Monday, February 27, 2006

Sex Pistols to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:"Sod off!"

I never did care their for music, but the Sex Pistols came along in 1977 and gave rock music a long-overdue kick in the pants. Now they have impolitely declined the invitation for induction into the overblown, self-important Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

Good for them. Read about it here in Undercover.

Separated At Birth?

Mayberry is a little sadder now, as we all are, with the death of actor Don Knotts, a/k/a Deputy Barney Fife.

However, if and when the biopic of his life is to be made, I know the perfect person (above) to portray Don (right).

Team Sweden Captures Gold

Congratulations to the Swedish hockey team, coached by popular ex-Washington Capital star Bengt-Ake Gustaffson, on its upset of Team Finland to capture the Olympic gold medal in Turin.

Some eyebrows were raised last week when Swedish coach Gustaffson was quoted saying it might benefit his team to lose against Slovakia to ensure a matchup with Switzerland, rather than Canada or the Czechs, easing the path to the medal round.

Be that as it may, Sweden still won when it counted, besting the undefeated Finns in a 3-2 thriller.

Washington Capital rookie sensation Alex Ovechkin scored five goals in eight games for Team Russia which, along with Teams USA and Canada, came home without a medal.

Prediction: the 2010 Games, which will be held in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, will be the last that the NHL will participate in. UPDATE: Caps' owner Ted Leonsis take on the NHL in the Olympics here.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Stop! Hey, What's That Sound?

Folk music has always been considered to be associated with more left-of-center ideology. But why should the lefties have all the coolest music and performers on their side? Without further adieu, I present to you the newly-released "Folk Songs of the Far Right Wing". (Not available in stores.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Neil Young's "Heart Of Gold" Concert Film

Mrs Blog and I went to the new "Heart Of Gold" Neil Young concert film over the weekend. Filmed by Jonathan Demme last August at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Neil and friends perform all but one of the songs from the recent "A Prairie Wind" CD, as well as a good number of past Neil Young favorites. The all-acoustic program is a delight for guitarists, as we get some extreme closeups of chord positions and picking. (When I try to play Neil songs without a pick like he does, it sounds like a muddled mess.)

For a roundup of stories and reviews, I direct you to Thrasher's website.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Now Whippet.......Whippet Good

Newsday reports:
"The formal search for the award-winning show dog named Vivi, who bolted from her cage Wednesday at Kennedy Airport, was officially called off at midday today.In the past 24 hours, 'the searchers covered the entire airport property of nearly 5,000 acres but did not spot the dog,' said Alan Hicks, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "

I'm not sure how Vivi can survive the other creatures prowling in the marshes around Jamaica Bay, including the human ones. Seriously, I hope this story comes to a happy conclusion for all concerned.

Lionel Acquires K-Line Electric Trains/ Opens NYC Office and Showroom

It was announced today that Lionel will take control of the K-Line brand, its tooling, its inventory of unsold products, and other assets from Sanda Kan Industrial, the Chinese manufacturer that was K-Line's principal supplier of trains and related products. Lionel will make new products under the K-Line brand, and market and sell those products as part of the Lionel line.

Lionel also announced its return to its historical home of New York City, opening an office and showroom at 33rd Street and Madison Avenue.

Read the official announcement here.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

NHL Out of Olympics?

I'm a hockey fan who enjoys the Winter Olympics every four years as well. But I'm not too crazy about the NHL taking off these two weeks to enable professional hockey players to play for their representative countries in the Olympics. It interrupts the "flow" of the season (OK, so my favorite team isn't flowing anywhere except last place), exposes key players to injuries and fatigue, and also deprives the NHL much-needed exposure during the post-NFL, pre-MLB spring training sports season. (I could care less about the NBA, and to me March Madness means drinking Guinness at a crowded Irish pub on St. Patrick's Day).

In this article, Michael Farber makes a compelling case for the NHL to rethink its alliance with the Olympics. The 2010 Olympics will take place in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Will that be the NHL's final appearance at the Olympics?

Five More Weeks of Winter - That's Cool!

After a ridiculously mild winter, the past weekend saw this region experience its first measureable snow in months and most significant snowfall totals in three years. It was a nice, user-friendly snow, as it mostly fell from Saturday evening into early Sunday morning. I, of course, prepared by procuring all the basic necessities for the "snowed-in" weekend - firewood, bourbon, cigars, and extra smoke fluid for my toy train steam locomotives.

Although officials felt it neccesary to close area schools on Monday (the decision was made as early as Sunday afternoon) the region, not known for coping with any amount of snow, generally handled this storm fairly well. In New York City, which received 20-24" of snow on Sunday, schools were open on Monday and it was pretty much business as usual. You think two feet of snow is gonna shut down New York City? - Fuggeddaboudit!

Meanwhile, we're back to temps into the low 60s with cold temps returning for the President's Day weekend (need some more of those basic "necessities"!) and an outside chance for a snow "event" Monday night into Tuesday.

I love the snow - as long as I don't have to go driving in it - and wouldn't mind a few more weekend snowfalls of the 2-4" variety before spring.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Site Highlight: Forgotten New York

Your blogmeister was born and spent his early years in the Bay Ridge/Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. I hold many great memories of that time and place, and still maintain an interest in all things NYC.

Through words and pictures, Kevin Walsh's outstanding Forgotten NY site takes us on a tour of the city, past and present. We visit neighborhoods in all five boroughs, exploring the alleys, streets, landmarks, trains and subways, and "street futniture" such as lamposts, traffic signals, and street signs, which define New York.

So why not spend awhile visiting Forgotten NY? I guarantee that you will spend hours at this site, which Kevin updates almost every week.

And, if you still haven't gotten enough of New York, check out Steve Anderson's NYC Roads, which explores the expressways, parkways, bridges, and tunnels of metro New York. Included are comprehensive histories, current conditions, recommendations for improvements, and historic photographs. Steve is expanding into Boston, Philly, and Baltimore/DC area roads as well.

McCartney Rocks The Grammys

I quit watching or caring about The Grammy Awards many years ago, but thanks to You Tube, we can watch Paul McCartney and his current touring band showing the youngsters how to rock at last night's presentation. Click here to watch the video.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lionel 2006 Vol. I Catalog Online

The recently-issued Lionel catalog can be viewed here. It contains in innaresting mix of modern-era trains, re-issues of postwar classics, ready-to-run starter sets, a classic "tinplate" set, and NASCAR-licensed items. A truly diverse, if pricey, product line.

Mrs Gretzky Implicated In Gambling Ring

Janet Jones (Mrs. Wayne Gretzky) , along with possibly a dozen NHL players or associates, has been named as a participant in a betting ring financed by ex-NHL tough guy and current Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach Rick Tocchet (nee Tocchetti) and a New Jersey state trooper. Mr. Wayne Gretzky is the Coyotes' head coach. We'll be keeping an eye on this evolving story, as reported by ESPN here.

Possible "Prairie Wind" and CSNY Tour in 2006?

Neil Young on "A Prairie Wind", "Heart of Gold" move, the Rolling Stones, a possible tour behind "Wind", as well as a new CSNY album and tour, courtesy of The Toronto Star.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

March 12, 2026

This is going to be the date of my death according to calculations performed by The Death Clock.

It bases its prediction on your birthdate, sex, "mode" (normal, optimistic, pessimistic, or sadistic), smoking status, and body mass index (BMI), which is determined by your height and weight.

Curiously, it doesn't take into account your "drinking/drug-taking status", race, family health history, or your own personal health issues. (Uh oh, I just shaved another ten years off my life!)

The purpose of the site, I think, is to try to scare you into examining how you take care of your health.

It also links to Find Out How Famous People Died. A perusal of some of the celebrity obits on this site reveals some sordid tales about their lives as well as their deaths, sort of like a tabloid-stained obituary column.

So, go ahead and check out The Death Clock - if you dare!