Three Months

I cannot stand Taylor Swift. I hate her music. Not a fan of her personally. And I would rather listen to fingernails on a chalkboard than listen to her sing. But I find myself in the odd position of agreeing with her.

She wrote an open letter to Apple about them not paying for musician’s music during Apple’s three months free streaming trial period. Now, three months may not seem like a lot of time, especially for musicians who are already earning millions, and truthfully for some of them it probably wouldn’t make a difference.

But how long is the life of music anymore? The first three months after release is probably when most musicians make their money from their releases. How long does a song stay a hit before the next big song is out on the market. Yes, I know that this is only during the trial period, but this could cost the performers a significant sum of money. And when you are talking about new performers, maybe even a one-hit wonder, these three months could have been the only point in time when they make their money.

I am glad apple changed their policy. The customers still get their free trial period. The poor one-hit wonder still gets his money, maybe the only money he would make in his career. And Taylor Swift gets her large sums of money, and got a lot of publicity for her new album, which I will not be listening too.

Three Thing Friday

1. Jurassic World – Ok, I just left the movie, and I will try not to have too many spoilers. Skip to #2 if you want to play it safe.

First I will go into the positive aspects. The special effects were really good. The only thing that looked unrealistic was the great white shark used in feeding. The dinosaurs, the explosions, and the park all looked really good. The kids, as much as I am not sure they were necessary, were not as annoying as they could have been. I also enjoyed seeing BD Wong reprise his role from the original film.

Having said all of that, there were a lot of negative aspects from the film. There was a small sub plot, the parents going through a divorce, which just seemed unnecessary. The movie also was very campy. There was actually a moment in the final battle where a raptor actually rode a T. Rex for a few moments. The plot itself seemed very forced. I am not even going to talk about the fact that the entire story is very predictable… oops, I just did. Once you meet a character, you know if they will survive till the end of the film, for the most part. I was wrong about 2, and only because I was surprised they survived. Everyone else… no surprises.

Overall, I would give it a 4.5 out of 10. Chris Pratt was good, same with most of the other actors. It is better than the second and third films, but that isn’t saying much. And I did appreciate some of the nods to the original film. If you do go and see it, please remember that gasoline likely wouldn’t last 20 years. It’s important.

Oh, and you say EVACUATION PLAN?!?!?! Most parks have them.

2. Shark Week – Shark Week is only a few weeks away, and I am already super excited. To prepare myself, I took a day off to go see a movie three years older than I am. I will be seeing Jaws in the theater for the first time in my life.

The movie is fictional, based off of a book, which was based off of actual shark attacks in NJ. However, shark attacks are not common. Yes, two people were attacked in North Carolina recently. And yes, they were lucky to survive. But these are still uncommon. And when you enter the ocean, you are entering the shark’s domain.

Shark week disappoints me every year. I always hope for a week of great programming. I usually get one, maybe two shows that are great. The rest is crap, sometimes fictional crap.

I have high hopes for this year’s shark week, but I also expect to be disappointed.

3. A week off – Obviously, I missed last weeks three thing Friday. I wish I could say that I had a good excuse, but I don’t. I just didn’t feel like writing. I guess, I just needed a brief break.

Well, I am back.

For now.

Three Thing Friday

1. The MINI – She may be coming to an end. Tuesday night I had an electrical short that triggered almost every warning light in the car. Wednesday, the service engine light went on. The light went off on Thursday, so I thought that was a good thing.

However, today on the way to work, I lost all power and the car limited my ability to accelerate. I couldn’t get up enough speed to get out of second gear. I restart fixed the issue, except the service engine light was back on. Well, apparently accelerating fast trips all of the issues.

I have a feeling this is going to be an expensive repair…. So maybe a new car is on the horizon.

2. Milkshakes – I went to Burger King the other day, and instead of ordering some ice cream like my friend, I ordered a large milkshake. It’s been a while since I had one, and this one was Oreo flavored. For a BK shake, it wasn’t at all. In fact, I would recommend it almost as much as the Shamrock shakes from McDonalds.

So yes, I would recommend the shake from Burger King… but I felt like crap after it.

3. I picked a bad month to give up drinking – I am not falling off the wagon yet, this was a rough week. Class, while interesting and job related, was dry as hell. Granted, it was still better than work, but it sucked.

And then my first full day back to work wasn’t any better. I know I have a few bottles of wine calling my name, but I am going to pass. One month isn’t that long, I can easily do this. But week one was one heck of a test.

Please Do Not Read

This week I am in a class for four days learning about appropriation law. Trust me, it is as exciting as it sounds. The material is dry, but at least I am not in the office, and the instructor is good. Appropriation law actually deals with my day-to-day job, so there is that as well.

But the best part of class so far is one of the pages in one of the many books we keep referring to.

And with that statement, I leave you with this picture taken of that book.

Workbook

The Month of June

I have made a decision concerning the month of June. I decided that I am going to give up alcohol for the entire month. I have a friend who is doing the same (although the timing is a few days off) and I decided it was not a bad idea.

Now, she has her reasons, and I have mine. I do not think that I am an alcoholic, but I think that I could become one. I do have a lot of wine in my house and hard liquor, but no beer, which is kind of surprising. I figure by doing this, I am going to save some money, save some calories, and just prove that I can do it.

Giving up hard alcohol isn’t that hard, I haven’t had any in a long time. Giving up beer is harder since I have a Guinness about once a week. Now, giving up some wine, that is where the real challenge is, since I do love my wine.

But, from the first day of June till the last, I am not going to have any alcohol. I probably should have had a glass of wine tonight.

Three Thing Friday

1. It’s just a game – All hell recently broke lose in a game I play. People were offended. People stopped playing. Insults were thrown. It was not pretty, and all of this over a game.

The biggest problem I had was the threats that were made for not taking the game seriously enough. It was like we were going to actual war, not a fictional war that is supposed to be fun.

Having had enough, I left. The game was no longer fun; it was being taken too seriously. I have enough stress in my life, a mortgage, work, and an aging car. I do not need fictional stress.

2. 40-Years Ago – Back in 1975, one film proceeded to scare people out of the water for an entire summer. It also caused a backlash that no one predicted. Jaws premiered 40 years ago and changed the face of the film industry, the shore industry, and the lives of billions of sharks.

The FICTIONAL film was treated as fact and demonized the shark. Even Peter Benchley stated that if he knew what would happen to the sharks, he would never have written the book. That is not to say that only bad things happened because of this film, people got interested in sharks. Plenty of shark biologists credit Jaws with getting them into their chosen field.

It also gave us the summer blockbuster… which may not be a good thing. This was the first true summer blockbuster, and now we have a film industry who will dump millions into a film hoping to be the next big thing.

On June 21st the film will be in select theaters. Will I see it? Probably.

3. Put to work – From Monday the 18th to Monday the 25th my friends put me to work. First, I had to help unload a moving van full of crap into a friend’s house on the first hot day of the year. This wouldn’t be so bad, except I know that in a few weeks they will be moving back out. This is just a temporary storage place. Can someone say POD?

After that I went up to New Jersey to help two more friends with moving. They just got a house (congratulations guys) and needed to pack up, move out, and toss crap into the garbage. I helped with their desk, couch, animals, and just general packing.

The final task I have was to water another friend’s yard. He just had sod installed and it needed daily watering. With it being a holiday weekend, he went up to see his parents. So, I found myself watering his lawn on Sunday and Monday.

And that was my week…

Three Thing Friday

1. Being rushed – I am not a big fan of being rushed. But sometimes one just has to deal with it. I have plans that involve me leaving the house as soon as I get home from work. So, right now, in order to write my weekly three thing Friday posy, I am rushing through it before I go to work.

At least it game me an easy topic.

2. Damn Kids – I hear people complain that kids never get out of their houses. The kids are too busy playing indoor on their video games. I actually believe this is a bigger problem for my generation than for the children.

At least if the damn brats that have been outside my house the last few days. The weather was beautiful, when it wasn’t raining. Why can’t these children stay inside and play video games instead of being on their bikes, tossing a ball around, and doing other outdoorsy stuff. Stupid parents raising their children right.

3. Shocked – I am shocked. As I posted a few days ago, I was surprised when my father joined my mother and I to an Indian restaurant, and he enjoyed himself. Well, this week I got a call from my sister saying he would like to go back for father’s day. What the hell? He’s not supposed to enjoy Indian food.

So, apparently I am going back for father’s day. Not too bad.

Jersey Tomatoes

This past weekend I bought some tomatoes and made myself a tomato wrap. It was on a spinach wrap, had a little cheese, and a lot of mustard. Of course, there were also a few slices of tomatoes.

This wrap got me thinking about fishing with my grandfather. Every trip we took in his boat he would prepare our lunches. And among my family, these sandwiches were famous. They would be made out of this hard bread that was gutted. The crust of the bread was the best part after all. He would add some cheese and whatever meat he wanted to the day. I remember ham, salami, turkey… of course, this was a while ago, so my memory may be a little faulty.

He also usually added some of his own tomatoes. And there is something to be said about his tomatoes specifically, but Jersey Tomatoes specifically. The tomatoes taste different, they taste better.

I know it sounds odd, but I swear that it is true. The tomatoes just taste better. And honestly, after eating the tomatoes I bought, I miss those tomatoes.

Three Thing Friday

1. Off my clock – I took yesterday off. That’s right, I did not go into work. I washed the car, attached the kayak racks to the MINI, changed the A.C. unit’s air filter in my house, and got some food shopping done. In fact, everything I would normally do on a Friday when I am off, I did on a Thursday.

The problem is that now that I have done it all, I feel like today is Saturday. The good part of this is that my weekend will seem even longer. The negative side is that when I finally have to go back to work, it will be that much harder to actually return.

But, I had a productive day off, now I should try to be productive today. I won’t, but I should.

2. Amtrak – So, there obviously was a fatal accident in Philadelphia involving a speeding Amtrak train. As I write this, all I know is that the train was exceeding 100 MPH around a turn that should have been taken at half that. I also know that the person in charge says he has no recollection of what happened.

I do have a couple of issues with what has happened since this accident. For one, the mayor came out and said that the engineer was reckless, even though nothing at the time was known about the accident. It could have been faulty brakes or some other technical issue. It is known that the emergency brakes were on. And I admit, it could have been the conductor’s fault, but let’s make sure we know before we make accusations.

Question number two involves the funding that the government funds Amtrak with. Is this the best use of taxpayer dollars? Should we be funding a business that cannot stand up on it’s own? It’s not like we fund the post office… oh, wait a second. I have admitted in the past that I lean left, but I am not sure that keeping Amtrak afloat is right. Granted, the U.S. Government keeps a lot of businesses afloat, even farmers. I wonder how many people realize how many farmers are paid not to farm, or that the government buys a lot of the farmer’s produce just to burn it. We have to keep the prices up somehow.

3. A watch – So, I have finally seen the apple watch in person. I have to admit, it is pretty cool. I’m sure I haven’t seen all of it’s utility, but what I have seen almost makes me want to get one. There are few things I should point out though. My iPhone is so old a new watch probably would not be able to interface with it. In order to get the watch and use it, I would probably have to order a new phone, and I am not ready to do that just yet. Secondly, I don’t wear a watch now. I own two; I have a dress watch and a sports watch. The only time I wear the sports watch is when I am kayaking, I need to keep time somehow. I wear the dress watch only half past never. I am not sure I have ever put on that watch.

So, should I get a watch that I may never use? Probably not, the money could go somewhere else.

 

Cartoon Dictatorship

I know I am not alone when I say that the current dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is crazy. Actually, I believe the term I would prefer to use is wacko. He is one wild and crazy guy. But I can also add that he is entertaining too.

This week he had his defense minister publicly. And how he did it is very entertaining. The minister was executed with anti-aircraft guns. Think about that for a second. These guns meant to shoot down planes were lowered and aimed at one poor individual. What’s next? Firing someone out of a torpedo tube? Giving them an ACME Batsuit and seeing if they can fly?

batsuit

I can actually see this crazy strapping someone to the launch pad of a rocket and making people watch that.

And I hate to say it, I would probably be a little entertained if I watched it. Probably says a lot about me. Still, Kim Jong Un would make a great cartoon character. I can see him riding a missile with ACME written on the cone.