Sep 282018

Yesterday before, during, and after the Ford and Kavanaugh testimony may have been a new low point on social media, in my observation. Never have I seen so many people being so nasty to each other.

(I’m not going to post examples, because I don’t want to call anyone specific out. I fear that’s what I would be doing, even without names.)

But I will say that there remain thinking, reasonable people with views on all sides of this issue. If you think anything irrefutably conclusive happened yesterday, you’re wrong.

Understand what I’m saying. I’m not saying you’re wrong for holding your view. I’m saying that if you believe it is the only one any thinking, reasonable person could possibly reach, then you’re wrong.

As with any views different from our own that are widely held by reasonable, thinking people, there are points worth examining. We should do so. We should legitimately inquire into how different conclusions were drawn. And we should be civil.

We can know we aren’t going to change our minds. We can differ and still respect each other. Yes, even on this.

And it shouldn’t be as hard as way too many of you are making it.

 Posted by at 2:44 pm
Sep 272018
  • I can’t remember the last time I had a piece of cherry pie. It was my favorite when I was a boy. I’m not sure how much I even like it now. I think pit anxiety might destroy the experience for me.
  • It’s 449 days to Star Wars Episode IX.
  • So far, this Alabama team 1) secures the game quickly with the most devastating passing game it’s had in my lifetime; then 2) already having decided the game in the first half, works on areas that need improvement. That’s quite a template, and LSU seems to be the first game at which there’s even a chance it will change.
  • Elon Musk has been charged with fraud, most prominently for casually tweeting that he was considering taking Tesla private and had secured the money to do so.
  • Most of the time, a potato won’t explode when you bake it, even if you don’t prick it with a fork. But it takes so little time and effort to prick it with a fork that you still should.
  • I used to love those quick get-your-attention recipe videos on Facebook, but some of them are getting ridiculously complex. My favorites (for laughs) are the ones that show the ten-step process for making a dumpling, a foldover, or something else enclosed like that, and then popping three dozen of them on a cookie sheet. Who’s going to sit there and futz with that?
  • We might barely touch the upper 50s tomorrow night and then again next weekend, but that’s it for the next ten days, if the forecast is accurate. Sigh. I’m bigtime ready for the weather to break for real.
 Posted by at 5:04 pm
Sep 252018

There is a lot to unpack, if one is so inclined, in the sexual assault allegation raised by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

And mostly, I’m not. Inclined, that is. These are precisely the sorts of events that generate endless blow-by-blow nonsense that I’m no longer interested in consuming.

There is one critical point I want to raise, however. That Ford apparently did not report this assault at the time she said it occurred should have no bearing whatsoever on the validity of her claim.

The allegation should absolutely be investigated, and as I type Ford is to testify on Thursday. But saying “well, she didn’t report it” as if that establishes anything meaningful is asinine. Please make sure you’re standing somewhere other than there as you argue your viewpoint.

 Posted by at 10:43 am
Sep 212018

The End of the Road has arrived. The final* Kiss tour was announced Wednesday night on the America’s Got Talent season finale.

Starting way back in the ancient times of 1994, I was a prolific poster on Hunter Goatley‘s Kiss mailing list. It was one of the first online things I was really enthusiastic about. When this blog was born 12 years later, from nearly the beginning I entertained thoughts of writing The Kiss Post—my definitive documentation of my views on this ridiculously entertaining yet periodically infuriating band.

The Kiss Post wound up being maybe a dozen different posts over the years. The story of my kids’ first, and likely only, Kiss show wound up being the most emblematic. I was delighted that we got them a reasonable simulacrum of the experience, just as I was convinced that I was done.

And I am. I don’t care a whit about seeing the upcoming Kiss tour, particularly given what it is likely to cost to attend. (Even though Gene says “This show will have the most explosions, the most hits and be the loudest yet!” on Instagram.)

For all of the honking Kiss does about marching their own way, a second farewell tour is about the most clichéd thing a band can do. And really, there’s no way to tell what that even means. This article humorously-and-not-always-very-nicely recalls a few of the nuttier ideas they’ve had, some alarmingly recently, about Kiss going on forever.

“(Gene) knows more than anyone that bands aren’t immortal, but brands can be.”

I attended two reunion shows, in 1996 and 1997. I attended the farewell tour in 2000. And, I did finally see the Eric and Tommy version of the band in 2014.

But what has definitely emerged as the coolest time I saw the band was in 1990, on the Hot in the Shade tour. It was my first Kiss show.

I was the same kind of Kiss fan all kids were in the ’70s. I got Destroyer on vinyl for my birthday, and I knew (and know) every note of the record. I had trading cards. I enjoyed catching a glimpse of them on television.

However, I really became a Kiss fan several years later, with Lick It Up and Animalize. I enjoyed the music. I thought Animalize Live Uncensored was fantastic. I picked up with the band really only ten years or so from its beginning, which sounds so quaint now that it’s been a thing for 45 years. I picked up with the band during a time when we could reasonably expect new music every year or two.

Most importantly, I picked up with the band during a time when its commitment to its heritage was to honor it, not to exploit it. Building Kiss fanhood organically during the 1980s as I did might make me one of the purest fans of all.

It also makes me one of a group of fans who can truly understand how far beyond absurd all of this has gotten, because I well remember the sensible and grounded things Gene and Paul had to say about their past once upon a time.

I once wrote of that 2000-2001 farewell tour as Kiss incredibly managing to salvage most of its dignity and going out, more or less, on top. If anything, the passage of time has cemented that view.

Now, the only move left is to beat the dead horse some more. And how.

Gene, Paul, Ace, Peter, Eric C., Vinnie, Mark, Bruce, Eric S., and Tommy:  Thanks so much for some truly great times. The soundtrack of my life has a lot of Kiss on it.

Gene, Paul:  I’m looking forward to a day on which I might actually miss Kiss. I hope you’ll allow that to happen.

 Posted by at 11:05 am
Sep 202018
  • There is apparently an insidious and ubiquitous song about baby sharks. I’ve never heard it.
  • For all of the joking I do about such things, I actually did damage my entire week on Monday morning with a stupid mistake. I’m back to about 80% now. It’s been an important opportunity for reflection. As much progress as I’ve made, I’ve still got considerable work to do on choosing my reaction. I’ll blog about it after it fades a little more.
  • All of our vehicles are now caught up on recalls stemming from the Takata airbag debacle. My visit to the Nissan dealership was mostly satisfactory, though there are now fresh, avoidable, small-but-noticeable wounds on my interior trim. My car is a ten-year-old Versa so I’m not terribly bothered, but we’d be having an unpleasant conversation over a two-year-old Maxima.
  • I’ve no idea why, but Amazon and Facebook have decided that the inline ad for me is “bone expander kit for dental implantologists.”
  • Remember when Florida-Tennessee was the big game of the early season? Funny thing is, it still might be the closest SEC game Saturday…
  • As of early this week, I’ve gotten all of the prizes there are to get in my wellness program for the year. Guess I’ll be unhealthy until the new year starts! Ha, ha!
  • A colleague told me last week that Mango’s has moved out of its horribly awkward east-facing plaza location near Five Guys and into the old Beauregard’s location, next to GigaParts. (And there’s a lunch buffet!) Definitely I’ll check that out soon.
 Posted by at 9:22 pm
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