Sunday, October 30, 2011

Adele to undergoe surgery on her throat, cancels 2011 shows

This is a real bummer.  I hope the surgery is successful and Adele makes a full recovery.    Adele to have surgery to treat vocal cord hemorrhage. What is it?  

“It is with deep regret that Adele has been forced to cancel her remaining live dates and promotional appearances in 2011,” reads the statement on her website. “She is to undergo surgery to alleviate the current issues with her throat and a full recovery is expected. As a result, doctors have ordered her to rest her voice and completely recuperate before looking to schedule any work commitments.”

I am a big fan of Adele.  I was captivated from the first time I heard her sing.  I think she is the greatest singer of this era, such a distinct delicate voice but with so much range and power. wow.            

On a distantly related note I have been a singer/guitar player in rock bands since I was a teenager and I am too familiar with the specter of nagging laryngitis and the long term hoarse voice that comes from too much singing/screaming.   And from the first time I heard Adele, I have been amazed that anyone could sing with that much raw power on the regular basis required on extended tours.  When I hear her singing, I figure maybe once a week she could pull that off, but no way could she perform day after day and have any kind of voice left.  It looks like Adele was performing 4 shows per week and I think that is too much for someone  who puts as much energy and power into their singing as Adele does.

I do think Adele will make a full recovery and be able to hit all the notes and sing with just as much soul and power as ever.  But she won't be able to perform 4 shows a week for weeks on end across the world.  Her promoters, agents, and record label needs to face that.  Otherwise they kill the golden goose and we all lose Adele's talent.

When Adele does return I think she should only schedule occasional live shows for the fans who want to see her enough to pay a premium. Everyone else should just buy the CD. Her managers shouldn't risk permanent damage to Adele's voice by making her perform night after night all over God's green earth. The power that sets Adele's voice apart from the others should be used sparingly so we can continue to enjoy new music from her for a long time. From what I have heard from her so far I look forward to hearing what she has to sing about for a long time.

Get well soon Adele...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dearborn Heights Garage Band

No one can ever question our status as a genuine garage band.  Ha.

This one will get better with a few more practices..  Kinda rough, but its a fun song to get up and belt out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The incredible Amy LeVere

So this really cool guy from work Charlie sends out an e-mail a while back inviting his co-workers to go to a bar in Pontiac to see his daughter and her band play.  I had something going on that night, like pretty much every other night so I couldn't go, but I thought it was pretty cool that Charlie had a daughter who toured as a musician. I figured I would search her name on google and see what might be out there.

Turns out, she is an incredible talent. Beautiful and mysterious with a voice that she plays like an instrument in company with her acoustic stand-up bass. Throw in a bluesy Les Paul and some drums and get down.  How cool is that?   I like a lot of her music out there on YouTube, here is just one of them.   "That Beat (Keeps Disturbing My Sleep)"

I know I won't miss out the next time Amy comes to town. Good luck on the European tour..

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Here is a cool gift idea for a Scrabble fan..

We are some Scrabble playing fools in my family.  I play every other day or so with my mom and whichever if any of my sisters, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law or whoever else happens to be visiting her and dad when I stop by to visit.  Mom doesn't get around so well in her 80's but she can still figure out how to make two words and hit a triple word at the same time.   It is a very competitive group.  The games are friendly, but none of the 20 or so people in our unofficial Scrabble club likes to lose and any one of us can beat any of the others, if they get the right letters and words to build from on the board.  It is a game of skill, but luck helps.

The personalized board is the cool gift idea.  You pick out the words that will make the theme of the board.  Maybe its all the grandkid's names like the one we made in the picture.  Or maybe it will be a list of places a person has visited, or cars they have owned, or teams in their league or whatever else will strike a chord with them.

Then go online to one of the many sites that will help you create a crossword puzzle using the words you provide.  A Scrabble board is 15 spaces wide by 15 spaces high, so the crossword puzzle has to fit inside that grid, and of course the center tile of the board must be covered.  

Then go to eBay and buy a bunch of Scrabble letters.  Chances are, the words you want to include in your personalized Scrabble board will need more letters or a different combination of letters than what comes in the box new.  You can figure it out, or just buy a whole bunch of letters like we did.  I think it worked out to about a nickel per letter when we bought them in bulk from eBay.

Then all you need is a Scrabble board, the letters, the crossword puzzle layout from the website, and some Elmers glue.  Voila!  Its a cool and unique gift idea for that Scrabble fan in your family.

I hope someone sees this and copies the idea to make someone they love happy.  If you do send me a picture and I'll post it here..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

There is dumb and then there is really dumb

I know this guy.  He was my son's football coach.  Then this happened. What an idiot.
Coach uses racial slur to motivate team.

I criticized his behavior at that meeting pictured above and his brother's behavior too.  They are Rob and Brian.  The Beaudrie Brothers. Hd. coach and Ass. Coach.  Pete and Repeat.  Jose and Hose B.  Frick and Frack.  Heckle and Jeckle...   So right on queue, the next day at practice, these two geniuses schemed to get revenge on me for speaking unkind words about them by targeting my son at football practice.  They strategically moved him from the starting quarterback position where he had played all season to offensive guard on a Wednesday with a must-win conference game coming up in two days. 

The scrimmaging at guard caused Dan to reinjure his lower back and it ended ended his season. He had struggled all year with recurring back pain from a stress fracture suffered in a football team weightlifting contest held back in the Spring.  Once he was injured the coaches lost their fallback plan of putting him back at QB if the sure-win game against Caeser Chavez Academy wasn't going as planned. 

Long story short, Summit ended up losing the game with the new kid at quarterback who had just one practice to learn the nuances of the "hike the ball and run for your life" offense that the Beaudries employ.  So Dan misses the last games of his career and the team misses what would have been a sure trip to the State playoffs.  Coaching FAIL.

Other than being a serial cheater, a vindictive jerk, a bad motivator, a shitty game coach and a poor role model, he is also a sub-intelligent self destructive egomaniac who threw the team's season away because he hates to be criticized more than he likes to win. 

It's way past time for the clown show to end.

Update.. A few weeks after I wrote this post the school announced Beaudrie had been terminated as coach and Athletic Director.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pathteacher exclusive.. A copy of Father Coughlin's Social Justice Magazine from December 5, 1938

Well I happened to obtain a rare copy of a magazine that was published in the 1930's called Social Justice.  The champion of the magazine was the controversial Catholic priest Father Coughlin from The Shrine of the Little Flower parish in Royal Oak Michigan.  I am in no way endorsing the viewpoints or columns in this magazine.    I just thought it was important to post them on the internet where they could be accessed by anyone who might be researching this era of American social and political turmoil.   There are 20 pages total, posted as jpg. files.  Plenty of resolution to increase the magnification enough to read.
I think this is interesting if not very pleasant to read. It gives a pretty clear view of a religious radical American mindset going into World War II.  In a nutshell, the commies were the big threat to the USA in 1938 not the Nazis and that the Jews had it coming in Germany for supporting the commies. Yikes. Knowing that millions of Jews were about to be systematically killed by the Germans when this magazine was being distributed makes it seem ghoulish to even read. The link to the whole magazine is here:

 Father Coughlin's Social Justice magazine, December 5th 1938. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Friday Night Lights.. Son of Pathteacher throws 85 yard TD pass.

My son plays for Romulus Summit Academy in T-H-E Charter School Conference in Michigan.  Eight teams from Public Charter Schools in the Detroit area, seven which pool their students from the Detroit Public School system and us.  Six of the teams are comprised of 100% African American athletes and another from Southwest Detroit is predominantly Mexican American.  Our school is the only racially integrated school in the conference and actually one of the few high schools in the entire Metro Detroit area in which the student body is ethnically diverse.  I like that.  I think its a strategic benefit for kids in high school to learn to coexist and befriend all kinds of other people, not just their own.  The world is like that.  High School should be too.  

But anyway, it turns out its hell playing all these teams with the athletes from Detroit.  The top dogs, Chandler Park Academy and Michigan Collegiate are in the hunt for State Championships in their respective divisions.  They and each of the other teams feature 300 pound linemen and running backs with 4.3 speed.  But we have a decent team with a lot of senior leadership and Summit has managed to go 3-3 in conference play so far this season. They've already improved on last year's 1-6 league record and there is a decent chance they'll win out and get to six victories which will give them a berth in the playoffs here in Michigan.  

Go Dragons!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Everyone is a Tigers fan today! Except in NY

So the Tigers finished off the Yankees 3-2 in game 5 of their Divisional Playoff series tonight in the Bronx. W00t!  As I once told the kids on a team I coached years back, and you can quote me on this, "There is no finer moment in sports than seeing the other team cry in the handshake after the game."  ha.  So, enjoy Tiger Fan and Yankee hater alike.  Ding Dong the Yankees gone.  It took some luck of course, but this was an even series that went down to the last pitch.  The Yankees ginormous payroll only buys  them a golden ticket but it doesn't mean they'll win the whole chocolate factory.  Maybe thats a pretty good analogy for the Yankees.  Veruca Salt. 

I know the Tiger's Divisional Series victory made most everyone happy around here and I am guessing they raised a few loud cheers in Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Tampa, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and just about every other city in America.   All that payroll and they get bounced in the first round.  Like my buds Grip and Drae might point out... Money can't buy you love.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What did Reagan and FDR have in common?

There are some interesting points raised in this Newsweek blog post by Andrew Romano about the similarities in the Reagan and FDR styles of reconstructive politics. Just what was it about them that set them apart from the others.  Who best fits the radical mold of Reagan and FDR - and why can't we find them

"...Every reconstructive president razes the old order and forges a new one in his own way: while FDR experimented with a panoply of reforms, Reagan always stuck to a stubborn script about the causes and cures for Carter-era malaise. The important thing is that both of them blamed the crises they presided over on the failed, un-American ideology of the previous regime and relentlessly positioned their sweeping proposals as part of a grand project to undo the damage and revive real American values...
..reconstructive leaders “have never been especially adept at solving the problems that brought them into office in the first place”; both Reagan and Roosevelt failed more often than they succeeded. But the politics of reconstruction gave meaning to their victories, kept them buoyant during dry spells, and defined the opposition before the opposition could define them. The approach also assured voters that Reagan and Roosevelt shared their deep dissatisfaction with the way things were.
Both Reagan and FDR projected an undeniable sense of optimism to the weary, beat down population through their vision for America delivered in in eloquent speeches marked by home-spun character and wit.  And not to make too much of it, but they both beamed confidence and enthusiasm with their magnetic smiles.  Honest, comfortable smiles that filled up a room.  If you want to get people to follow you, the most important thing to wear is a smile.  No one wants to throw their support behind a mope or a grump or someone who seems insincere or unconfident.       

And for comparison..  These smiles don't convey quite the same sense of confidence and optimism.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lions beat Cowboys in biggest road comeback ever in the NFL.

It was a good day to be a sports fan in Detroit. Hells yes. The Tigers beat the Yankees in New York to tie up their Divisional series at one game apiece heading to Detroit, and the Lions pounced back from a deficit in the second half once again, this time against the Dallas Cowboys. Turns out it the biggest road comeback in NFL history. Wow.

Among the many storylines from the game is a fine example of bulletin board material, this time from the Dallas Cowboy's Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.  We know it was used as motivational material because Lion's coach Jim Schwartz couldn't wait to bring it up in the postgame news conference.  ha.

"Indulge me for a second," the Detroit Lions coach said as he arrived at the podium for a postgame news conference, a smile spreading across his face. "I'm just glad the third-best receiver on their team is on our team."

That receiver in question is Calvin Johnson, whom Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan allowed was "almost" as good as Cowboys starters Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. 

OK, here is what Ryan said .
Yeah, Ryan called Johnson "excellent" and "pretty damn good" earlier this week. But he's provided enough bulletin-board material to know how it works. The part of the quote that made it to Detroit was, "We work against better receivers with Miles Austin and Dez Bryant."
There is a slight chance that Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett may have some words of advice for his D-Coordinator heading into next week.   Something about how silence is golden but duct tape is silver.