A giant turtle talks about music, movies, politics and the Boston Bruins hockey club. Not necessarily in that order or exclusivity.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Scream


Norwegian police recover 'The Scream'

OSLO, Norway (Reuters) -- Norwegian police recovered "The Scream" and another stolen masterpiece by Edvard Munch on Thursday, two years after the works were seized from a museum by gunmen.

"We are 100 percent certain they are the originals," police chief Iver Stensrud told a news conference. "The damage was much less than feared."

"The Scream" depicts a terrified figure under a blood-red sky. The other, "Madonna", shows a bare-breasted woman with long black hair.

Two armed men broke into the Munch Museum in Oslo in August 2004 and yanked the two works from the walls in front of dozens of terrified tourists.

The paintings, both from 1893, have been missing even though three men were convicted in May of taking part in the theft and were sentenced to up to eight years in jail. Two of them were ordered to pay $122 million in damages.

from CNN

Today's Playlist

George Benson - The Other Side Of Abbey Road - I'm not fond of his eighties and after material, but in the sixties and seventies, he was awesome. This is great tribute to the Beatles. Great guitar playing.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bruins re-sign Bergeron.

The Boston Bruins re-signed center Patrice Bergeron to a 5-year contract.

I can breathe easier now. It's not that I thought he'd bolt, but even with a new front office, the Bruins had me a bit worried. I mean they DID trade Jumbo Joe and Samsanov.

Whatever. It's ice under the Zamboni.

I'm pretty excited for the season this year. Even though I live on the West Coast - I still manage to follow the Bruins daily. Even in the off-season. In Southern California. Not exactly a hockeytown.

Zdeno Charra as an addition, is HUGE.

He's HUGE. Milan Jurcina is only going to get better.

I'm a bit bearish on Phil Kessel. I realize I haven't seen him play, and he may be good, but he hasn't played in the NHL, and I still remember the 20 Lindros rookie cards I horded.

I'm excited for Glen Murray. It looks like he has a fresh line with him maybe playing with Marc Savard - who in his own rights looks ready for a break-out.

I will say - I'd like to see Brian Leetch back in Boston.

In goal, I'm split. I was far and away impressed with the play of both Hannu Toivonen and Tim Thomas, but I'll say this--Thomas came through HUGE and under a ton of pressure. I'm feeling him somewhat more than Hannu, but I'll be happy with either as the #1. If there even needs to be a #1.

I'm also looking to see P.J. Axelsson, Brad & Mark Stuart, Brad Boyes, Sturm, and Wayne Primeau all make huge impacts.

Especially Axelsson. I think this could be his year.

Paul Mara and Yan Stastny could have an effect also. Still unsure on both counts there.

So, we'll see.

Can the Bruins pull it together?

A new GM, a new coach, much less of Harry Sinden and in many ways a new team.

Let's hope.

Go B's.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Credit where credit is due.

So, as I stated in my return post, I spent the last year in school.

As much as I would have liked - I would have gone to Platt College or maybe the Art Institute, spent tens of thousands of dollars and 3 or more years of time.

That's not an easy thing to do, especially when you've not been in school for over a decade.

Oh and you have to pay bills.

Credit for my success has to go to Debbie, my wife. She made the suggestion that I register for this certification program.

The course is offered by San Diego’s community college district. It's not glamorous, but there are great instructors, who care and taught me a lot. Along with the program I enrolled in various other one-off and week-long classes taught by many of the same professors who teach at Platt, USCD, and other schools. Great classes. Great information. A great source for learning.

The best part? It's free. Of course you have to pay for supplies, and it helps to have a computer at home with all (or most) of the software.

Awesome. Free school. I'm in!

Right. Paying the bills.

That's why the credit has to go where it goes.

You see, the on the same day that my previous employer had to "restate its quarterly numbers" and lay-off something like a quarter of its staff--myself being one of them-- my wife was gleefully giving her notice at her account executive job. She had decided to take a pay cut, with my job supporting us for the most part, and pursue a career in interior Design full time. She had been doing interior design on the side for quite a few years, but wanted to make a complete transition.

A great idea. One I encouraged whole-heartedly.

We didn't count on my not having a paycheck.

So, I'm trying to get in touch with her all afternoon. She's not answering. Finally, late in the day, I get a call from her. She tells me that she had heard a rumor that there had been mass lay-offs at my company.

I said, "Yep, there have been."

"But you're ok, right?" she asks.

"Uuummm... I'm at home." I replied.


Talk about a buzz kill for someone.

Later that night she made the suggestion that maybe now was a good time to go to school. Do what I really wanted to do.

While I spent the next 10 months going to class every day, she went to work. Supporting me.

Yes, there was government help, but they don't pay much. The burden was on Debbie, which she was glad to bear, as long as I was furthering my education.

We're trucking along. Things are tight and sometimes tense, but I'm loving school and she's loving interior design.

Then I get sick. I had hot and clod sweats, and this grapefruit-sized thing in my neck.

The flu? a bad cold? Mups. No. Couldn't be that easy.

You see, along with going to school for free, while unemployed--there's no medical insurance.

We waited a full two weeks, then I had to get it checked out.

A few primary cares, urgent care, and one specialist later, we are informed that it is a cyst. I need surgery. ASAP.

With no insurance, how would we pay for this?

She and her family rallied. We(She) negotiated with the surgeon and hospital to get the cost brought down tremendously, but it was still going to cost us thousands of dollars.

Well, the family was able to pull funds together. I had the surgery (which was very unpleasant). I'm better. Debbie nursed me through the post-op. Her family chipped in everywhere. Anywhere they could.

I finished school. I even got awards for my work and for helping my classmates get through.

I couldn't have done any of it if Debbie wasn't there. Every step of the way.

Now, I'm working again. We still have some of the medical bills to pay, but we're in the home stretch.

Now it's my turn.

Debbie has given her notice at her design firm.

She's going out on her own.

I'm the first one in line to help her succeed.

The credit goes to her. For where I am now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Chad Vader

In case you haven't seen it yet, check out the adventures of Darth Vader's brother, Chad. He works in a supermarket.

Chad Vader

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What am I listening to?


Wolfmother - self titled - Heavy Led Zeppelin/Sabbath Pink Floydish stuff. Australian trio, that apparently started out as a hobby they thought no one would take seriously.

Peeping Tom - self titled - Mike Patton in yet another incarnation. This time he enlists a bunch of beat masters to "improve" his own tracks. Quite a few vocal guests as well, such as Norah Jones, Bebel Gilberto, Rahzel and Kool Kieth. Saw them live a few weeks back. Awesome. Pop music for those who can't stand the radio.

The Racontuers - Broken Boy Soldiers - Everyone points out Jack White. I'd like to point out Brendan Benson. While working in the music dept. at MP3.com, I ran across and featured Brendan's music quite often. This is like Cream in the late sixties. A few relatively unknowns with a relatively new but extremely talented guitarist and songwriter.

Not sure who the other two guys are. Better than any White Stripes Record. Greta harmonies between misters White & Benson.

Ray Charles - Modern Sound In Country & Western - Ray told a distraught (and newly signed to) record company that he was going to put out an ablum of old country songs he grew up with, modernized. They thought he was crazy. Maybe, but this is a great record.

Pink Floyd - More Truly underrated. Wall/Wish/Darkside/Animals get the all the press, but this is the good stuff.

Pink Floyd - Obscured By Clouds Again, shamefully underrated and overloooked. Before Darkside the Pink Floyd were extremely prolific with their writing. Some of their best, most experimental and refreshing.

If you want some "new" Floyd with Gilmour, Waters, Mason & Wright - listen to both of these.

Cream - BBC Sessions The Racontuers reminded me of Cream when I first heard their recird, so I pulled this BBC "Live" sessions record out. Aside from the Cream being great, the disc jockey throws down some of the best sixties "turned-on-tuned-out-way hip and wild" intros, that you will NEVER hear on the radio today. A few little interviw clips with Eric Clapton as well.

Posting just to post

I haven't posted in a while.

I've been in school. Decided to take some classes to make myself more "employable" as they say.

I suppose it worked. I now have a job doing what I wanted, and went to school for.

Nice how that works out.