3.39 inches).

    Geez, you've already got cancer and to have any chance of getting better you have to potentially shorten your doodle?

    Writing in the Journal of Urology, the team led by Dr Ahmet Haliloglu, said: "Our findings support observations of decreased penile length after hormonal therapy plus external beam radiation therapy for local or locally advanced prostate cancer.

    "Patients should be counselled before therapy that penile shortening may occur."

    Counselled? Yeah, but who would even consider the alternative? I mean who would really rather have prostate cancer than a slightly (well, 5.59 inches, that's not really slightly) longer penis?

    "We would urge men not to be put off seeking treatment or advice about prostate cancer because of this, but to make sure they talk to their doctors in detail about all the possible side effects of a particular treatment."

    Oh, how I wish I was making this up, but it's a real story.



    We Have a Winner!

    The official count for BOJ's Days Off Work Email Count was 227. T or Tim if I have the time to type two additional letters, was closest without going over with a guess of 191. He can request his prize, maybe something from the BOJ News Service Vend-O-Teria, not to exceed four hundred fake dollars.

    Join us again next week for BOJ's Days Off Work Email Count. Tell your friends! A good time will be had by all!


    Friday, January 26, 2007


    "Icepick" Shows the Way....

    Maybe the fairest relationship song ever, from "Icepick" James Harman (no killer harp solo, though):

    If the Shoe Fits (Wear It)

    Hey there honey
    Had to come by once more
    You see I'm bringin' back these shoes
    You left behind the door
    You say they ain't yours
    But I know I seen you in 'em before

    If I made a mistake
    I'll be the first to admit
    Just slip 'em on
    Wiggle your toes a bit
    Might not look like much
    But I bet they're a perfect fit

    Said if the shoe fits, wear it
    Said if the shoe fits, wear it
    Them ain't glass slippers
    And baby you ain't Snow White
    Hope you find your Prince Charming
    Some sweet night

    Well, fallin' in love
    Is a dangerous thing to do
    When you're walkin' downstairs in the dark
    Wearin' two left shoes
    When you get to the bottom
    You're liable to get a little bit bruised

    It's too bad we
    Parted company
    Guess I'm not the man
    For the woman you turned out to be
    Well I guess you got some real sweet things
    To say about me


    It's too bad we
    Parted company
    Guess I'm not the man
    For the woman you turned out to be
    Well I guess you got some real sweet things
    To say about me

    Well if the shoe fits, I'll wear it
    Well if the shoe fits, I'll wear it
    And I'll grin and bear it
    Even if it fits too tight
    Guess I'm goin' for a walk
    'Cause I'm stretchin' out these shoes tonight

    From the equally fairly entitled album Two Sides to Every Story.



    Sue Foley Photo Friday

    "Texas Pink Paisley?"
    Geez, it's after 10am on a Friday and I haven't posted for Sue Foley Photo Friday yet? What the hell is wrong with me?

    I have no idea where this photo is from. Sue doesn't have an album called Texas Pink Paisley as far as I know. It's obviously from early in her career, she's quite young in the photo and her first notice as an artist was when she was playing out of Austin, TX. I'm guessing that it's from a magazine article.

    I'm not going to lie to you, she was a strikng young woman, but I like the way she looks today a lot better than when she was in her twenties. She's a better musician now, too, and a much better songwriter.

    So enjoy this nostalgic Sue Foley Photo Friday. I'll try to post in a more timely fashion next week.



    Thursday, January 25, 2007


    Fake Gambling?

    With no football this weekend, I'm going to play the bookie this week.

    My current work schedule is ten hour days working from Friday through Monday. This gives me 3 days off every week, 3 days in the middle of the week when all of those folks who try to make themselves look important by sending just plain silly amounts of email are working. This is not to say that all email I receive at work is pointless, but, well, I don't know how to end that sentence.

    So here's the deal, make your guess. How many emails will I have in my inbox at work when I get around to checking it tomorrow? My guess is 177. Winners may negotiate some sort of prize out of me, prize value not to exceed $400 of fake money.

    Again, I guess 177.

    Price is Right rules apply, winner will be determined by closest to actual number of emails without going over.



    Pointless Shit



    Wednesday, January 24, 2007


    The Onion Radio News

    Doyle Redland
    With Doyle Redland

    Speaker Pelosi To Impress Congress By Eating 50 Hard-Boiled Eggs


    Listen to the story here.
    The hard hitting political perspective you've come to expect from The Onion and The BOJ News Service.




    The Obligations MBW

    I was at a party at a friend's house in Vermillion, SD in 1993 or so. I was heading out the door, actually standing on the front step talking to the host about Robert Palmer's most excellent book on the migration of the blues from the delta to Chicago called, Deep Blues when a girl named Jennifer started talking to me.

    We talked for a while and ended up back inside. We sat on a couch and started talking some more. One thing led to another, and we started making out. This isn't a normal course of events for me, I'm generally a pretty private person, but I'd had quite a lot to drink and, well, I hadn't been with a woman in quite a while.

    She lived in the neighborhood, which was great for me because I was in no condition to drive. We walked to her house and made out some more in her living room. I started pressing for more, but she put me off saying, "You're not going to score on the first night." I let it drop and we eventually went to bed.

    In the morning I started in on her again. I told her it wasn't the first night anymore. She agreed, but told me I'd need a condom.

    I left her place, in a bit of a hurry, had to walk over to where my car was parked, then I headed home, grabbed a couple of condoms and started to drive back to Jennifer's.

    This is where I ran into trouble. I didn't know where Jennifer lived. Oh, I knew it was on Center street and that it was on the east side of the street. I even knew that the house was yellow, that Jennifer lived in a basement apartment with entry from the alley. But as far as exactly where she lived, well, I was just guessing.

    And I guessed a lot on that Sunday morning, peeking into people's backdoors, looking for anything that looked familiar. As it turned out, I was a block off when I started my search, I had looked into five or six different basements.

    I found Jennifer's place about a half hour later. She asked where I'd been, I told her, she laughed and then we got back to what I had left for in the first place.

    We spent the day together. She was nice, but I wasn't really into her. But I coninued to see her. She was my girlfriend for a couple of weeks. I didn't ever call her, she always called me. She complained about that and said she wasn't going to call me anymore. I said fine. Easiest break-up ever.

    Jennifer should have been my first one night stand. She wasn't because we had a relationship. We never should have, she didn't do it for me, but I tried to have a relationship with her because I'm a nice guy. Because she was good enough to have sex with me, I thought I should at least try.

    Obligations suck. I've done lots of things, not because I wanted to, but because I thought I ought to. I played music with a church group, getting nothing out of it. I did it because I thought I ought to, because I'm not a quitter.

    I've done lots of things like that in my life. Things I was ropped into, thing that I considered doing for no other reason than that I just ought to.

    Even music was that way to a degree. TSA and I once discussed that neither of us really had a choice of whether to join Patient 957 or not. JB wanted to start a band, he wanted us in it and he wasn't going to take no for an answer. I've always found it odd that it was JB that decided to put an end to it, that it was TSA and I who let the bar owner of our next gig know that we weren't going to be playing.

    And that's the problem. I'll live up to my obligations. Other people don't live up to theirs with me. I could go into detail, great detail, but what's the use.

    The one time I've walked away from something, it's come back to haunt me. I've quit one job in my life. I quit that job because I was salaried but management decided I should work 60 hours a week, didn't provide me vacation time and didn't provide any insurance or other benefits. I was somehow the bad guy for walking away.

    When I've applied for positios at that station, positions I was perfectly qualified for, I've never received a response.

    It's the whole thing about how the rest of the world plays by different rules than I'm expected to live by. I try not to be paranoid, but that's the way I see it.


    Tuesday, January 23, 2007


    Top 10 Songwriters - Again

    Note: I originally posted this on January 10th, but then I had three days off an posted a just plain silly number of times over the next couple of days and it sort of got burried. And people wanted to add to it. So I'm reposting it here with the additions. People are still adding to this, so I'll artificially keep this at the top of blog for the next week and make changes accordingly.

    And don't forget to vote (Chicago Democratic election rules apply).

    Not quite the turnout as last time, but still it's a worthwhile exercise. On the heels of Novermber's Top 10 Guitarists, now we have Top 10 Songwriters.

    As a poor songwriter myself, it's an interesting list to look at, I gave my own list quite a bit of though, and seeing Jack's list brings forgotten (by me, anyway) songwriters back to my conciousness.

    BOJ's List

    I tried to pick songwriters who have touched me in a personal way. Even at that, I had to leave off a number who have meant a lot to me like Ed Robertson & Steve Page of Barenaked Ladies, Mojo Nixon and John Coltrane (writing out lyrics for him here would have been a hoot!). For me, a great songwriter makes me chuckle, think and take a different look at myself. These 10 definitely all do that.

    10) Shawn Michael Bitz - Abby SomeOne - As much as I tried, I couldn't leave off the best songwriter I personally know. SMB always provides lyrics that crystalize my thoughts better than I ever could. And I left Paul Simon off of my list for this guy.

    She ain't shy
    But she's careful what she take
    She's got her foot on the gas
    But she's tappin' on the brake


    9) "Icepick" James Harman - I was so into his music, then I moved to SoCal where James spends his winters. I could see him every Wendesday in February at Blue Cafe in the LBC. The guy can write a song about anything! An example that he grabbed off of a locksmith's van while stuck in traffic:

    I got a double chambered dead-bolt
    And a flame-tempered shank
    That's a killer combination, child
    Take that to the bank
    Oh, I'm your lock doctor, baby
    And I hold the master key

    "Lock Doctor"

    8) Ben Folds - Ben Folds Five - Solo - A poetic, yet conversational style. Ben's songs are like talking to friends for me. And he has this sort of unnatural attraction to the music of William Shatner.....

    'Cause my peers they criticize me
    And my ex-wives all despise me
    Try to put it all behind me
    But my redneck past is nipping at my heels


    7) Randy Newman - His mean-spirited but thoughtful lyrics have always struck a chord with me. If you've only heard his few songs that got radio airplay, you're really missing out.

    Asia's too crowded, Europe's too old
    Africa's too hot and Canada's too cold
    And South America stole our name
    Let's drop the big one
    There'll be no one left to blame us

    "Political Science"

    6) John Lee Hooker - Songwriting at its best is poetry. And like they taught us in high school English, great poetry doesn't have to rhyme. That doesn't always work in music, but Hook made it work, even avoiding the obvious rhyme at times.

    Every time I see you
    Walkin' down the street
    I gets a thrill, baby
    From my head down to my toes

    "I'm in the Mood"

    5) Willie Nelson - If Willie had written nothing but Crazy, America's greatest pop song, he'd make my list. Nashville didn't have a clue what to do with him, so he went off and reinvented country music through "outlaw country."

    I'm crazy for cryin'
    Crazy for tryin'
    And crazy for lovin' you


    4) Bruce Springsteen - & the E Street Band - We've seen Springsteen grow up from a kid writing about cars and failed (or failing) relationships to a socially conscious songwriter on par with Bob Dylan.

    There were ghosts in the eyes
    Of all the boys you sent away
    They haunt this dusty beach road
    In the skeleton frames
    Of burned-out Chevrolets

    "Thunder Road"

    3) John Lennon & Paul McCartney - The Beatles - Can you make this list without mentioning them? Prolific, has any duo ever written more memorable songs? Their stuff even worked auf Deutsch.

    Sie liebt dich - yeah yeah yeah
    Sie liebt dich - yeah yeah yeah
    Denn mit dir allein' kann sie nur glücklich sein!
    Denn mit dir allein...
    Mit dir allein..

    "Sie Liebt Dich" ("She Loves You")

    2) Bob Dylan - Again, how do you leave someone like Dylan off of this list? As good an American Songwriter as there will ever be, politically, socially, in every way possible. And definitely not above the relationship song. Sue Foley loves his tunes, she covered the following, and it gives me a very special feeling to hear her sing it.

    But if you got to go
    It's all right
    But if you got to go, go now
    Or else you gotta stay all night

    "If You Gotta Go, Go Now"

    1) Willie Dixon - Chess Blues 1950's to 1970's - Responsible for so many fine blues tunes from the likes of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, etc. His songs were always simple but perfectly constructed.

    I am your backdoor man
    Well the men don't know
    But the little girls understand

    "Backdoor Man"

    Jack's List

    Jack is a fine guitarist and music lover. We work the same shift, and during some of the quiet time over the holidays, Jack and I had some nice musical moments, he on guitar, me on harp, just jamming, making stuff up on the fly. Something I hadn't done in a long time. Something I miss. Easily my favorite moments at work.

    I don't know which was harder, choosing my favorite top ten guitarists or this recently completed list of song writers. In any case, here are my picks, accompanied by excerpts from their compositions, along with my comments.

    1) Lennon/McCartney--What actually needs to be said? These guys wrote so many beautiful melodies and lyrics, and in my mind, have stood the test of time. Today's youth is discovering the magic of their compositions, which were written well over 30 years ago.

    Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
    They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
    Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my opened mind
    Possessing and caressing me.....

    "Across The Universe"

    2) George Harrison--This guy was writing in the shadows of two giants while a member of the Beatles, so it was understandable why his contributions were at the time, maybe not fully appreciated. I've always enjoyed his solo work, but it wasn't until after his death, and after viewing on DVD "Concert for George", which was a gathering of his musical friends playing his music in tribute to him, I realized how many great songs he too wrote. Here are some of them: “Isn’t It a Pity”, “Old Brown Shoe”, “Beware of Darkness”, “Here Comes the Sun”, “Something”, “When We Was Fab”, “Love Comes To Everyone”, “Give Me Love”, “All Those Years Ago”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “All Things Must Pass”……..

    Sunset doesn’t last all evening
    A mind can blow those clouds away
    After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
    Its not always going to be this grey
    All things must pass
    All things must pass away
    All things must pass
    None of life’s strings can last
    So, I must be on my way
    And face another day

    “All Things Must Pass”

    3) James Taylor--I like heavy sounds emanating from electric guitars, but I like even more the sweet sound of an acoustic guitar. When it's a song played by James Taylor--it's icing on the cake. Sweet Baby James, Fire and Rain, You've Got a Friend(Carole KIng), Copperline, Wandering, Mexico........

    But baby, don't you throw your love away
    I hate to seem unkind
    It's only that I understand the man
    That the monkey can leave behind
    I used to think he was a friend of mine

    "A Junkie's Lament"

    4) Billy Joel--the piano man. Yea, but that wasn't even in my top ten favorites of his. "New York State of Mind" gets my nod as being his best. A cross between jazz, blues and rock, it has some great killer chord progressions, and the words ain't bad either:

    It was so easy living day by day
    Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
    But now I need a little give and take
    The New York Times, The Daily News
    It comes down to reality
    And it's fine with me 'cause I've let it slide.....

    "New York State of Mind"

    5) Paul Simon-All I have to do to state my case for this man is list five songs of his, with partial lyrics to the last: "Bridge Over Troubled Waters", "Homeward Bound",
    "The Sounds of Silence", "Still Crazy After All These Years", and "The Boxer".

    Asking only workman's wages I come lookin' for a job,
    But I get no offers, just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue
    I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome, I took some comfort there…

    "The Boxer"

    6) Randy Newman--Now a comfortably numb Hollywood score writer for the big screen, he has done very well for himself--deservedly so. But he has been writing great songs forever. Like "Guilty", "I Think It's Going To Rain Today", "It's Money That Matters", "Political Science", and my favorite--"Louisiana 1927".

    The river rose all day
    The river rose all night
    Some people got lost in the flood
    Some people got away alright.....
    Louisiana, Louisiana
    They're tyrin' to wash us away
    They're tryin' to wash us away

    "Louisiana 1927"

    7) Jackson Browne--One of my favorite musician/songwriters from the '70's. I've always thought his early work was his best, especially his second album "For Everyman".

    Seems like I've always been looking for some other place
    To get it together
    Where with a few of my friends I could give up the race
    And maybe find something better
    But all my fine dreams and
    Well thought out schemes to gain the motherland
    Have all eventually come down to waiting for Everyman
    Waiting here for Everyman…

    "For Everyman"

    8) Fagen/Becker (Steely Dan) These off-the-wall guys with their off-the-wall lyrics and their smooth jazz/rock sounds captured my attention from the first time I heard them. It's funny how I didn't think of Steely Dan as smooth jazz/rock back then. I guess they weren't. But probably now. Love Larry Carlton's guitar playing. I've got pretty much all their recordings. Numerous great songs: "Aja", "Kid Charlemagne", "Hey Nineteen", "Reelin' In the Years", "Royal Scam", "Third World Man", "Gaucho", "Any Major Dude Will Tell You".............

    Are you with me, Doctor Wu?
    Are you really just the shadow of the man that I once knew?
    She is lovely, yes, she's sly, and you're an ordinary guy.
    Has she fin'lly got to you?
    Can you hear me, Doctor?
    Are you with me, Doctor?

    "Doctor Wu"

    9) Gilmore/Waters (Pink Floyd)--Best album of the 70's? "Dark Side of the Moon". And an even better album from Pink Floyd some 20 years later--"Division Bell". The following music not too shabby either.

    There is no pain, you are receding.
    A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
    You are only coming through in waves.
    Your lips move but I can't hear what you're sayin'.
    When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse,
    Out of the corner of my eye.
    I turned to look but it was gone.
    I cannot put my finger on it now.
    The child is grown, the dream is gone.
    I have become comfortably numb.

    "Comfortably Numb"

    10) Jagger/Richards (Rolling Stones)--Gotta give these bad boys alot of credit for longevity. These rockers have been crankin' out songs for 75 years now--and are still going strong in their mid-90's. I think they were around when Christ was on Earth. Maybe they should write a song about that......"Sympathy for the Devil", "Jumpin' Jack Flash", "Ruby Tuesday", "Wild Horses", "Brown Sugar", "Gimme Shelter", "Honky Tonk Woman", and my favorite, especially the sax instrumental break, is "Waiting On A Friend".

    Don't need a whore
    I don't need no booze
    Don't need a virgin priest
    But I need someone I can cry to
    I need someone to protect
    Making love and breaking hearts
    It is a game for youth
    But I'm not waiting on a lady
    I'm just waiting on a friend

    “Waiting On A Friend”

    Honorable Mention: Frey/Henley(Eagles), Jimmy Webb, Gordon Lightfoot, John Prine, Sting, Sir Elton John

    Jason's List

    Another guy from work. Jason sent his list a long time ago, promising to finish it by adding lyrics and the like. Well, I'm posting now, so this is what goes up. With all the complaints about a lack of female songwriters on this list, it should be noted that Jason's list was created before any of those comments. Pretty cool, even if one of the women is Shania Twain and he uses her to make a dig at fellow Canadian, Sue Foley.....

    John Lennon/Paul McCartney - Two brains are better than one and better than all

    Stevie Wonder - Anyone who can write song lyrics in brail has got skills.

    Dave Matthews - This man and his band continue to be the voice of my generation and even Jack’s generation, 13 years after putting out their first CD “Remember Two Things.”

    Kenneth “BabyFace” Edmonds - The songwriter who had the most #1’s on the Billboards Top 40 during the ‘90s including the song “Change the World” which was performed by Eric Clapton. Other artist “BabyFace” has written songs for include: Boyz II Men, Madonna, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey

    Johnny Cash

    Toby Keith
    - His song “Should’ve Been a Cowboy” was played on the radio more than any other song in the ‘90s. Plus, anyone who loses his record label and pays for the rights for all of his songs that he wrote and then signs with an unknown record label and has his first single called “How Do You Like Me Know” has got to have an iron pair of ….. to make it on this list.

    Shania Twain - The most beautiful Canadian songwriter, sorry Sue Foley but you have nothing on Shania, making it BIG in Nashville. Enough said, eh!

    Smokey Robinson - The only man in musical history to simultaneously be in the Songwriters Hall of Fame & the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.

    Joni Mitchell

    John Cougar Mellencamp or John Cougar or John Mellencamp
    - “This is ourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Country!”

    Slick's List

    Taken from comments to the January 10th post. Check out Slick's Blog, Broken Machines for more of his thoughts on music and other stuff.

    Tom Waits
    Leonard Cohen
    Elvis Costello
    Jeff Tweedy
    Van Morrison
    David Byrne
    Elliot Smith
    Warren Zevon
    Donald Fagen
    Vic Chestnut
    Tom Waits

    That One Gal's List

    That One Gal showed up unexpectedly on my blog while I was living in the RC. She caught some of my rantings on the Acrossroads site and rembered me from my Patient 957 days. After a series of cryptic blog comments, I actually figured out who she was and she seemed impressed with me for that.

    After a complaint that there were no female songwriters on the January 10th post, I asked her to submit a list.

    Important Note: T1G and I have been involved in a fake relationship for some time now. I know I've been a bit of a hard ass about limiting people to just 10 entries, but T1G
    is my fake girlfriend, so she gets special treatment.

    I ended up with two lists. As I was trying to narrow down the choices, it became clear to me that songwriters clearly fall into two categories, at least for me they do. Songwriters who are known for performing their own material and songwriters who often labor away behind the scenes producing remarkable songs that other performers popularize. So list #1 is the former, list #2 the latter. While some of the talent on list #2 are terrific performers in their own right who tour regularly they, in my opinion, remain best known for writing great songs that others perform. I started an honorable mention list but it just kept getting longer and I couldn’t bear to edit any of them out so I decided not to include hm’s. For better or worse, for your perusal, these are my favorite songwriters, in no particular order.

    List #1

    1) Shawn Michael Bitz – As the single constant in the band Abby SomeOne, SMB is a terrific singer, an even better songwriter, and is someone I regard as a friend. Why isn’t this stuff getting national air play!! He writes from a very personal pov about love (Diamond, Twin City Lady), the music industry (Record Machine, Music Man), relationship negotiations (Mrs Maybe, Nasty Weather), and hope & healing (Mother, Getting Over You, Mustard Seed). The following is from Love You Right which appears on the cd, Fist.

    I don’t want to be the one who leaves you feeling down
    scares away your dreams to places where they can’t be found
    listen to me baby I don’t want to be around
    if I can’t love you right
    got to believe in myself
    got these scars that just don’t want to heal
    I’ve been drinking from your wishing well
    dreaming secrets I could never tell

    2) Bonnie Raitt – I love Bonnie, I worship Bonnie, you almost forget what a great guitarist she is because she sings so remarkably. Stop me before I gush. I wouldn’t call her a prolific songwriter, she just as often records and performs songs written by others, but she’s as good as it gets. She’s at her bluesy best with sly takes on love like The Road’s My Middle Name and Spit of Love, part of which follows.

    there’s a howlin at my window, baby
    I hear him closin in
    that green-eyed jackal’s got the scent
    knows I’ll let him in
    he slinks in by me at the fire
    more bitter than the cold
    and it’s a rage as old as Hades
    that’ll sputter on these coals
    I’m callin on the Furies, to let the toast begin
    I’m roasting on that spit of love again

    3) Donald Fagen/Walter Becker — Of course, of Steely Dan fame. Lush, gorgeous melodies that can now be heard in elevators. But listen a little closer to the words and you’ll discover what’s being depicted is often the dark, unpretty, seamy underside of life. I like the ironic interplay between the beautiful, complex music and the sometimes twisted lyrics. From their earlier stuff such as My Old School and Riki Don’t Lose That Number, Deacon Blues and FM , I find myself unable to pick a favorite. So I’ll go with more recent fare, the clever and more than a little sick, Cousin Dupree, a lovely song about keeping things in the family.

    One night we're playin' gin by a cracklin' fire
    And I decided to make my play
    I said babe with my boyish charm and good looks
    How can you stand it for one more day
    She said maybe its the skeevy look in your eyes
    Or that your mind has turned to applesauce
    The dreary architecture of your soul
    I said - but what is it exactly turns you off?

    4) Hank Harris – At the tender age of nineteen I got in through the back door of the Lantern Lounge in Brookings, SD and first heard the legendary Red Willow Band. These were the days before drinking and driving was an issue and if you were cute and female you could smile at the bouncer and get in underage. This was when I fell in love with a voice that has only gotten better over the years. Hank writes songs with a social conscience (Fantasy Land, Genuine Artificial), bluesy hopelessness (Battle the Bottle, Nothing at All), sideways takes on failed love (Lies of Love, Beautiful Lie), and sings beautifully. He has an absolutely buttery voice that only improves with age. He can sing anything, from western swing to new age, and pull it off successfully. I really love his unconventional love song, New Religion, from his cd, Here.

    she’s my new religion, she’s my new regime
    she’s my new religion, she’s my new disease
    she can make me pray
    she can bring me to my knees
    the angel band will play
    come take me down to the river
    take me to the river
    she’s my new division, she’s my new reply
    she’s my MSG, my formaldehyde

    5) Lyle Lovett – He’s just so damn clever, so smart, and does it all so effortlessly. Well, I don’t know that it’s effortless for him, maybe it just looks that way. Often tongue-in-cheek, always dead-on, nails it, says it like we all would like to be able to. This is from his song, If I Had a Boat.

    if I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean
    and if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat
    and we could all together
    go out on the ocean
    me upon my pony on my boat

    6) Sarah McLachlan – From an angry growl to a breathy soprano McLachlan tears her way through a song. She’s ferocious, she’s gentle, she’s angry, she’s apologetic, sometimes sweet, other times gritty. I just love her. In Building a Mystery, she is alternately mystified by and angry with some man, a theme she uses more than once, a theme that is universal among women in trying to understand you guys.

    you woke up screaming aloud a prayer from your secret god
    you feed off our fears and hold back your tears
    give us a tantrum and a know it all grin
    just when we need one when the evening’s getting thin
    you’re a beautiful, a beautiful fucked up man
    you’re setting up your razor wire shrine

    7) John Lennon/Paul McCartney – What Jack said.

    8) Paul Simon – From his work with Art Garfunkel to his solo career, he is so very good! He’s been through it all, writes beautiful melodies and unconventional lyrics. It takes a confident guy to appear on SNL in a turkey costume and sing Still Crazy After all These Years. I love Mrs. Robinson, The Boxer, Homeward Bound, Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover…I could go on and on. Some of his most interesting songs are on Graceland, as is this one, called Under African Skies.

    Joseph’s face was black as night
    The pale yellow moon shone in his eyes
    His path was marked
    By the stars in the southern hemisphere
    And he walked his days under African skies
    This is the story of how we begin to remember
    This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein
    After the dream of falling and calling your name out
    These are the roots of rhythm
    And the roots of rhythm remain

    9) Elvis Costello – Red Shoes. Indoor Fireworks. Alison. Everyday I Write the Book. I finally saw him in concert in April 2004. I really wish Emmylou Harris had been there to sing this duet with him, alas I have only heard them together on my stereo. Here are the words to that song, The Scarlet Tide.

    Well I recall his parting words
    Must I accept his fate?
    Or take myself far from this place
    I thought I heard a black bell toll
    A little bird did sing
    “Man has no choice
    when he wants everything”
    We’ll rise above the scarlet tide
    That trickles down through the mountain
    And separates the widow from the bride
    Man goes beyond his own decision
    Gets caught up in the mechanism
    Of swindlers who act like kings
    And brokers who break everything
    The dark of the night was swiftly fading
    Close to the dawn of day
    Why would want him just to lose him again

    10) Sting – You know, Gordon what’s his name, The Police. That guy. He’s good. Am I sounding like a broken record yet? I think I’ve run out of adjectives. Let’s use some of Sting’s words instead. This is from They Dance Alone, which appears on Nothing Like the Sun.

    Why are these women here dancing on their own?
    Why is there this sadness in their eyes?
    Why are the soldiers here
    Their faces fixed like stone?
    I can’t see what it is they despise
    They’re dancing with the missing
    They’re dancing with the dead
    They dance with the invisible ones
    Their anguish is unsaid

    In liner notes on the cd Sting explains this solo dance. “The “Cueca” is a traditional Chilean courting dance. The “Cueca Solo” or the dance alone is performed publicly by the wives, daughters, and mothers of the “disappeared”. Often, they dance with photographs of their loved ones pinned to their clothes. It is a symbolic gesture of protest and grief in a country where democracy doesn’t so much need to be defended as exercised.”

    List #2

    1) Cindy Walker – Last year Willie Nelson devoted an entire cd to the songs of Cindy Walker. Need I say more? One of my all time favorite songs is one she wrote with Eddy Arnold back in 1955, You Don’t Know Me.

    you give your hand to me and then you say hello
    and I can hardly speak, my heart is beating so
    and anyone could tell you think you know me well
    but you don’t know me…
    no, you don’t know the one who dreams of you at night
    and longs to kiss your lips and longs to hold you tight
    to you I’m just a friend that’s all I’ve ever been
    but you don’t know me

    2) Rodgers & Hart – Three words. My Funny Valentine. This is as perfect as songwriting ever gets. Deceptively simple yet difficult to sing well. I happen to like Elvis Costello’s take on this song. The full lyric follows.

    my funny Valentine
    sweet comic Valentine
    you make me smile with my heart
    your looks are laughable
    but you’re my favorite work of art
    is your figure less than Greek
    is your mouth a little weak
    when you open it to speak
    are you smart
    don’t change a hair for me
    not if you care for me
    stay, little Valentine, stay
    each day is Valentine’s day

    3) Jimmy Webb – He regularly tours and has a solid fan base of a wide range of ages. People who loved his songs in the 60’s now bring their grandchildren to hear him perform. Jimmy Webb has written pop and country hits for a wide range of singers, from Glen Campbell to The Fifth Dimension. This line from Wichita Lineman absolutely gives me chills every time I hear it.

    I need you more than want you
    and I want you for all time

    4) John Hiatt – I saw John Hiatt at JazzFest 2004 in Sioux Falls. What a nice guy! He strolled around the festival listening to other entertainers with his wife, comfortably mixing with us commoners while eating cotton candy. It was great fun to hear him sing Thing Called Love having only heard it sung by Bonnie Raitt.

    and you ain’t some icon carved out of soap
    sent down here to clean up my reputation
    and baby I ain’t your Prince Charming
    now we can live in fear or act out of hope
    for some kind of peaceful situation
    baby, don’t know why the cry of love is so alarming

    5) Karla Bonoff – When Linda Ronstadt does a Karla Bonoff song, there is a certain tone to her voice, an attitude that has got to come straight from Bonoff’s writing. The material demands to be presented in a certain way and that is a testament to the songwriter. On her cd Cry like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind, Ronstadt teams up with Aaron Neville on Bonoff’s All My Life. I don’t know if the song was written as a duet but it plays wonderfully as one. The following lines are from Trouble Again.

    well, I wake up in the night, now
    and don’t you know I think of you?
    it’s the fire in your eyes,
    it keeps on cutting through
    there’s nowhere I can run to
    can’t seem to lose the thought of you
    I never really was a bad girl
    but you got me in trouble again

    6) Burt Bacharach/Hal David – Any Day Now, What the World Needs Now is Love, Walk on By, Alfie, The Look of Love, Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, the list goes on and on and on. Grammies and Oscars and Tonys. Anyone who is anyone in pop music who had a top 40 hit from the early sixties to the present has done a song written by Burt Bacharach. Scoff if you will, but the melodies are infectious and hummable and stick in your head. My personal favorites are Baby It’s You and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again. The late Karen Carpenter is the voice behind Close to You.

    why do stars fall down from the sky
    every time you walk by
    just like me they long to be close to you
    why do birds suddenly appear
    every time you are near
    just like me they long to be close to you
    on the day that you were born
    the angels got together
    and decided to create a dream come true
    so they sprinkled moondust in in your hair of gold
    and starlight in your eyes of blue

    7) Kris Kristofferson – A remarkable songwriter whose personal bouts with alcoholism and drug use have made him a less than reliable performer…but probably provided him with endless fodder to draw from. Sunday Morning Coming Down, with all its gritty detail, is unapologetic about his life’s condition. My favorite song of his is an old country ballad, For The Good Times.

    Lay your head upon my pillow.
    Hold your warm and tender body close to mine.
    Hear the whisper of the raindrops,
    Blowin' soft against the window,
    And make believe you love me one more time,
    For the good times.

    8) Beth Neilsen-Chapman – I became familiar with this songwriter when I couldn’t get a song out of my head. A song that played over a funeral scene on the program Charmed. After I bought her cd Sand and Water, I realized how many of her songs I had heard, but didn’t know who had written them. She is nothing short of amazing. That song that was stuck in my head follows in part.

    all alone I didn’t like the feeling
    all alone I sat and cried
    all alone I had to find some meaning
    in the center of the pain I felt inside
    all alone I came into this world
    all alone I will someday die
    solid stone is just sand and water, baby
    sand and water, and a million years gone by

    9) Leonard Cohen – This guy draws inspiration, from among other things, a dead, gay Greek poet by the name of Constantine Cavafy. A really great collection of Cohen’s songs can be found on Jennifer Warnes’ cd, Famous Blue Raincoat. Warnes has an incredible voice and brings Cohen’s songs to life. The following is from the song Bird on a Wire.

    I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch
    he cried out to me
    don’t ask for so much
    and a young man leaning in his darkened door
    he called out to me
    why not ask for more

    10) John Prine – He tells stories. Better than just about anyone else. I really enjoy his cd, In Spite of Ourselves, the title song being a duet with Iris DeMent. Probably my favorite song he has written is Angel from Montgomery, I’m sharing a few lines from the third verse of that song.

    There's flies in the kitchen I can hear 'em there buzzing
    And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today.
    How the hell can a person go to work in the morning
    And come home in the evening and have nothing to say.

    Diva Llama's List

    Who is Diva Llama? We've traded a few comments over at Too Lazy To Be Evil, but I really don't know who she is. She commented on the previous Top 10 Songwriters List, though, so she gets an entry here.

    Yes, I'm with that1gal! More women in the lists.

    Here's mine (with women):

    Suzanne Vega
    Dolly Parton
    Lucinda Williams
    Tori Amos
    Carole King
    Lyle Lovett
    Paul McCartney
    Roger Waters
    Tom Waits

    Thanks for the opportunity, BOJ!

    Like last time, I'll continue to take submissions to this list. Just leave a comment or send me an email. Also, feel free to comment on the lists here. You can continue to tell Jack just how off base he was, though last time those type of comments seemed to be aimed more at me than at him.




    Positive About TP

    Mankind's greatest achievement!
    I woke up with the runs this morning. I'm sure that's the strangest opening for a Positive Tuesday ever. Worse, I was out of toilet paper, none of the old TP. I had to waddle into my bedroom with my pants around my ankles to grab a box of kleenex.

    I'm sure I'm not imparting any new and important knowledge on you when I tell you that cleaning up that kind of mess with undersized rectangles of tissue is no picnic. But it had to be done. I definitely wasn't putting my pants back on in that condition.

    Went downstairs to see if Tim had a roll or two I could run of with once I was cleaned up, but there was no answer. Now I'm not feeling all that good today, but certain tasks need to be done no matter how crappy or shitty you're feeling. I needed some TP, and pretty damn bad.

    So I decided I'd take a shower, maybe grab a bite to eat out and pick up some TP at what Slick and Sarcastra refer to as the "Ghetto Safeway." I was turning on the shower (yet another revelation in the shower...) when I realized that I did have some toilet paper, it was in the hall closet. I had purchased a TP pack to large to fit under the sink. I had been taking a roll or two out of the hall closet, putting one on the roll and stashing one under the sink. I must have been too lazy to do that last time I replaced the TP on the roll.

    So after my shower I dried off and had a good wipe. Heaven! No shit on my fingers or anything! Toilet paper is civilized man's greatest achievement! I'm lucky to live in a society where TP is cheap and plentiful.

    This story has an international component. My parents, on a trip to the holy land, called while I still was unaware of TP in the house. I, of course, related the story. Word of my messy wiping has now reached a hotel in Israel.

    Just thought you might want to know....



    Pet Shop Owner Creates Beer For Dogs

    I didn't get this from The Onion, it's a real news story:

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- After a long day hunting, there's nothing like wrapping your paw around a cold bottle of beer. So Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, created a beer for her Weimaraners made from beef extract and malt.

    "Once a year we go to Austria to hunt with our dogs, and at the end of the day we sit on the verandah and drink a beer. So we thought, my dog also has earned it," she said.

    Berenden consigned a local brewery to make and bottle the nonalcoholic beer, branded as Kwispelbier. It was introduced to the market last week and advertised it as "a beer for your best friend."

    "Kwispel" is the Dutch word for wagging a tail.

    The beer is fit for human consumption, Berenden said. But at euro1.65 ($2.14) a bottle, it's about four times more expensive than a Heineken.

    Actually, a very sweet story, and if you've ever hunted with dogs, you realize how hard they work. Nice to be appreciative. I'd make the beer alcoholic, though.



    I Obviously Missed This on the News Stand

    The stuff I miss by working a ridiculous number of hours on the weekend.....

    Oh well, I promise to get out more next weekend.

    Read The Onion.



    Monday, January 22, 2007



    Got this photo from Quinn this morning. While I know there was no accumulation, it's still frightening to think about LA drivers in the snow.

    From Quinn:

    A friend sent me this picture she took the middle of last week. This is the 405 just south of I-10 near Westwood/Santa Monica. I thought you'd enjoy seeing real proof that we are having weather this year!

    Honestly, two of the coldest experiences of my life occured while living in Southern California. One was riding on the outside of a ferry coming back from Catalina island, the other was in my apartment, my furnace had quit while I was on vacation and temps dropped down into the thirties.

    It's not the cold so much, it's the inabilty to warm up when you get cold in that environment.



    DHMO Update
    A Senseless Death

    It's on CNN so it must be true.

    Be careful with this stuff, folks....




    .500 Sucks

    Another 0-2 week brings me exactly to .500, .500 on spreads, .500 on o/u's, .500 for everything. And somehow I'm -$100 for the season.

  • New England (-3) 38 at Indianapolis 34 -$100

  • New England 38 at Indianapolis 34 UNDER (48) -$100

  • Week 19 Against the Spread: 0-1
    Week 19 Over/Unders: 0-1

    BOJ Season Against the Spread: 31-31-1
    BOJ Season Over/Unders: 10-10-1
    BOJ Balance for Week 18: -$200
    BOJ Total Amount Remaining: $900

    So close, on the spread anyway. Maybe Indy's offense is back, making a nice showing in the second half, and ruining any chance of me winning the over/under.

    Let's look at how bad I was at ranking the playoff teams before the playoffs started:

  • San Diego How does a Super Bowl shoe-in lose in the divisional round? Turnovers. Yeah, coach Schottenheimer doesn't have a great playoff record, but he didn't put the ball on the ground even one time, so don't blame him....

  • Baltimore An early out for one of the powers in the AFC. So what happened? Is the Colts' defense actually that good or are the Ravens that inept on offense?

  • New England Fifty-four seconds left and down by four, I found myself wondering how Tom Brady was going to pull this one out. Fine season for the undermanned Pats.

  • ChicagoNice job on the high powered Saints offense. Looks like the big D is back in Chicago

  • New Orleans Sean Payton had a masterful season handling a different sort of assortment of players on offense. Expect big things in the future.

  • Seattle As banged up as they were, they were lucky to get this far.....

  • Indianapolis A Manning finally plays in a Super Bowl!

  • Philadelphia A nice playoff run for this injured but extremely well coached team.

  • Dallas TO drops a pass in a one point game, but I'm sure someone else is to blame for their loss to the Seahawks. Lost as close a game as you'll ever see to a banged up Seattle team.

  • New York Jets A fine year for a team with, at best, 8-8 talent. They're moving in the right direction. Best of luck next year.

  • New York Giants Talent just doesn't do it for this crew. They'll start next year with a new running back and a new coach.

  • Kansas City Couldn't run the ball, couldn't move the ball offensively at all against the Colts. Played good defense in the first half, but let a close game slip away in the second.

  • I sure hope nobody was turning to me for advice.....


    Saturday, January 20, 2007


    The Flying Car

    I must have lost my copy of this. I can't believe I would throw it away, but I must have.

    From Kevin Smith's short stint as a regular on The Tonight Show, I give you, The Flying Car:



    I Miss the Cheers Open Mic

    Don't do the vanity-name-google search too often, but I had some down time at work tonight so I typed Blind Orange Julius into the old search engine and got a link to SMB's blog from last July and this came out:

    I wonder how Blind Orange Julius is doing? I miss that cat. I miss his sense of humor, timing, and cool songs he'd bring to the open mic/sore with and WithOut 12-String Andy. I'll bet HE's finer than a frog's freckle, and handing out grins like fliers on a big city street.

    I needed that. I'm going through a tough time right now, for reasons to numerous to mention so early on a Saturday morning. While I'm by no means finer than a frog's freckle, reading Shawn say a couple of nice things about me made my night.

    Honestly, I'm amazed that anyone remembers me for anything. Sunday nights at Cheers were a big part of my life for a couple of years, I was their religiously (well, better than religiously because I rarely get to church anymore), first with 957, later just me and TSA. I've been told that I had a lot to do with the success of that open mic. I've been told I had a lot to do with the success of the Dunn Bros. open mic. That shit just amazes me.

    I'm an idiot. Sometimes I pick up a harmonica, or, worse yet, a guitar, and show what a complete idiot I can be. I always figured if I was remembered for anything that it'd be as that guy who should have been so embarassed.

    Nice words are nice words, even if I didn't get around to reading them for six months. Blow my mind. And let it be know that I was never awarded Drunkest Human in the Bar, but I think I was disqualified because the host liked me.


    Friday, January 19, 2007


    Sue Foley Photo Friday

    Foley Desktop
    A few of my favorites
    This has, many times in the past, been my computer desktop. Had to change it because it was just too damn distracting. Yep, didn't get anything done, just stared blankly at my computer screen. I still do that, but it's not nearly as fun.

    By the way, that cover of Big City Blues, the first Sue Foley album I ever purchased (at Best Buy in Lakewood, CA) continues to give me a special feeling. I mean, just look at her. See why I couldn't get anything done when this was my desktop?



    Thursday, January 18, 2007



    Deleted because somebody could obviously do a better job of writing this shit than me.


    Cool Graphs

    From The Onion:

    And some of my own:












    If That's not a load of Pointless Shit, I don't know what is.....


    Wednesday, January 17, 2007



    I wrote an elaborate bitch when I got home last night. I'd like to say it was well written, but in truth I haven't looked at it since I got up and I was drinking when I wrote it. It was probably a piece of crap, so it'll just stay in drafts. Maybe I'll read it again later, though I most likely will never post it.

    Why not post it? Because it won't do a bit of damn good. I post from my point of view, therefore I bitch from my point of view. Now in my view, when I'm bitching, it's because I'm pointing out something that's wrong. That's my point of view and the reality of others may differ. In fact, if I bitch, it may indicate to others that, in their reality, I'm the one who's wrong.

    Dealing with the reality of others means that all the bitching in the world won't do any good. Others think they're right, and, depending on how strong they hold their convictions, no amount of bitching on my part is going to change their mind.

    Worse yet, I come off as an asshole. It doesn't matter how right I am, if I write something that someone else doesn't want to hear, I end up being the asshole.

    So if I have an actual bitch this morning, it's that bitching doesn't do any good. Not a damn bit of good and this whole exercise is pointless.


    Tuesday, January 16, 2007


    Squirrel Trouble

    From Snopes:

    Claim: Frozen squirrels have been used for criminal purposes.

    Status: True.

    Origins: While even a cursory study of criminal behavior will uncover instances of animals having been employed as weapons (e.g., snakes used in holdups), in a couple of unusual cases not only have squirrels been wielded by the ill-intentioned, but the critters were frozen ones at that.

    In 1994 in Lorain, Ohio, frozen squirrels were listed among the tools of trade used by two men and a teenager in their attempts to steal tire rims from a parked car. The trio would fling said frosted rodents at barking dogs to distract the canines from raising the alarm as they worked.

    In 1991, frozen squirrels were used to bludgeon a woman in Sacramento, California. Kao Khae Saephan, an immigrant from Laos, repeatedly struck his wife with six frozen squirrels he retrieved from the family freezer, rendering the poor woman unconscious. (As to why the couple had these rodents in their freezer, it's because squirrel meat is a component of some Laotian dishes.) The irate husband was jailed on suspicion of spousal abuse, and Mrs. Saephan filed for divorce.

    Iced squirrels, by the way, are a menace even when not being used in criminal endeavors. In 2005, British insurance company Norwich Union paid off on an claim for damage done to a vehicle by a frozen squirrel that had fallen from a tree — the iced rodent crashed through the windshield and landed on the passenger seat.

    Barbara "cold comfort" Mikkelson

    Check out for you urban legend de-bunking needs.



    Positive About Three Day Weekends

    The rest of the world 'celebrated' Martin Luther King day yesterday. I say 'celebrated' not because it isn't a day worth celebrating (it most certainly is), but for most people it's just a Monday that they don't have to go to work. It's a three day weekend.

    I work in TV, days off of this type are few and far between. It's a 24-7 operation and somebody always has to be there. Other than a lot of NBA action during the day (and day shift bitched about handling a quarter of what we handle on any given night), it was just another day at work. I didn't get any mail and I could drive 35 mph through the school zone on my way to work. For me, just another day at work while the rest of the world is at home.

    But let me tell you, suckers, you may have enjoyed the rare three day weekend the past three days, but I get a three day weekend EVERY DAMN WEEK!!!!! That's right, every weekend for BOJ is a three day weekend. I pay for it by working 4 10 hour days, but Tuesday through Thursday I'm nobody's bitch. That's BOJ Time, baby, and it's freakin' fan-fucking-tastic!

    In all seriousness, it is great. As Slick (who shares the same shift with me, as well as neighbor Tim) over at Broken Machines says, it's great , the first day you're worn out from the evening after working 4 tens, the last day you're stresssing about having to go back to work tomorrow, but that day in between, that day is all yours.

    It's all mine. And not just occasionally (when's your next 3 day weekend, 9 to 5 boy?). It's every damn week. Ever week. How cool is that?

    I rule!



    Fake Gambling Week 19

    I don't usually do this so early, but I looked at the line this morning and saw something I didn't think I could pass up:

  • New England (-3) at Indianapolis - $100

  • New England at Indianapolis UNDER (48) - $100

  • BOJ's Week 19 Stake: $1100
    BOJ's Week 19 Wagered: $200

    Indianapolis is favored in this game? I was so positive that it was going to be the other way around that I figured I'd wait until the last minute to make my pick. It's not a ringing endorsement of the Colts, the 3 points is pretty much what being at home is basically worth. I see this line moving toward favoring the Pats, which is why I got in now. I predict that this game will come off as a pick 'em game by kickoff. I'd put money on that, but that's not what this site is about.

    I see the Pats winning this game outright, any points I get are meaningless, but I rather not give any. As far as the under, 48 points? The Colts are playing better defense and have proven pretty un-Colt-like in 6 of their past eight game quarters. No touchdowns last week against an admittedly great Ravens D, but they had problems moving the ball in the first half last week against the Chiefs. The Chiefs! No, I'll take the under.

    Every week I say I'm not happy with my picks, but this week, well, these are some quality football picks given the lines I'm dealing with.


    Monday, January 15, 2007


    I Almost Forgot - Fake Gambling!

    Remember when I said I never bet playoff football. I'm certainly showing that it was a wise decision in the past:

  • Indianapolis 15 at Baltimore (-4) 6 -$200

  • Indianapolis 15 at Baltimore 6 UNDER (41) +$100

  • New England 24 at San Diego (-4.5) 21 -$100

  • Week 18 Against the Spread: 0-2
    Week 18 Over/Unders: 1-0

    BOJ Season Against the Spread: 31-30-1
    BOJ Season Over/Unders: 10-9-1
    BOJ Balance for Week 18: -$200
    BOJ Total Amount Remaining: $1100

    We're almost down to my starting stake. I have less fake money then any time since week 1. It's so monumentally clear that I don't know what I'm doing.

    I haven't seen the lines on this weeks Championship games, but both games shake out a little screwy. I'll be very cautious.

  • San Diego How does a Super Bowl shoe-in lose in the divisional round? Turnovers. Yeah, coach Schottenheimer doesn't have a great playoff record, but he didn't put the ball on the ground even one time, so don't blame him....

  • Baltimore An early out for one of the powers in the AFC. So what happened? Is the Colts' defense actually that good or are the Ravens that inept on offense?

  • New England Holy cow, they beat the friggin' Bolts! Let's face it, no team is better coached. With the Chargers and Ravens out of it, the Pats are my pick to go all the way.

  • ChicagoDid some FOX exec get all giddy when the game went to overtime at 24 the night of the season premiere of 24 on FOX? You know it. Will have to play better than they did to beat the Saints.

  • New Orleans Good tight game with a good Philly team. Like all winning playoff teams, luck was on the Saints' side. Payton showed his coaching skill and will be tough in the NFC Championship game.

  • Seattle As banged up as they were, they were lucky to get this far.....

  • Indianapolis Maybe there defense is for real. Two weeks in a row they've been able to stop teams known for running the ball. Oddly, it's their lack of offense that's starting to worry me.

  • Philadelphia A nice playoff run for this injured but extremely well coached team.

  • Dallas TO drops a pass in a one point game, but I'm sure someone else is to blame for their loss to the Seahawks. Lost as close a game as you'll ever see to a banged up Seattle team.

  • New York Jets A fine year for a team with, at best, 8-8 talent. They're moving in the right direction. Best of luck next year.

  • New York Giants Talent just doesn't do it for this crew. They'll start next year with a new running back and a new coach.

  • Kansas City Couldn't run the ball, couldn't move the ball offensively at all against the Colts. Played good defense in the first half, but let a close game slip away in the second.

  • For entertainment purposes only. This is not a gambling site.



    DHMO Update
    HazMat Removal

    Far be it from me to give our Government any more revenue generating ideas, but what's the deal with all of these folks removing solid DHMO in our fair city. I asked around, and apparently no license is required to handle this material.

    DHMO is a Hazardous Material!!! Yet anyone with the proper equipment can cart it away, or worse, just push it out of the way, depositing it where it will no longer be a bother. It's typical of our Government's handling of the DHMO scourge in our country. It's a problem that they just want to ignore or, worse yet, blatantly lie about how DHMO isn't a problem. Let me tell you, I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming, DHMO, particularly solid DHMO has been a problem all winter now. And I hear things are worse in Denver.

    The Governement denies that DHMO is harazdous, and allows every Tom, Dick and Harry to remove it. Got a pick-up and some shovels? Your a DHMO removal tech! Worse, and I actually saw this recently, children, they couldn't have been more than 14 years old, were removing DHMO from the grounds of a contaminated residence. Children! The poor kids were wearing improvised protective clothing to protect their faces, to cover their mouths as not to ingest the insidious chemical compound. DHMO ingestion has proven to be fatal! Yet we allow children, unliscensed children, to remove this harardous material.

    Since our Government won't even admit that DHMO is dangerous, I doubt that they'll ever require training and liscensing for DHMO HazMat removal specialists. How many must die before we learn our lesson.




    Orlando Man Sues Club Over Quality Of Women

    From some Orlando TV station's website:

    ORLANDO, Fla. -- They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but an Orlando man who said he was promised beauty was instead given a beast of a situation.

    Kurt Spath, 36, of Orlando, is suing the The Events and Adventures Club, claiming that the women he met were not up to his standards.

    Spath, an insurance adjuster who enjoys cooking and outdoor activities, told Local 6 News that he paid more than $1,000 to join the group, which promised to set him up with sophisticated, professional women.

    Spath said the women he met through the group were far from that description, so he's suing to get a refund of his membership fee.

    "Is it safe to say you think you are better than everybody in this group?" Local 6 News reporter Jessica Sanchez asked Spath.

    "No, that's relative. I wouldn't say I'm better than anybody there," Spath said. "I'd say I'm different. These people are not what I was looking for and not what I was promised."

    The singles' group did not return any phone calls from Local 6 News.

    Video of the news story too!


    Sunday, January 14, 2007


    Just Trying to Help...

    I'm a company guy. So when our company started a new "Dive to 65" initiative for the new year, meaning they want less than 65 personel errors in 2007, I wanted to help out. I'm not the most motivational guy, but I can do a little bit with graphics, and I am clever. So I made this motivational logo that I hope the company will use:


    But then I started thinking, are we really married to "Dive to 65?" Don't get me wrong, it's a fine motivational slogan, but being as last year was "Strive for 85," I started thinking that corporate isn't very inventive. I can come up with more creative slogans with the same general goal. So I came up with these:



    Perhaps a little more de-motivational would be:


    The one I really hope we go with is:


    ...doing my part,
    are you doing yours?


    The Onion Radio News
    I Know, I Never Do This Twice in a Row....

    Doyle Redland
    With Doyle Redland

    Former Couple To Remain Friends Until One Finds New Sex Partner

    Listen to the story here.

    The Onion somehow got inside my head! Make it stop!



    Saturday, January 13, 2007


    The Onion Radio News

    Doyle Redland
    With Doyle Redland

    Apartment Creates Illusion Of Well-Rounded Life

    Listen to the story here.

    A little too close to reality for my tastes. Stop reading this crap, read The Onion instead!





    Good things happen when you let other people touch
    the ball...
    I always liked the New York Giants, the Bill Parcells coached teams of the 80's and 90's with the great defenses and just enough offense to win.

    In 1991, the Giants drafted a WR named Ed McCaffrey with little fanfare. I watched him play some in the pre-season that year and I was impressed. He never made much of an impact in New York, though and was shipped off to San Francisco after three years.

    After an unspectacular year with the 'Niners, Ed found himself in Denver. Now I always liked the Giants, but I lived and breathed Denver Broncos football. A player I like ends up with my favorite team, I was certainly hoping for the best. I wasn't disappointed.

    Ed helped bring two Super Bowls to Denver, caught 462 passes for 6,200 yards and was a constant inspiration. Ed got clobbered on seemingly every play, nearly always hung onto the ball and always (except for one quite memorable time on September 10th, 2001) got up to play again.

    Through a special agreement with Pro Football Reference, The Globex Corporation is proud to announce our sponsorship of Ed's accomplishments on Ed's Pro Football Reference Page!


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    The Bert Convey
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