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Preview: Progressive Pete

Progressive Pete

Occasional rants and thoughts from somewhere high up in the mountains of North Carolina

Updated: 2014-03-17T21:35:42.827-04:00


Liam & the bag of dog poop


Our beast(chocolate lab) poops a lot. You would think he is on an all-bran-diet. He would do his business in the backyard. In the same spot Thank God! There is nothing like wandering around and searching for poop. Anyway enough with the sordid details. Here is the story...

It was during the summer. We were setting out for an afternoon trip to Wally-Mart. We loaded up the kid's in the truck. I went out to the yard and filled up a gallon storage bag of poop. I would do this about every 2-3 days and then take the deposit to the nearest trash can on one of our outings. today it would be the Wally-Mart can.

On our way in I gave the bag to poor Liam. I had to carry Tony and my water bottle(it was so hot that day). And anyway it looks really strange carrying a big baggie of poop. I could tell by Liam's pained expression that he was quite content to be seen strolling across the parking lot carrying a bag of...well you know what it is.

Normally I throw this out at the gas stations I visit because the cans are right there at the gas pump and I can very non-chalontly toss it in unrecognized.

We enter through the garden end. THERE IS NO CAN OUTSIDE. I tell liam there is one as soon as you enter the garden area. Well we enter the garden area. There is the can. There is the door greeter also. She is putting one of those little green dots on somebody's return. She is also standing directly in front of the can. I tell liam to go behind her and hurry and drop it in. Liam holds the bag up and looks at the woman. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD LIAM WE ONLY HAVE A FEW PRECIOUS SECONDS HERE. THROW IT IN THE CAN BOY, THROW IT IN THE @#%$ CAN ALREADY.

Liam is not getting my telepathy. He is just standing there holding up this bag. Just as I am about to grab the bag myself and throw it in the can before we have to embarrassingly explain why we are entering the store carrying a bag full of fecal matter, the woman looks at us . BUSTED. BANNED. Maybe even ARRESTED.

But no... The woman looks at the bag and puts a little green sticker on it and waves at Tony on my shoulders. I guess the legend is true. That place will take back ANYTHING!

The saga continues


Cbs has now fired Imus. Will the insanity ever stop. I wonder why BET has never been scrutinized like this. The video content they show and promote uses this "joke" in probably half the videos they promote. It corrupts more minds than anyone is realizing. This is seen as "life in da hood". As long as these "artists" can promote this, it is fine with joe public. When Don Imus uses it as a joke, it's all over.

Just listen to Snoop Dog's comments over this. I wish I had the transcript. If Don Imus was to follow up his statement with snoopy dog's statement, he would have been drawn and quartered. It has something to do with who the real ho's are. Snoopy dog is the ambassador of this filth. Nobody ever questions him because he is black and fron "da hood". Does anyone see a double standard here??

I still see Imus's "joke" as a delivery in bad taste. He didn't mean what he said. It was a horrible wordplay on something that is said everyday in the filth of rap music. I guess as long as your from , or in, "da hood" it's okay.

Tony is a punk rocker


A little note...While playing Ramones today, the song Blitzkrieg Bop came on and I turned it up a bit for my little one who really seemed to be digging the sound. He immediately went to the couch and kept climbing on and jumping off. He makes me so proud!

The Imus "schticky" situation


Watched a Bill Maher interview on MSNBC and he hit the nail right on the head-GET OVER IT! Imus is known for this type of humor, and as bad as his "nappy-headed ho's" sounded, it is no different to his style of schtick. I think people are taking this way to serious. Give the guy a break. He apologized over and over. Just like Howard Stern-if you find it offensive, turn it off.

And now entering into the ring are Sharpton and Jackson. If they can't turn this into a media circus, we're all in trouble. These two are bigots in their own rite, and both have said outrageous things themselves. They both seem like they wait for these types of things and rocket out and jump right on the podium. They make my head spin watching their "schtick".

Don Imus is always putting people down and degrading them. The one key here is that it is not malicious and has always been perceived as his schtick. Not this time. When you are "live" sometimes you say thing when the humor ball is rolling that you wish you didn't. That is what happened here, and his apology is real and should be accepted.

The advertisers that are pulling off are only doing this to sell more in a different way. I mean come on, how ridiculous can you be. If you are a stand up comedian and you say something like this in your show, some laugh, some don't. You either get up and walk out, or you stay because that's what you expect. This is a media circus and the advertisers that are pulling ads are doing so for their own gain and that's all.

I wish they would just forget this and leave the poor man alone. he apologized and that isn't enough. It's a "schtick" that went horribly wrong. But all in all it was just a schtick. If you don't like it or get it, turn the darn channel.

The Inconvenient Truth


Just watched Al Gore's "An Inconvenient truth". I think everyone should see this film. It was well done and brought to light many disturbing realities. It's amazing that some will deny these FACTS and bury their heads in the sand. ESPECIALLY those supporters of the BUSH regime. I am glad I voted for Mr. Gore in 2000. One of the main reasons was his fight to bring an awareness to Global Warming, and all his accomplishments in politics as well as in life. I didn't see anything to report from the other side, and still don't. I won't get political, so I will end this here.
If everyone who sees this will make just one change in their lives and how the effect benefits mother earth, then he has helped this world in more ways than anyone could possibly believe. My one change will be small, but significant for me. Sometimes at work, when I am rushed, I throw the cardboard down the trash chute instead of spending time compacting it with the "recyclable" cardboard. It takes too much time. From now on I will take the time and do what is right. This may seem really insignificant and on a really small scale, but like I said, if everyone just does one thing...

Me and The Boyz!!!!


This picture says it all. These 2 guys are what keeps things funny as well as demanding(sorry little Tony but I call it as I see it). The other day Tony realized that floor registers can be pulled up very easily, and you can put things down the ducts. Some things of note have been empty water bottles, sippy cups and Dad's Elvis Costello CD's.

Liam is still an ANGEL!

The little Cowboy!


This is Tony. He is more of an Indian than a Cowboy. Unfortunately, we couldn't find any feathers. For right now we'll keep him as a cowboy.

It's SNOWING!!!!


It's snowing outside. Liam is outside having snowball fights with his friends. Tony came back in crying cuase his little hands got real cold quick. The kids in the neighborhood are all excited, not only because snow is cool to play in, but there is always the possibility of no school tomorrow. I think nature is just teasing these poor kids.
My nemesis, our chocolate lab, got loose and ran down the street to the neighbors house. He always goes to this house when he gets loose. I told them they could have him because he always seems itchin' to get over there. They declined.
As I watch the kids through the window it brings me back and also reaffirms that snow is cool.

The Ox's Tale


Watched AN OX'S TALE, which is a documentary on JOHN ENTWISTLE. In my opinion the greatest rock bass player. The WHO were who they were and where they got that signature sound because of this man.
I got to see him perform with his solo project back in 1985(I believe) at The Living Room in Providence, RI. It was one of those shows that, for a lover of all things musical, come once. I even got to shake his hand as he walked through the crowd after the performance. Just to let you know, it is extremely rare to meet anyone after a performance, let alone stroll through the crowd on your way out. I think that the fans in Providence let him know just what we thought of him and he was returning the favor in his own gesture.
Some may scoff and say "Oh big deal!", a musician walked through the crowd and you got to shake his hand. Shiver me timbers!!! To those I say, it was a big deal and another memory and absolute treat for me.
And for those who still don't get it, put on QUADROPHENIA or WHO'S NEXT, crank it up and begin to understand.

Pacing the Cage


Haven't been on in a while. I heard an old familiar song last night that gave me goose bumps. It was "Pacing the Cage" by as much a musician as he is a poet BRUCE COCKBURN.

Pacing The Cage
Sunset is an angel weepingHolding out a bloody swordNo matter how I squint I cannotMake out what it's pointing towardSometimes you feel like you live too long Days drip slowly on the pageYou catch yourselfPacing the cage
I've proven who I am so many timesThe magnetic strip's worn thinAnd each time I was someone elseAnd every one was taken inPowers chatter in high placesStir up eddies in the dust of rageSet me to pacing the cage
I never knew what you all wantedSo I gave you everythingAll that I could pillageAll the spells that I could singIt's as if the thing were writtenIn the constitution of the ageSooner or later you'll wind upPacing the cage
Sometimes the best map will not guide you You can't see what's round the bendSometimes the road leads through dark places Sometimes the darkness is your friendToday these eyes scan bleached-out land For the coming of the outbound stagePacing the cage Pacing the cage.

On another musical note. I listened to New Orlean's very own DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND doing their take on MARVIN GAYE'S "What's Going On". Simply incredible. They take Gaye's criticism from the 70's and bring it freshness to the 21'st century. Amazing.

PL & F in Asheville.


Last night show of Phil Lesh and Friends at the Asheville Civic Center was incredible. It was 2 full sets and ran from 7pm-11pm, with about a 45 minute break between sets. The opening act(The Benevento Russo Duo featuring Mike Gordon) actually closed the show because they were going to be late because of travel delays.
2 of the "friends" were an added bonus to seeing Phil and hearing the songs I love. they were Joan Osborne on vocals and the incredible John Scofield on guitar.
The second set was a lifetime listening experience. DARK STAR was a very welcome surprise. The energy in this song and EYES OF THE WORLD was dramatically important to us listeners, and fed right to us perfectly. Scofield was blistering. As a jazz guitarist some may wonder how he would be. I had no doubts. If any 2 people know about the art of improvisation, it is Phil Lesh and John Scofield.
Joan Osbornes beautiful and soulful rendition of HE'S GONE was magnificent. When she sang the line "Steal your face right off your head", the crowd went crazy. This was good to see because the crowd seemed to a lot younger than I thought. At first I was worried that this was just a filler for this crowd while Phish is off the scene. But they knew the line and followed along with it. This brought a smile to my face.
Definitely one of the highlights of my musical experiences. It is great to see music played that will never die. It may get rendered differently, but this keeps it not only fresh but everlasting.



Everyone has one. Their most memorable relative. For me it is my Uncle Henry. He seems to pop up in my memory all the time in all kinds of situations. Steph and I call these "Uncle Henry moments". Steph, who got to know Uncle Henry for a short while before his passing, really dug him and gets the jist of these moments.

Whenever I eat pringles I think of him(that was his favorite and forbidden snack).
Whenever I go for "seconds" at a dinner, I think of him. It seems whenever we were at family functions and UH was there, we would both go for seconds at the same time, and if I was behind, he would ask me what my hold-up was.
The other day I got a wicked sunburn when I took Liam and his friend to the pool. Steph accused me of "bikini-watching" and it served me right. All I could think of was UH's ham-radio card he passed around with this written at the bottom"Hobbies:Fishing and Girl-Watching". This is my favorite of UH's. The way I look at it is, I can't help it-it's just my hobby. Way to go Uncle Henry.
My all time favorite memories growing up was listening to my Dad,UH and my Uncle Joe argue about current events in that small apartment my Great-grandmother had above UH's. There would always be a bucket of Kentucky-Fried-Chicken, "Gansett" tall-boys, and a cloud of smoke. Some would turn their heads at this "unhealthy" situation. For me it is a memory, and a wonderful one at that. I was always amazed at how well UH could argue. It used to drive everyone crazy because they all felt he was stubborn. He LOVED to argue about current topics, or just anything that was on his mind. There was always someone willing to debate. You just had to realize you're entering the coliseum with a true gladiator. You see, I always agreed with UH. Sure he was stubborn, but he had good intentions and could back it up. Steph always tells me I am pulling an "Uncle Henry" when I seem to be very stubborn when arguing. I don't get upset about this. I feel sort of proud to be referred to the true master.
Then there is the "Joanie, lets bolt out of here" head wave. Whenever he wanted to leave a function, he would look for his daughter Joanie and give her the head nod toward the door. This may seem like something that anyone does or has done. Not in this case. If you ever saw how UH did it, you would understand. And if you ever wanted to leave somewhere and let your partner know, all you had to do was the "Uncle Henry". That's it-no words. You could be across the room and get the message across.

There are lots more moments. All I hope is that he sees me from "up-there", and smiles knowing that he is behind the emotions in these moments. And I hope he realizes that he was a very cool and hip uncle.

Recent Prog Purchases


I've made a few music purchases lately. I've been delving back to the prog-rock circuit for inspiration. Here are 3 noteworthy...

1)NEAL MORSE-"?"...You can't go wrong with Neal's work. He has taken a christian path with his works now. That's okay. The music is still 100% powerful, epic and incredibly arranged and produced. The former leader of SPOCKS BEARD had us worried for a while back there. When he left the band because he had decided to change his life and follow the teachings of Jesus, we got worried. We thought all he would release was hymn and praise worship(which he does now). But he put our minds at ease with his first "Testimony" and now "?". He gets his message through, and he still rocks!

2)FLOWER KINGS-"Paradox Hotel"...Double album from the Swedish proggers. This band is still in fine form, led by Roine Stolt, and never lets us down with anything they put out. The first disc is okay, but the second disc is phenomenal. I find myself just playing disc 2, but this makes it all the worth the purchase.

3)TRANSATLANTIC-"Building the bridge & Live in America"...This DVD is amazing. First of all Transatlantic is a prog-rock supergroup consisting of Neal Morse(Spocks Beard), Roine Stolt(Flower Kings),Pete Trewavas(Marillion) and Mike Portnoy(Dream Theater). Building the Bridge is a 2-hour documentary on the recording of "Bridge Across Forever" album. If anyone has ever heard this, you would understand why a documentary narrated and told by only the members is so crucial. From the lay downs at Neals home studio, to the recording in Nashville, back to Neals house for overdubs--this is why I love this music. Perfect for the fan.

What a week.


A lot of sad news this week. First Vince Welnik died on Saturday. He was the Keyboard player for The Dead in their last run in the 90's as well as the Tubes. He played with them after the death of Brent Mydland, and toured along with Bruce Hornsby, which gave The Dead a great sound with the 2 keyboardists.
Then came the news yesterday of the death of Billy Preston. Another great keyboard player who played with everyone from the Beatles to the Stones and just about every gap in between. If you don't know who this is, just listen to his performance of "That's the way God planned it" on THE CONCERT FOR BANGLADESH. There is always the talk of how great this concert was because it was George Harrison's first appearance since the Beatle breakup, or getting Dylan and Clapton back on the concert stages. etc. etc....For me it was Billy Prestons performance of this song. It raises the hairs on my neck everytime I see this or listen to this.
Finally today for some reason I was thinking about Dan Folgelberg. I decided to visit his web page and there was a note from him saying that he has advanced prostate cancer with no hopes of writing or performing in the near future. It sounds bad and it makes me sad.
Case in point-Only the good die young.

Mariah and Jack.OH MY GAWWD!!


I am out of my mind this morning. I just received news that Mariah Carey will be soon out on tour. If this wasn't just the greatest thing in the world, as an added bonus she will be taking her dog Jack on tour with her and...and...and(drumroll please)...the dog will be even making impromptu appearances during the show.

I cannot control my excitement. I've already ran around my front yard three times. I just cannot sit still. My family is trying to speak to me but I cannot speak a fluent sentence. It's as if I've just had a visit from "Q" on the starship enterprise, and he has taken my voice away.

If you want the jist of this nonsense, just read an interview with her. I think that Jack will be more entertaining on this tour. But for you aficionados out there, just hold on. Tour dates will be announced soon enough.

Satan with a pen?


Is Dan Brown satan with a pen? I doubt it. I read the Davinci Code and thought it was okay. When I read it I read it as I always perceive fiction, as fiction. It was suspenseful, but too detailed. That's where the novel went wrong. I didn't care what code was hidden, it could have been a code for the worlds best salsa recipe. The book was too lavish with these crazy details. That's my synopsis.
I read his previous book, Angels & Demons. I found this novel fantastic. It was suspenseful and kept me glued to the final page. Much better than the Davinci Code. I feel the reason people are paying too much attention to this book is the so-called Code.
I will go see the movie, only because I love movies and I really dig Tom Hanks.
I wish the public would see this as it is- A work of fiction. It is not a Documentary. It is a creation in the mind of an author. If Dan Brown really believes this GA-GA is true, then he should win the Pulitzer for Morons. I also feel the public out there that believes this also should all be committed.
Everyone is talking about facts and history and the like. I feel the real study we all need a lesson in is fiction and non-fiction.

Elvis at the Fox


Last nights performance by Elvis Costello at the incredibly beautiful Fox Theatre in Atlanta was worth every penny spent on tickets, fees and petroleum.
The first set of the show was the performance of his IL SOGNO(a ballet he wrote for Shakespeares "AMidsummer's Night Dream"). Elvis first came out and introduced the piece, then the ASO performed it. It was incredible to hear the music while looking all around the fabulous theatre.
After the piece, Elvis came out and pefrormed solo on acoustic guitar a song from his new record with ALLEN TOUSSAINT. He performed "River in Reverse". I was completely blown away by his vocals in this. I knew he could sing, but man, can he sing. He then performed a couple more backed by the ASO and his longtime keyboardist STEVE NIEVE. It was cool how when anyone was soloing the spotlight would be on them. It was funny, even the Tuba player got a solo. When Elvis introduced him after the song, he proudly lifted the Tuba up with one arm. Everyone got a kick out of that.
Then there was intermission and the second set. Highlights were "God Give Me Strength" and "Hora Decubitis".
What topped it all off was him coming back from a second Encore with the lights on to sing a number with no microphone. Like I said before, "Man can this guy sing!".



My friend Phil and I are off this weekend to see Elvis Costello -w- the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Should be an interesting show.

I just bought my tickets for Phil Lesh & Friends at the Asheville Civic Center. This one I am real excited about. Going to see the bass player for my favorite band is a no-brainer.

I'll post reviews of both shows in case anyone's interested. If not it will be fun just to do this for my own review.

Where is MUSIC LAB?


I'm still waiting for my response from the folks at XM satellite radio. I turned my unit on the other day and went to station 51. It read:OFF THE AIR. Hummm!?!? Maybe this means they are having problems. The next day it read the same thing. I went to the on-line site and MUSIC LAB is not even listed on the stations. It's a sad day for me.
I love the selections of stations on XM. There are a few that I find myself drawn to. It is the diversity and obscurity in music in these stations that I find myself drawn to. I mean, if I want to listen to the crap that is mainstream today, I'll put on the radio.
I'm progressive at heart. My main musical influences are in heavy rotation in the Prog-Rock circles. I still have my own collection. But it was still cool to turn to channel 51 and hear the entire SUPPERS READY by Genesis and then to some Zappa followed by Porcupine Tree. To me that is a great meal.
I guess The Mariah Carey listener's and the rappers are safe. It seems that this is the garbage that is eaten up daily by the insatiable appetite of the music morons'.
I'm curious what the reason is going to be when I get my response from XM. Whatever the reason, progressive rock and the art of musical improvisation will never die. There's always the Jazz channels.

Another important finding


Here is another brilliant finding by money wasted on ridiculous findings.

To Watch The Storms


Thunderstorms passed through this morning along with tornado warnings. There is always the beauty of these storms along with the danger. Noone understands this better than Liam. Before he went to bed last night he asked "are they coming yet?". I told him not yet. I forgot to turn off our foundation fans before I went to bed. So I went outside and into the DARK crawlspace to turn them off. In the distance was flashes of lightning and the far off rumble of thunder. It is at these times that I wish I wasn't reading my Dean Koontz novel or watching my x-files dvd. But I am. My heart rate went up the scale about 50 bpm. I guess I should add scary along with beauty and danger.

But there is nothing better than watching the storms early in the morning with your yungin'. At each flash we both snap our necks to look at each other and wait for the boom. It is these moments that will live in my memory forever.

The Shawshank Redemption


This incredible film is about patience through hope to finally find redemption. One of my all-time favorites. Every time I see this film, it renews my faith in the power of acting and storytelling.
I don't know what the 1995 Acadamy Awards missed, but it doesn't matter. Anyone who see this film will be blown away by Tim Robbins and especially Morgan Freeman. I mean, gheesh; these 2 will take your breath away. I don't beleive there has ever been a film where the actors nailed it. These 2 not only nailed it, but sank it for good. This film will stand the test of time and should be seen by everyone who likes a good story as well as superbly phenominal acting.

The Aflac awards


A little background on Aflac awards. If you've ever seen the Aflac duck in those TV commercials, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, well get out from under your rock. Anyhow, I base my awards on the commercial where the duck is cleaning a windshield at a gas station and looks over at the pump and it's absurdly increasing dollar amounts. The duck then drops the squegee out of its bill and lets out a large HUHHHHHH!!????!!!!!!????!!!!!!.

To those situations where it is necessary to let out a HUHHHHHH!!????!!!!!!????!!!!!!, I present the Aflac award.

Todays award goes out to the stockboy at our local supermarket::::

Situation: Steph buys an item that is on sale for 2/$4.00.
It rings up for $2.38.

Diagnosis:After Steph informs her that it is wrong, she calls the stockboy to check price.

Award:He comes up and cashier explains problem. She makes him aware that it is advertised 2/$4.00. He agrees. Cashier says it is ringing up for $2.38. Stockboy replies "sounds about right". Steph replies that it is not about right. The hands-down winner of todays Aflac replies "What do you think it should be?".

Who funds this research?


There are always these ridiculous "findings" that come up on the news every now and again. Here are just two that are worthy of an "Aflac"(HUGGGHHHH!!!!!!!).

1)During the Olympics some researcher shared his findings after a long study. I believe this was done in Austria or somewhere in Europe. Here is his finding: Helmets do protect downhill skiers in case of accident.

2)Here is one that was on the news just this week. Here some researchers shared their findings:The use of marijuana leads to memory loss. And chronic use accelerates those chances.


Miles & the big house


Haven't checked in in a while. I don't spend that much time on the computer. I basically only use it for research on music. Right now I am listening to PANGAEA by Miles Davis. It is the evening show from Osaka Festival Hall in 1975. I call it Funky Fusion Jazz. This is one that will stand the test of time.

Went to the BIG HOUSE last week. No, not the state penitentiary, but the Vanderbilt house in Biltmore Forest. Otherwise known as BILTMORE HOUSE. Incredible experience in architecture and lavishness. Next stop is the winery and gardens. Maybe after a few taste tests I may enjoy the gardens. Who knows.

All I know now is that I wish I could step back in time to 1975 and be seated in the Osaka Festival Hall.