Def Leppard, Poison…and Tesla (St Louis, MO)

And the sign said “Long-haired freaky people need not apply”… The best part of Tesla’s abbreviated opening set for the rock show triple-header was their cover of the song “Signs”, originally done by Five Man Electrical Band. Soon thereafter, they performed their signature hit “Love Song” and it was not great. The years have not been kind to Jeff Keith’s voice (lead singer for Tesla). For much of their performance, the front man’s vocals sounded irritatingly enough like C.C. Deville’s cat-in-heat stylings to make my left eye twitch. But as I mentioned, the set was brief so mostly no harm no foul.

The setting: we were inside the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater, having procured lawn ‘seats’. Once inside, we rented actual lawn chairs so as to not have to sit on the hard grass covered earth. For the record, the lawn seat rental was $5 for each chair. I mention this because it does not detail this information on Live Nation’s website and no one from their customer relations would answer my email on this topic. Moving along, Kristi rented a 25 oz Michelob Ultra beer complete with generic venue can coozy…and I opted to start with a souvenir size Wild Cherry Pepsi. The very flimsy plastic souvenir cup did have the caveat of free refills but I did not tap this renewable resource and later, left the cup for the clean up crew. Once these expenditures were checked off the virtual list, we proceeded to the merchandise booth. After a typical lengthy wait to advance to the front of the line, we surveyed the offerings ranging from bandanas to t-shirts to hoodies. (Sarcasm alert) Of course, I think I need a $65 hoodie when the outside air temperature is right around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If it was 90 degrees Celsius, I think everyone would have been nothing but charred meat because the Fahrenheit to Celsius ratio is almost two to one. So 90 degrees Celsius would equate to nearly 194 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s even hotter than Arizona most days I think. But it was a ‘moist’ kind of heat, as is the norm here in St Louis during the summer.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, in line at the ‘T-shirt Booth’ checking out the options. Here I will give credit though. Despite the outlandish prices, there were quite a few t-shirt options of each group for the consumer to consider. When all was said and done (paid for), I opted for a bluish background concert shirt, size large, of Poison with cool artwork on the front and tour dates on the back. Kristi opted for the ‘lineup’ concert shirt, which had all three bands on the front and the concert dates on the back. Let the record show, her shirt is black. After our transactions were transacted, we meandered up onto the hill (or the lawn) where it is policy for lawn seat customer to choose anywhere to sit. For those of you who have never been to the venue formerly known as Riverport Amphitheater (as named from 1991 through 2002), imagine a baseball or softball field. If you were looking from the outfield in, the stage would be ‘home plate’, next is the physical seating area or the infield and beyond that is the lawn seating or the outfield. For this event, we choose to put down our rental lawn chairs in deep right centerfield.

After Tesla grounded out weakly to the pitcher, next up to bat was Poison. They played their usual list of fan favorites and allowed the crowd to ‘Talk Dirty’ to them in chorus. Mr. Bret Michaels played my personal favorite song of theirs, “Something To Believe In”, partially acoustic. He dedicated the song to the military personnel and their families in attendance. The song’s back story is entangled with the events surrounding Bret’s personal bodyguard and close personal friend’s suicide. His friend was former military. I always feel a lump in my throat and tears form in the corners of my eyes when I hear this song. It’s just a close to the bone, heart-felt song about loss and daily life. Even from a few hundred feet away, the band sounded great and they had nice energy throughout their whole set. Bret mentioned St Louis about 35 times in their hour long set and it got a huge pop each time he said it. They took care of business and relinquished the stage to be prepped for the headliner: Def Leppard.

Def Leppard took the stage and opened with Let’s Go, from their 2015 self-titled album, which I was not familiar with until I looked it up today. They put on a solid show and I have to say my favorite song they played wasn’t even one of their own. Don’t mistake what I’m saying. Animal – great. Foolin – very cool. Love Bites – well done. Armadeddon It – always fun. Rocket – drunktastic! Bringing on the Heartbreak – nicely done. Hysteria – good good. Pour Some Sugar On Me – lots of pop and crown antics. But my favorite part of their set was their cover of the 1973 classic Rock On. Originally done by David Essex and remade in 1989 by Michael Damian (of Young and the Restless daytime drama fame) this song was killer. Gnarly. Awesome! Whoa! Tubular! Rock On!

Now some of you may have been in the house for this show or seen them in your own city and may be asking about one of their more popular songs: Let’s Get Rocked. Yeah they played it. Yeah it went over real well with the crowd. Yeah I sung along (because I know all 9 words to the song). But if I must be honest, I don’t particularly care for this fluff piece. And that is not a swipe at my friend Jacob Werner aka Fluff. It’s just me saying I think the song is a big nothing…like most of the band Kiss’s catalog. I was hoping against hope for an inclusion from their album ‘X’ in the form of track number five: Long, Long Way To Go or just about anything else from this effort. But no dice and a little disappointment for me. C’mon guys! You were a few measly hours away from my birthday…and couldn’t squeeze another four or so minutes in? Boo!

The 2.5 bands performed admirably but another huge component to the concert experience is the people watching. It is always interesting to check out the age spans in attendance for bands that started 36, 37 and 40 years ago respectively (Tesla, Poison, Def Leppard). Also as the night wears on and the thresholds for sobriety are breached, everything turns into a Jerry Springer episode. To the jackwagon who literally was throwing handfuls of sugar (LeBron James style) during Def Leppard’s performance of Pour Some Sugar on Me…to the two older ladies who were trying to accost me in the beer purchase line…it was entertainment at it’s finest. Footnote: To the dorkbags behind us in line waiting to initially enter the venue, shut up. Stop reading the set list for each group for the show. Maybe some of us do not want to know what’s coming up and just want to be pleasantly surprised when the first few chords of each song plays out. #MamasBasementDwellerDorksForLife

In closing, I think the shows duration and atmosphere were worth the $80 paid for the two tickets. I’m not sure if I can say the same for the amount spent on beers, soda and t-shirts but that’s the risk you run with going to such a show.

One last thing before I mentally walk out of the gates from last night; during the Def Leppard set, Kristi needed to visit the restroom facilities. I, being a gentleman, escorted her as it was now dark outside and amidst the thousands of peoples it’s just a better idea to stick together. On our return trip to the lawn, we encountered a gentleman who closely resembled the Poison front man Bret Michaels! But upon closer inspection and actually asking him if he was…the answer was no. It turns out the guy was a Bret Michaels impersonator and has performed locally at Pop’s Night Club over in Sauget, Illinois. Besides his likeness resembling Bret Michaels, his choice of t-shirt was what actually caught my initial attention. He was wearing a pristine Warrant concert t-shirt, with the band’s name in bright green neon letters. I had a short conversation with him and told him I liked his shirt and the world was still missing Jani Lane. He agreed with my sentiments and shook my hand. He waved and said for us to enjoy the rest of the show. It was fitting to see someone at this type of show wearing a Warrant shirt because for so many years (before Jani’s death) Warrant would tour with Poison for summer rock shows like this and at this venue no less.

Time to take a bow, wave to the crowd and slowly walk off the stage.

Peace.

Aye Aye Captain

So as usual, out of the blue, I started wondering about a random topic. That topic at present is: why the first show of a series is often called a pilot episode. Yeah totally don’t know how that jumped in there. But as I usually do, I Googled it.

A television pilot (also known as a pilot or a pilot episode and sometimes marketed as a tele-movie) is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network.

From there I was curious as to when the first ‘pilot’ episode was created because everything has a genesis correct? From the various articles and websites I visited, the data is confusing and semi-inconclusive. The electronic TV is officially noted as being introduced on September 7, 1927 and the world’s first live drama broadcast is noted as September 11, 1928 but many TV programs or series didn’t come along until TV networks were established years later. For the record, the first advertisement commercial for a product is documented as one for Bulova Clocks and Watches. The 10 second commercial spot was aired before a baseball game in 1941 between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. For those of you who are wondering, the Phillies won that game 6-4 in ten innings. Ike Pearson was credited with the win to improve his won-loss record to that point in the season to 2-7. Hugh Casey took the hard luck loss. The Dodgers had a chance with two runners on in the bottom of the tenth but Herman Franks was unable to deliver with two outs.

Now fast forward 76 years, I am still unsure about the origin and brain-child of the ‘pilot’ episode. Obviously the term must have cropped up somewhere between 1927 and today because it gets mentioned all the time and even noted on IMDB where applicable. The first real concrete reference to a pilot episode I can find is associated with the 1950’s sitcom (situation comedy) Leave It To Beaver which had a couple of different names before settling on Leaver It To Beaver. Maybe there was a Mr. Pilot who named the first episode, “trial episode” if you will, the pilot. Who knows? And yes I said Mr. Pilot and not Mrs. Pilot because let’s be real, for a long time in the early to mid decades of the United States, many things were run by a very male slanted workforce. I’m not saying that is right but if we are going to talk about history, let’s be real and not PC everything for no good reason.

So if Mr. Pilot’s great grandchildren are out there and reading this, please contact me and let me know if this is correct.

Thanks for a part of your hump day!

Peace.

Happy Birthday to…

Tim “The Toolman” Taylor aka comedian Tim Allen.
The newer Dr Loomis aka silver-haired Malcolm McDowell.
Clocking in at 55 years of age, the girl who got stuck doing detention because…she didn’t have anything better to do, the real life Ally Sheedy.

And co-celebrating their 31st birthdays respectively, and both looking quite a bit older than myself despite being more than a decade younger, I give you Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Useless factoid, Ashley is the taller of the two sisters by one inch probably because she was technically the first born of the two. I told you it was useless but you read on anyway.

Here’s to beer and Smirnoff Ice and a loaded baked potato later! Bring on the sour cream!

Peace.

Love Actually…Is Still All Around

It is mid-June and the temperatures outside are 90+ degrees so of course I am listening to Hugh Grant narrate the opening sequence of Love Actually (from 2003) in anticipation of the Christmas themed two hour movie. I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes…

Sorry cheesy movie quote drop in was a must. Bill Nighy (Billy Mack on screen), I hope you are doing well. From here I can branch out into more than a handful of other Hugh Grant films but at the risk of having whatever shred of masculinity I still possess confiscated, we shall move along.

Today is yet another Monday. Each year seems to have about 52 or 53 of them but here lately the Mondays seem to flow like the waters of Yosemite Falls (which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the world and resides in California). My work group tried to ensnare the Powerball lottery winnings but unless someone stepped through a wormhole portal into California this past week, I do not think my group will be ‘retiring’ just yet. As I talked about in my personal Podbean podcast (The Freak Show), I played some softball over the weekend and congratulated the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins on successfully defending their title. They are currently the John Cena of hockey.

I have tried Googling how many lobsters were at the birth of Jesus but the results are inconclusive.

I apologize there is not more goofiness and things to make you chuckle today, but perhaps tomorrow? Because “Tomorrow is another day!”

Have a great start to the week and check me out on my many, many forms of social media.

Also for those who understand and acknowledge my Love Actually references, I thank you. As a bonus I found out that they made a little mini-Love Actually sequel here recently called Red Nose Day Actually. The 15 minute or so long piece shows a bit of a snapshot into the present day lives of the characters from that original film. Note: not everyone was included in the sequelette. Obviously Alan Rickman passed away and another main character was doing a show on Broadway at the time of filming but several other characters are back. So as I often tell young Master Ayden, be grateful for what you get even if it isn’t everything you want. A little is still nice to have in lieu of nothing.

Happy Monday Universe!

Peace.

Disappointment Party of One…Your Table is Ready

I have worked for many companies and bosses over the last 25 plus years. Some companies were good but had bad bosses and some companies were bad but had good bosses and some were just bad all-around. Pushing aside the salary and benefits and actually liking your job, I feel having a boss that has your back is huge. I cannot tell you how many times working under Jayne, Sarah and Jon at those respective places of business that hairy situations came up. But I knew in each situation what was appropriate and that if push came to shove, those people had my back as long as I stayed on the correct side of the line of right and wrong. So it’s a very frustrating and a lost at sea feeling when you do your job as it should be done and that alleged line of support takes a step back and just watches as the bus roll over you. It’s a feeling like a kid getting socks and underwear for Christmas but not just new plain white socks and underwear; more like second-hand socks and underwear with some holes and brown-ish stains.

My recommendation for the youth of today, find a way to be your own boss or just be independently wealthy (is there an app for this yet?). You will get let down less often but don’t worry, other people will still find ways to disappoint you: the maid, the gardeners, your personal trainer, quasi-psychiatrists, the attendant at your personal sports complex, etc.

Today feels like an I’m going to stop at the gas station to buy a Powerball ticket kind of day. Three Mondays in this week so far is darn crappy odds but maybe the universe is saying the odds will be good somewhere else. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that it (the Powerball grand prize win) comes to fruition.

To the smiling haters and spineless wannabes, I hope a flood of steaming vomit appears on your desk and you can clearly distinguish bits of salad, maybe some strawberries, a few ounces of root beer and bunch of the ‘weird’ varieties of Doritos – partially digested are all there.

Peace.

*** Legal Disclaimer: The above blog post does not describe a real-time incident or scenario. Any similarities to people and businesses, dead or alive or dormant, is strictly coincidental. Remember sarcasm is as vital as water, food and sunlight (not the dish washing detergent).

Friday Press Conference

I would like to thank all of you for attending today’s press briefing. The normal amount of press credentials were issued but I anticipate a world wide presence for the forthcoming words.

Mark your calendars in your smartphones and mentally remember where you were and the exact time as you read what came next…

My 45th birthday is happening in three weeks.

Stop the presses. If you need to pull off to the side of the road for a bit to let your breathing return to normal please do so. Safety first. Many of you may be in shock. Yes I do have an annual birthday. It’s not registered (yet) with the library of congress or anything¬† along those lines but it’s real. It’s damn real!

Now Robert “Red” Hulseman may not be here to offer a drink in his company’s signature red Solo Cup, but I think he may have had the futuristic foresight of June 23, 2017 in mind when he originated his company in his garage in 1936. He’s not around anymore so he can neither confirm nor deny this educated guess on my part. And for the record, he may not have been nicknamed “Red”. I just thought that would be a cool way to tie in his persona since the famous cup is red and referenced way more than any other colors in their collection. While we are on the subject, how many successful companies have been spawned in a garage? Solo Cup, Apple and others. Maybe this ‘ah-ha’ moment will cause a shift in the housing market. What am I talking about? Think for a second about would be homeowners who also have an entrepreneurial ambition. Will they shy away from housing options that only offer a carport or on-street parking as opposed to the ones with a garage? Because, coming from a very limited perspective here, this seems to be where the creative and successful magic happens. Housing and real estate people take notice. If you have carport properties in your inventory, perhaps you should have them demo’d (demolished) to flow with the proprietary needs of your potential customers. Just Saying.

For those keeping track, we are looking at about 53 weeks until the release of Jurassic World 2 in theaters. For those of you who are a little more impatient and don’t like that timeline, you can focus on something a little closer…like the next Star Wars episode which is only 28 weeks away.

As some of you anxiously hop from one foot to the other in anticipation of these upcoming features, I am sending out a general positive vibe on this Friday that you may enjoy happiness, success and good health.

Peace.

Rabies and Bobcat Babies

Baby Bobcat Rescued, Euthanized

OK this is my last rant-like post for the week and a bit of a bummer to start June with but this topic is seriously bugging me and in order to try to purge it from brain, here we go…

Some of you may have seen an article pertaining to Lamia the three week old female bobcat kitten ‘rescued’ in Springfield, Missouri. I’ve included the post mortem article up above.

Someone please remind me, what year is it again 1817? In this day and age where we can remotely start our cars, turn off appliances from hundreds of miles away using a phone app and science can (and did) make an exact copy of a sheep from a collection of cells: why isn’t rabies treatment more or less along the lines of a flu shot? Hmmm?

Now take my mental distress and outrage into context. I am a cat owner and have enjoyed having multiple cats in my household for the better part of 25 years. Yes I know the ‘cat’ from the article is a wild animal, not a housecat but a baby bobcat. In truth many wild animals are hunted and killed or perish trying to cross various roadways every day. Life and subsequent death is hard and unpleasant to contemplate. But human intervention killed this wild animal on the heels of ‘saving’ it. The dude that this controversy spins outward from, apparently had some sort of heart procedure within recent months. This did not stop him from going out and bulldozing or whatever to his property. And so he came across this bobcat kitten. How it unfolded next; the kitten was ‘rescued’ and put into a cage. While the kitten was inside the cage, this guy’s hand came into proximity to the bobcat baby. Acting on instinct, the kitten bit him…and broke the skin with its four baby teeth. The wildlife advocate lady involved advised him to have a medical professional look at the bite and thus started us on this sad and un-necessary Green-Mile-like procession.

Since the bobcat is not a domestic animal, it cannot be quarantined to see if the three stages of rabies present themselves.
Stage one: Prodromal – behavior changes – personality along with eating and drinking radically change
Stage two: Excitative – excitable by outside stimuli causing violent reactions, including lashing out and biting
Stage three: Paralytic – hindquarters ‘freeze’, muscles become rigid, excessively drooling, difficulty breathing (Note: Death is usually caused by respiratory arrest)

One trait shared by the rabies carrier and the infected victim is hydrophobia, which is the historic name for rabies. Because in the throes of stage two, it becomes hard to swallow for the infected and they develop an irrational fear of water. Don’t ask me why, they just do.

So I’m guessing rabies has only been around for like 5-10 years or they would’ve already found a cure right? Nope. Rabies has been around since at least 2000 B.C. according to ancient records in Europe. So fast forward 4000 years…and rabies still exists. I guess this shouldn’t be that surprising because not everyone can live in a controlled upscale community. Just like polio and small pox et al, there are always going to be versions of disease, such as the viral rabies, that exist in corners of the world where medical care consists of wrapping leaves and mud around a cut or bite. But in these United States, where your President is Donald Trump and Kathy Griffin can post a social media picture depicting a ‘joke’ of a decapitated President, how do we not have a laser device on our keychains that can wipe out rabies or a snake bite just by zapping the infected area for 10 seconds? Get Scooby on this mystery ASAP! Dr. Gregory House would’ve figured out how to cure rabies with a banana and an ice cube.

Alright I will move the notches back on the lawn mower deck to cut a little closer. Yes there are cures for snake bites and rabies. You can even Google the specific options for protocols (see the Milwaukee Protocol). You might even be able to run by Walgreens on the way home to have their clinic do it for you depending upon where you live (yeah, I’m talking to you North Dakota).

Let’s establish some facts. 95% of the world’s rabies problem is contained in Africa and Asia. Of the 17,400 cases reported worldwide in 2015, 40% of them were contracted by children under the age of 15. Rabies is transmitted, in general, via scratch or bite from an infected animal. The usual suspects carrying the rabies virus are: dogs, bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. But the virus is not limited to these animals. The virus can be carried by and transmitted to any warm blooded mammal and it attacks the Central Nervous System. 99% of the world’s rabies transmissions come from dogs but 95% of the Americas rabies cases are attributed to bats. If that is confusing, just refer back to the first sentence in this paragraph where Africa and Asia predominantly hold the world’s rabies problem.

On the home front, home being North America, there were 49 confirmed cases of rabies from 1995 through 2011 and almost all of those were attributed to bats. A fun little bit of information, birds can be infected with rabies, as scientists intentionally did in the middle 1900’s. But they produce antibodies that fight off the virus. If not can you imagine the worldwide epidemic that could be spread by the trillions of birds? As if millions of people didn’t already suffer from Ornithophobia.

Today is June the first or June 1, 2017. There are 120 days until World Rabies Day (September 28th). What does that ribbon look like?

Besides the information contained above, what is my point here? Well for one that yes I can be a bit informative in addition to entertaining. And two, this baby bobcat was put to death for virtually no reason. I am going to tell you right now in writing that the test on this beheaded baby bobcat is going to come back negative for rabies. Do the math, 49 cases of rabies in North America from 1995 to 2011 – that equates out on average to 3 legit occurrences per year. The guy who got bit doesn’t have rabies. This baby bobcat who was earmarked to live in captivity for the rest of its life, got three weeks on the books and extinguished by a virtual form somewhere. The guy who got bit while ‘clearing his land’ after a heart procedure was not a candidate for the vaccine. He was offered the (if necessary) cure at zero cost by interest groups who lobbied to save this tiny creature’s life. The number one option taken to check for rabies in a suspected (apparently not innocent until proven guilty here) animal is to kill it, behead it and extract brain cells to check for (and the majority of the time not find) rabies virus. How many thousands of animals a year are destroyed for fear of this often not present virus? Granted full blown rabies is painful and deadly to humans and animals alike but guess what…you can get an immediate treatment and be OK most of the time. Something that is also neglected to be acknowledged…you can test for rabies with saliva, urine and cerebrospinal fluid. I’m not sure what that third option is but the other two do not require decapitation. Duly noted that the other options are not 100% accurate all the time, but heck condoms are on the market and they are not 100% effective either.

It just goes to show that we are a blood thirsty society and wrong place, wrong time examples like Lamia pay the price. What would Harambe say if he were alive today?

Thursday. Handful of Skittles.

Peace.

 

Epilogue: I was right and all the people involved should be punched in the face 100 times for being stupid. Read the story below.

http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/2017/06/05/rabies-results-come-back-baby-bobcat-euthanized-health-department/371204001/