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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Working for a living for Scientology ... nope, not so much

Got pointed to a video of Tom Cruise spewing his pseudo-religion of
Scientology. Lovely stuff. Makes me wish I'd never read any science
fiction ever in my life. If it were cheap, I'd have electrodes implanted
in my brain to erase the "engrams" of knowing L Ron "All About the Money"
Hubbard from every braincell in my head, no matter how many die.

I was actually offered the job that Tom Cruise has with Scientology. Not
being a big celebrity with a large cash advance to offer, I'd actually
have to Work for a Living. I'd have been Management -- but since it's a
Church (excuse me while I gag), I might never get paid anything, and if I
didn't work, I could have anything and everything taken away from me.
Ideally. Worst case, well... Seen the movies about Jonestown?

I expect Tommie knows people who do that. I'd have been technically an
employee, however, since it's a Church with a capital Urch, I wouldn't get
paid for anything, and would essentially be a slave. I would be offered,
"free," their mind manipulation cultish stuff, and if it worked, it'd be
"free," and if it didn't work and life as an unpaid cult slave didn't
work, I'd have to pay them for the services they provided that did
absolutely nothing for me.

At the time, I was not only unemployed, I was also essentially homeless.
And I turned them down, because I thought Dianetics was every bit as bad
as L Ron Hubbard's science fiction, and much, much worse. And I've spent
40 years reading good science fiction. L Ron Hubbard's work barely
deserves the name.

Religion? It's not even writing. Dianetics doesn't even rise to the
level of the worst of science fiction -- and what, I'm supposed to
willingly enslave myself to these fans of sucky science fiction, and =pay
them= if everything they said was lies?

Tommy-boy had better have an accountant who has a sharp eye for theives,
and a lawyer who knows how to implement a non compos menti defence in a
civil suit, when they come to take the 25 cents they haven't already
stolen from him.

But I mean that in the nicest possible way. Love the movies, but WTF with
the phony religious crap? What part of accessory before and after the
fact don't you understand? Have you had a non-Scientologist doctor review
your medications? Might not be a bad plan.

Tom, love you dearly, and I hope you pull your head out of your butt
before the episode of "Where Are They Now?" where they show the cardboard
box you're living in at that point.

Unless you're making money as one of these thieving bastards. In which
case, when you get to hell, have the devil ram one up your ass on my

In the nicest possible way.

BTW, since I was an Odained Minister of the Church of the Desiderata (See the records of The Church of Universal Life), their offer was kinda beside the point, anyway.

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Positive, Negative, and eight out of ten

I was listening to the best and most reputable technical podcast in the
U.K., "Digital Planet," and heard something that boggled my mind.

They were interviewing a technologist and scientist on the cutting edge of
battery technology. They'd apparently come up with a technique to bind
the lithium ions on the negative end of the battery with silicon
nanowires, which will potentially provide 10 times the battery life.
Lovely stuff, all for it.

But he kept referring to the negative end as the "anode," and the positive
end, where they are hoping to also introduce nanowires, as the "cathode."

I don't work at the bleeding edge of technology, so maybe things have
changed. But it seems to me, back in the day, the Cathode was the
negative contact, and the Anode was the positive contact.

And this clever fellow on the bleeding edge of battery technology didn't
know that. And the Digital Planet folks, the best technology podcast in
the U.K., and arguably on the planet, also said nothing.

This made me crazy. I wanted to jump immediately onto the internet and do
this blog post to point out the error.

One little problem.

My laptop battery had gone dead. And I had to find somewhere to plug in
my laptop, so I could post this.

I would very much like that this technology will work, so at any given
moment I can rant incessantly about terminology errors by folks who know
more than I do. But if Anodes are now negative, and Cathodes are now
positive, I guess it wouldn't work with my laptop anyway, right?

Other than that, on a scale of one to ten for worthwhile content, I'd have
to give Digital Planet an eight.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Since When?

Watching (without listening to) the CNN coverage of the Disastrous State
of the Union address by president Beavis. And after having a whole
streamer of Bush's speech content, when they got to the part of the
streamer with Democratic response .... they cut to a commercial.

Which Republican supporter is it that owns CNN, I forget? And what part, looking at the Hearst-Newspaper-style coverage on CNN, did I get wrong??

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Kennedys endorse Obama

Got the TV going in the bar here, with CNN on. I see the Kennedys have
endorsed Barack Obama. How nice.

I can see why they'd want to do that. If they don't endorse Obama, no one
will care anymore about the Kennedys in national politics.

Now they have endorsed Obama. And nobody cares about the Kennedys in
national politics. They had two very good national candidates. Both are
dead. They now have one national candidate, Ted Kennedy, who doesn't
entirely suck as per electability. He only mostly sucks.

The Kennedys endorsing Obama is like the descendants of Dave Thomas, or better yet the decendants of the Macdonald brothers,
endorsing the Whopper. Other than two recognizable names in vaguely
similar areas of endeavor, who cares?

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Nothing but really bad choices

I just watched three people walk out of a bar.

Two beautiful women, one of them I've been just a bit crazy about for a
while now.

One hairy, drunk-ass guy, much younger than me.

All of them drunk beyond rational thought.

Bets on who's driving?

I have no objection to people making their own stupid-ass choices. Not up
to me what they choose to be stupid about. Say, for example, the young
lady I'm crazy about being in love with the drunk-ass younger guy.

Bets on who dies in the accident-waiting-to-happen, and how many news
reporters comment on how Nobody Did Anything?

It sucks to be me. If I had a plate number, I'd call the cops about a
drunk driver. Except one of the passengers is a local bartender (female),
who will probably be one of the late passengers, and who ought to know

But I can't say anything, because after all, I'm just some guy who...

I'm sure that'll look all noble on her tombstone.

Anyway, I want to ask the name of her boyfriend. You know they ever name the passengers, pending notification of next of kin.

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Modest Proposal

Had a problem with Episode 42, my first attempt at reading a story for my
podcast. Loved doing the show, proud of the way it turned out -- but the
tail end of the file, including the end of the story, got dropped
somewhere. Wasn't at the end of the file anymore, anyway, and I don't
know why.

Since I really and sincerely don't want to re-record the show right now,
too discouraging, I think for the moment I'm going to "fix" the problem by
recording the end of -that- story, along with the next story, in my
upcoming show.

And ya know, I'm really tempted to do that regularly -- record all but the
end of the story, then leave a Cliffhanger, if you will. Tales from the
Brothers' Grimm with cliffhangers? Sounds like a plan to me!

Or not.

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Sunday, January 20, 2008

And now what?

Okay, got my swell new Samson Zoom H2 recorder. Now I feel like I really
oughta Record Something. Except now I can't think of a darn thing to say.

I'm so intimidated by this thing. Granted, I just got it yesterday. But
I'm scared I'm going to drop it and break it. Or take it somewhere and
lose it. Two hundred dollars worth of fragile electronics. Thousands of
different options. Where do I even start?

And now I know just how bad recording on my laptop sounded. When I record
with this thing, I can clearly hear that high-pitched whine that comes
from the harddrive on my aging laptop. So I don't dare have the thing
running when I'm recording. So I have to crank up my even older laptop,
because it doesn't make as much noise. I think. I haven't tried
recording with this thing when that laptop is running. Maybe that makes a
high-pitched whining, too.

And speaking of whining... <grin>

Anyway, eventually, I'll be recording shows with the Zoom. Once I have
something more to talk about than the Zoom itself.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Upon Further Review

After giving it some thought today, I've decided my recent posts were just
a bit intemperate.

Governor Pawlenty has on occasion said things that really annoy the crap
out of me. He has on one occasion said something I thought was rather
clever -- "Show me the dead Canadians." Other than that, he can't seem to
open his mouth without rubbing my nerve endings raw.

Mayor Ness, well, he's just starting out, and I should give him a week or
so to settle in. Anyway, the article referred to something from his time
as City Councillor at Large, not Mayor. So far, I've only heard two
things he's quoted as saying, and of those, only two were offensive to me.

In any case, I should refrain from growling and foaming at the mouth.
Well, maybe the growling is okay, given the title of the Blog? But no
foaming, definitely no foaming.

Monday, January 14, 2008

There is no such thing as no advertising

When, years ago, I first heard about Cable TV, I thought, "Gee, what a
swell idea. I watch my Tv and don't have to watch advertisements.
Because, after all, I'm -paying for the -content. Why should they show me

Then the started showing ads on cable-only channels.

But hey, on cable channels you're already paying for on top of already
paying for having cable access, well you can't get ads there. I'm paying
for the content. Why should they show me ads?

HBO. And all the others.

But wait! I occasionally watch specific shows on Pay Per View. And I'm
paying for the content, three times over now. So, why would they show me
ads? (Cue the adstream before, during and after your Pay-Per-View movie.)

Given the history of all the advertising crap I'm being handed, as part of
what I'm already overpaying for so I don't have to watch ads, what's next?
Ads on toilet paper? Already happens. Ads on medical appliances?
Already happens. Ads on condoms? Already happens. If you haven't seen
the ads on condoms, I guess that means you just don't roll them down far

WTF? "But I'm paying for it so I -don't- have to watch ads."

If they can rob you, they will rob you.

Most cable companies and affiliates should be selling medical insurance.
They'd fit right in.

Now the political scum want to create a system whereby the Insurance Scum
get all the money they want to demand, no matter how much that is, as long
as they insure everybody, so everybody gets robbed -- but they're robbed
by the government, and that's okay.

God bless the USA Patriot Act. And NAFTA, never let us forget the blessed
event of the signing of NAFTA.

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The "It Doesn't Suck" List

The one fairly consistent element in my podcast lately has been my "It
Doesn't Suck" list. I have tried to remember to explain it to the various
artists who've had songs on the List, but explaining over and over can be
inconsistent and possibly unnecessary. Anyway, I don't think I've ever
done one, central explanation of what the heck is an "It Doesn't Suck"
List, anyway?

I've just recently produced my 40th Episode of Grizzly's Growls. It's
changed some since the early days. When I started, it was just me talking
about whatever I scraped together out of the dark and twisty passages of
my aging mind. It still is, but I added music.

Initially, I devoted a lot of effort to finding the right music. I wanted
truly excellent music that stood out in some way, and that hadn't been
played on any other podcast. Trying to accomplish that, though, took up
vast amounts of time with little left for actual show content, and left me
with the sort of music I always listen to, anyway.

In trying to find a solution to that, I came up with my "It Doesn't Suck"
List. The current list is built from a search I did on, a
site that hosts the music of Indie artists for free; I searched every
single song listed on Garageband as from a Minnesota musical artist or
group, in order by Title. And I decided on one rule: I will play every
song I can from that list on the show, in title order, no matter the
genre, as long as It Doesn't Suck.

First, why Title order? Because it introduces a randomness to the artists
you hear. With a few early exceptions, artists' tunes don't show up one
after the other on the list. And there's less likely to be a long run of
one particular style or genre of music. That is, except for the fact that
there are a preponderance of certain genres in Minnesota, or on
Garageband. I was looking for variety and diversity, which I couldn't get
by simply playing the handful of artists I could discover by myself. And
you already know who they are, if you listen to Grizzly's Growls.

Second, What Doesn't Suck? If I don't play a song that's next in name
order, does it Suck? Nope. While I don't know art, I know what I like --
or at least what just doesn't work for me or my show. If I feel a song
arbitrarily uses curse-words, I'll skip it. Don't have a problem with
curse words that are, well, used in a sentence and spelled correctly, if
you will, if they add value to the tune, no problem. And I listen to
everything before I use it, and if I say, "Oh, hell no!" and stop it in
the middle, I don't play it on the show.

And some songs in the Search aren't on the List because they're
differently purposed: found a couple of perfectly good beats some rapper
somewhere will use someday, but I won't. And some aren't on the List
because I can't download an MP3 file, and I figure that's a clear
indication they don't want me to play them. I ask the people who have
MP3s downloadable, and don't ask the others.

And some aren't on the list because they Stink on Ice. Naturally.

Since the podcast is a Minnesota podcast, I like promoting artists from
Minnesota. They get some promotion, and links back to their Garageband
site, and I get a variety of music from local artists, some excellent,
some good, some okay, and ...

I went with and only them because, well, they're the only
indie music site I've found so far that allowed a search by artist
location. When the other sites have such a search available, I'll be sure
to come take a look.

If anybody has music from Minnesota artists that folks would like, I'd be
glad to hear it and use it, though I can't pay for it. With my new Zoom
H2 (I'm getting one, yay!) I may even be able to record some local
performers live. That'll be fun.

In addition, I do still play some music I stumble across online, or that
gets recommended from whatever source. I do still have my favorites.

I hope that clarifies things. I encourage all of you to start listening
to my show, and if you like it, keep listening and tell the world, and if
you don't, well, tell me, and thanks for stopping by. After less than a
year doing this, I'm still not entirely sure what the show's about. It's
about 10 minutes, I guess. But I look forward to seeing how this goes.

To quote Uncle Don from the old radio show, "I thank you for your kind

Nota Bene: If I don't hear from you, since so many bands start a site and then wander away and take up Real Estate Sales, I'll assume you're okay with my using your music. If I hear from you, I'll assume you're fine with it, and play it. Maybe you'll become famous and have to tell your employers at the Real Estate Agency you're too busy with your budding music career, but on a slow day, you might drop by.

If your song is not available for download, or if I have to join a "Fanlist" before I even hear the damn thing, you're NOT on the "It Doesn't Suck List." If I can't even listen to it, yeah, it definitely sucks. If that breaks your heart, surely it's not -my- problem. But you might wanna do some thinking.

And another thing...If your intro annoys me, even if it's just cause most of my Special Breed are sensitive to some sounds, I move on to the next. I don't need to devote my time and resources to annoying my audience.

By the way, if you're a Garageband artist that's going to be on an upcoming show, it wouldn't be impossible to set up a live show on Stickam, or one of the other venues I tinker with from time to time, and do an on-the-fly (more or less) interview regarding your music. But maybe that's just me; I gather publicity is a bad thing, if you want to preserve the integrity of your art.

If you want me to show up somewhere I can get to and do a live recording, you just gotta ask. Gotta be somewhere I can get to, of course.

On the other hand, if you just want more people to know about you and your music, make sure I know that, and I'll set up something fancy, assuming I can figure out all the different software and online services I have to use. Hey, I'm a stranger here myself!


How much is too much?

Lately, I've switched from every day on the podcast to every two days.
Turns out it's something I can sustain. But I'm not sure my listeners

Is every two days too often?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Blood Sweat & Tears, "God Bless the Child" Kareoke version

Okay, this is the one venue where I get to ask Absolutely Everybody.

As you know, I do kareoke. A lot. It's my life.

One tune I used to do alla time at my various venues was Blood Sweat &
Tears, "God Bless the Child" Kareoke version. One of my two local venues
doesn't have it anymore -- wore out the available CD, apparently.

Anybody got a source for a good version for a reasonable price?



Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Emperor Has No Clothes!

Every now and again, I get various stuff forwarded to me by my Mom, that's
from my Mom, so by definition it's Okay. Yet, it's either not Crap or it
is Crap. So I gotta say what I gotta say.

I love my Mom dearly, and will defend her to the death and beyond. And if
somebody wants to fight about that, I'll defend -that- to the death and

But my Mom is handed what she's given, and does her best to find stuff
that's worthwhile to hand off to us, her children. She does the best she

Even so, we are all handed all the crap that's dished out on the Interweb,
and we are sometimes obligated to accept what we're given, somewhere along
the line we have to say, "Waitaminute, the Emperor actually -has- no
clothes, and there's no guessing about it...."

I love my Mom, and respect her totally, but she's handed what she's handed
out of the sewer that is tha Internet, and does the best she can with what
she's given. And if she's at the end of a series of people who are handed
a wad of crap that purports to be the be-all and end-all of the Internet,
well, that's where she is, and she doesn't see it all.

So, I don't have a problem with being angry about what is passed along as
(purportedly) from her. But I am deeply offended by those who make
assumptions about what's important to be handed on with her name on it.

So, no, I didn't do my previous post with the intent to offend my mother.
And if I somehow accidentally stumble across the idiot who dumped this
crap in her lap...

And that's all I have to say about that.

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Best and the Brightest

Okay, so we're down to considering the best that the official political
parties have to offer, McClain or whatever his name is, and Clinton or
whatever his name is, or her name is, what ever happened to that Rodham
lady who apparently had opinions of her own?

So, we've got McClain, who has George Whoopdiedoo Clinton's opinion, or
maybe Bush, I gather there used to be a President named Bush, years ago,
or Hillary who apparently has whatsisname Clinton's opinions, or whatever
she told him were his opinions, or as far as you know, had my opinions.

Me, I'm in favor of that Micclinton guy, the Republican, who is all about
how wonderful the whole Bagdad Fiasco has turned out, and certainly he's
right about that, the Patriot Act says he's right, and since he voted for
it, it must be a good idea, right? I mean, any act for the furtherance of
the mistreatment of them rag-head bastards must be okay, as long as it
otherwise undermines the U.S. Constitution. So, yeah, vote for
MccLintock, John Wayne played him in a movie, so it must be a Good Idea.

Or there's that woman, who's just about doing things right.

But, no, vote for Macillhenny, or whatever. Because he's an old guy with
white hair, and we've done so well electing old guys with white hair,
after all.

God Bless America!

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Blog: <>

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Blackthorne Repertory Theatre, where are y'all?

Waxing sentimental at my greatly advanced age, I started wondering what
ever happened to the folks I used to know in Blackthorne Repertory Theatre
back in the 1970s and '80s. Blackthorne was an "Imagist Theatre" that was
sponsored by the Duluth Art Institute back then. I don't think the
Institute has anything to do with theater anymore, though.

Did a few name searches on Google and whatnot.

Might have found Tammi Pekkala, upon whom I had a tremendous crush back in
the day. Got married, as I recall; I believe she said she named their
daughter Angel. Don't know if I found the right Tammi Pekkala, although I
don't suppose it's that common a name. Finnish, I think it is.

No sign of John Schramek or Shawn Olson (ran into Shawn's mom a while
back, though), Janie Sydor, Steve Ward. I think Steve was involved in
"Colder By The Lake," back when they were still performing.

Dora Schneider, now there was a hottie! ;-)

Andrea something, don't recall her last name. Don't think she liked me
much, but I'm not easy to like. Rick Quimby, John Cage. And there were a
couple younger people joined up in the later days, who I didn't know well,
if I recall correctly.

Frank Jewell ran for City Council or County something-or-other a while
ago. I recall he was on the Council back in the '80s or thereabouts, too.

Director Seamas Cain is still writing poetry, and I got an email back
after visiting his website. We never did get together for that cup of

A word to the wise. You who are young enough, take my advice: never, ever
lose track of your friends. Most of them you'll never find again, and the
Internet just gives you more wrong answers in your search results.

Wonder if anybody ever did a search for me?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Where is everybody?

Missed the big New Years Eve thing at Champs. Sorry about that.

Show up for the first regular Thursday Thing, and nobody's here? Where
are you? Why aren't you here? You know my life depends on kareoke, and
I'll probably keel over and be on life support by tomorrow with nobody
here, right? My life will turn into a vast wasteland of missed
opportunities, and I'll live in an alley in a cardboard box.

Oh, well, good thing I'm not a social sort of guy. Otherwise I'd feel

Grizzly's Growls
The Life and Times of a Minor Local Celebrity
Podcast: <>
Listen or Subscribe:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

One law, two law, red law, blue law

I can't seem to find it on Google: which Congressinally-signed law says
the American people are required to pay a tax based on their income? I
looked for "Tax Act" and whatnot, and didn't find anything that made any
sense to me. What gives?

I prefer to post what I know, not what I don't know. I've never run for

Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The blog is now a podcast -- sort of

Just the other day I set up a Thingie with, that automatically
voices my blog posts with a text-to-speech program, into something vaguely
resembling a podcast. The voice quality is better than I've heard, but
not flawless. Anyway, if you'd prefer, you can subscribe to the Odiogo
feed via the "voiced" block on the website.

Don't know if it'll interest anybody, but I hadda give it a try.

This is harder than I thought...

I had fully intended to start recording daily. So far, I've failed
miserably. Can't manage to shift gears after work, to start writing. Too
many distractions when I'm not working (really have to get rid of the TV
in my room). And I'm easily distractable in the best of circumstances.

And then I have to record.

My equipment, such as it is, is falling apart. I never have much private
time in a quiet enough place to record with what I have. I don't entirely
mind the idea of recording at one of the bars on a quiet night. I've done
it, and it went okay. But I feel self-conscious recording in those
conditions, and occasionally get interrupted. Upside is occasionally
having a guest co-host, so I don't have to think of everything to say

Editing and compiling takes an awfully long time on this tired old laptop
(by this tired old man), even on shorter shows. And if I'm out and about
trying to do this, I have to stay out till I finish. Or I can wait until
I get home, by which time I'll be too tired to do it, anyway.

And that's all just excuses. I believe the standard response is, "Cry me
a river," or something involving the World's Smallest Violin.

The other night, I wrote an entire show, and then didn't get it recorded
and left to visit my Mom up the shore. Family stuff, that's important.
But it's frustrating to want to do something like this, and then not be
able to sustain it the way I want to.

Solutions would be nice, but are hard to come by. Maybe I should give up
on the podcast, and just do the blog. This, at least, I can do quickly,
anywhere, anytime, without interruptions.

Which would suck.

Episode Zero -- A Minor Local Celebrity

With "Meditation Impromptu" by Kevin MacLeod Originally posted to Libsyn under my original setup around 02/2007.  When I ran out ...