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February 20, 2009

The look of a country changes to the looks of the people it admires
Larry McMurtry

Evolution by Luis Royo
Click images for desktop size: "Evolution" by Luis Royo
I went to make our appointments at the hair dressers yesterday. They're closed. As in out of business.
Just goes to show you can't make a living giving a good seven dollar haircut even if you chargeAn Ache in Every Stake fifteen bucks for it.
Going to try one of those shopping center joints now. Get to pay too much but you also have to do bit less praying that they don't make you look freakish.
I had the dogs with me. Maybe they just went out of business when they saw us in the driveway . . . The dogs get groomed on Thursday. They are not overjoyed.
I have to go to the dentist.
Beau coup pain there too. Remember how I used to have a beautiful smile? Now I look almost like I'm British.
It makes me irritated that I spent so much time brushing twice a day and all those miles of floss. I still don't have any cavities! Still, I figure to lose at least 3 teeth this trip. Only one in the front. At least its the lower front. Can't even afford to get dentures yet. Its just a matter of time till other fall out.
The good thing is that I won't be in that much pain. The teeth are dead for the most part. The jaw bone is receding and the teeth are just hanging on by those little claws they have. I'm too prone to infections that creates most of the pain and pushes the teeth even further away from the jaw. Side effects truly suck.
Because the teeth are mostly dead pulling them hurts some put not as much as it normally would and the pain after is also remarkably less.
I'm stuck choosing a dentist based on how nice their office looked. I'm terrified of the cost. I liked my old City sponsored dental plan: Fist come, first served, twenty five bucks flat fee. Getting to the Fernando Vicente
Click images for desktop size: "Untitled" by Fernando Vicente
health clinic by 6 to get in line and waiting till 9 for them to open was a drag, but I was never first in line.
The dentists were all volunteers. They gave up their private practice to give one day a week to the people. Because of my health history I always had to see the same dentist. That worked fine for me. She was good and after the second visit she managed to drop her hardened veneer of working in a charity clinic.
One thing that was good at the health clinic was it pre-Obama health data base. While people can roam around and sweat HIPPA violations having all the various doctors I had to see be able to pull up my medical records from a data base made things go a lot faster and easier. It saved me some grief and it spared me having to remember what drugs I was taking and what ones I had to avoid. It was all there and highlighted. If there were contraindicationsThe Big Parade they got redlined and beeped. Made me feel more secure.
I'm sure we've all had friends who ended up sicker or near death because they forgot to tell a dentist or a specialist about some drug they had to take or avoid.
My free dentist was good. She even responded to my vanity.
Click images for desktop size: "Galactacus" by Marvel Comics
Lets hope that a small town pricey dentist is as good. At least I'll be hoping.

There's a music blog, TruStar Vibrations, that I follow via RSS. Recently they repeated a cool rant from Steve Van Zandt. (Little Steven, Miami Steve, Original guitarist for Bruce Springsteen, The Asbury Jukes, The Disciples of Soul, and the best guy on "The Sopranos". He was the guy in the good wig who did a great Al Pacino "Godfather III" impersonation)
Van Zandt's rant against the record companies, RIAA and music publishers is the best one since Courtney Love's article, (back before Love decided she was more of a celebrity than a musician, pre-collagen injections etc).
You can read it here: Steve Van Zandt's Rant. Its cool.
He points out that the music business is a pretty artificial concept. It used to be, up until Edison, that musicians survived by playing clubs and on the street unless they were lucky enough to get a Ice Queen by Inspired Pixels
Click images for desktop size: "Ice Queen" by Inspired Pixel
king or a duke to support them. Most of the really great musicians just played where ever they could, sometimes for a bottle and a meal.
Edison changed that when he invented the recording cylinder. Edison gets thought of as a genius. Maybe he was. All I know for sure is that he forced people to pay. He tied up electricity so we have to pay for nature. He created Hollywood. His DRM was so strict and severe that people who wanted to make movies had to run away from him, had to get so far away from him that it was too big a pain for him to sue you.
He soaked every nickel out of every person he could. He was so good at it that others decided that his gouging of people was a right and not just a clever scam.
In the 40's things started, but it was in the 50's that music exploded. Music wasn't something youVivra Sa Vie listened to, it was something you had to have. Records were cool. They gave you something to touch that was as close to most of the teen idols as you were going to get.
You know the record companies were upset because kids could swap records, trade them. Their solace was they made them so poorly that they'd wear out and you'd have to buy another copy.
When Sony transformed their El-Cassette into BetaMax and Phillips launched the cassette is when things got sticky.
Suddenly you could tape your albums and give them to your friends. A lot of corrupt public officials were working with the record companies to try and get a whopping 5 buck tax on every blank cassette sold. The five bucks to go to the record companies because you MIGHT use that tape to tape some of their music. They owned sound.
Van Zandt has to be listened to. He's rich and one of the guys who stands to benefit from the jerk Electrogoth by HR Giger
Click images for desktop size: "Electrogoth" by HR Giger
tactics of the RIAA. I like when one of their own stands strong (unlike Metallica) and remembers the fans. The rant is on Van Zandt's site. I find his site is a mess, over designed by somebody, too hard to get around. I know its there but I couldn't find it again.
Fortunately there's still plenty of music that hasn't been tainted.
Some of the stuff I've been listening to lately continues to be the same stuff I've always listened to.
The Rooks are still one of my fave 80's bands that nobody has ever heard of. A shame. Their "Glitter Best" isn't even their best song but its sweet. Cool guitars and nice harmonies.
Most people know the tune, "Gimme Some Loving". Steve Winwood and The Spencer Davis Group had a massive hit with it. It can almost always be found someplace on the radio dial, classic rock . . . they usually play it after "Stairway to Heaven". Its a good tune. I've recently discovered that The Kingsmen's version of "Gimme Some Lovin" is my favorite. First off its live, it pounds, they play that cool organ riff on a Hammond B3Soylent Green and the Kingsmen never ever played jazz or fusion.
I still listen to surf. It rules. Just check out Sandy Nelson's "Let There Be Drums" and try and tell me it don't.
There's plenty of newer surf out there too. Like Speedball Jr tearing through "Scalped". A band that takes the thrash of speed metal and turns it into gorgeous dawn patrol stuff.
And of course there's always Canada's greatest surf band . . . even if there was tons of competition these guys would still be great, Huevos Ranchero's "What A Way To Run A Railroad" show that punk, thrash and surf are the sweetest sound.
Tribute albums are still a great way for bands to get stuff out there. One I didn't much care for was the Kinks tribute "Kinks Size". It had some weak stuff but then out of nowhere it had a couple great covers. One I really liked was Tim O'Brien's pure country take on "Muswell Hillbilly". Its cool, touching and funny all at the same time.
John Frusciante is great with The Red Hot Chili Peppers. So great I checked out his solo album. I hated it. Totally pretentious, over blown and near as bloated as any Steve Vai solo album. I was stunned and disappointed, especially since I'd heard Frusciante's terrific take on the Ramone's "Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World". Love with a howl instead of a scream and a strut. Very nice. I was hoping for more like this.
Designing the Sphinx by Michael Parkes
Click image for desktop size: "Designing the Sphinx" by Michael Parkes
And I guess I'll end with a band that some people love, The Milkshakes. I think they're just okay. I do think their cover of "Hippy Hippy Shake" is a lot more than okay.

While writing this I managed to get the hair appointments and a dental appointment . . . I got an emergency appointment on MARCH THE TENTH!! YOW! Glad I'm not like really really in pain . . . All the benefits of a central database became apparent. They're mailing me a medical history to fill out and I have to bring all my drug vials with me . . .

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