Posts from Sucking In The 70s

Fun Friday: Back In The Day

Sometime in the past week here at AVC, it was suggested we do "back in the day" for fun friday. I like that idea and so here we go.

I did most of my programming in college, at MIT. And I wrote most of my code on this thing, a DEC VT100.

VT100

This thing was a workhorse. I spilled coffee on it. I got muffin crumbs in it. I took out my frustration on it. And it just kept going and going.

It was hooked up to a VAX-11. We ran all the data acquisition and data analysis work at the MIT Dept Of Ocean Engineering Water Tunnel Laboratory on it.

That was over thirty years ago. In fact, this summer will mark the 30th anniversary of my graduation from college. Back in the day it was.

Now it's your turn to share your "back in the day" stories, photos, and videos with everyone in the comments.

Clinton vs Obama Is Like Ali vs Frazier

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Between 1971 and 1975, Ali and Frazier fought three times. Ali lost the first and won the next two culminating in the Thrilla In Manila in October 1975. Those three fights made a lasting impression on me, the first one coming when I was 10, the last one coming when I was 14.

Those two heavyweights, including the greatest heavyweight of all time, went at each other for 14-15 rounds. It always seemed to go back and forth. Ali would win the early rounds, then Frazier would get strong and take the middle rounds, and then whoever was still standing in the late rounds would emerge victorious.

And that’s what’s going on in the Democrat primary battle between Hillary and Barack. They are giving each other all they can take and then some. And both are taking it and firing back with all they’ve got. It’s fun to watch.

Yesterday morning, I was pretty sure Obama was going to deliver the knockout blow by taking California. But he didn’t.  You can almost hear Barack say Ali’s famous line to Hillary at the end of last night:

Hillary, they told me you was all washed up

And you can almost hear Hillary growl back:

They lied

Josh Michael Micah Marshall summed up Super Tuesday best for me. He said:

But I think all these competing scenarios make one point clear. The
only arguments for one side or the other being a winner here come down
to airy and finally meaningless arguments about expectations. And the
result tells a different tale. It’s about delegates. It’s dead even.
You’ve got two well-funded candidates who’ve demonstrated an ability to
power back from defeats. And neither is going anywhere.

The flip side of the proportional representation in delegates is
that not only does it allow a challenger like Obama not to get put away
early, it also makes it difficult to put away an opponent late. The
conventional wisdom is that Obama will do well in this weekend’s and
next Tuesday’s contests. But if he does, proportionality will reign
there too. It’s hard to see where this doesn’t go all the way to the
convention.

Contrary to most pundits’ opinions, I think this is incredibly helpful to the Democrat party and to the country as a whole. We are going to see more of these two fantastic candidates in the coming month. Maybe we’ll get a situation which they’ll both have to react to that will be telling. We’ll get to see them start to tool their messages against John McCain who appears to be the Republican nominee. We’ll get to see them debate each other some more (hopefully).

I don’t think we’ll see this get very negative. Obama has built his whole campaign on a positive message and he’s sticking to it. He turned the other cheek in South Carolina and showed Hillary that going negative against him didn’t work. So now it’s all about the candidates, their positions, and how they’d govern. As it should be.

The Gotham Gal and I have not given to either candidate yet. I am going to talk to her at breakfast about giving the max to both of them now. They’ve earned it.

I’m hoping that we’ll emerge with a Hillary/Barack ticket at the end of this. That would be very hard to beat.  But regardless of whomever emerges from this epic battle  victorious, it has been well fought and I will be thrilled to support them.

The Eagles

We were having lunch at The Clam Bar on Thursday and they were playing non stop Eagles. The Gotham Gal so hates the Eagles and it was killing her.  Lyin’ Eyes almost caused her to abandon her steamers and hit the road.

So it was with interest that I read tonight, courtesy of John, that Jeff Tweedy shares a dislike for The Eagles. Well that may be too strong, but he did say they aren’t a "particular favorite of mine".  Seems like Jeff’s gone PC on us.

The South Will Rise Again

Kings Of Leon did it to me. That opening to Joe’s Head. It took me back to the 70s and the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I was always more of a Skynyrd fan. The Gotham Gal is more Allmans. We grew up on it and then kind of left it behind. But now I am back with a vengeance

This is music for the simple man with the whiskey bottle in hand. And I love it. Two records that stand tall in our vinyl collection are The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East and One More from the Road by Lynyrd Skynyrd. They’ve been getting a lot of play on the turntable this week.

But the south has risen again. Maybe it never fell. Bands like My Morning Jacket from Kentucky, Kings Of Leon from Tennessee, and The Drive By Truckers from Alabama by way of Athens Georgia are making southern rock in the 21st century that sounds both new and old at the same time. I’ve seen MMJ and KOL live and they are truly great. They’ve picked up where the Allmans and Skynyrd left on and are keeping the southern rock genre vital.

Here’s an imeem playlist that I put together with some highlights of this week’s southern rock binge. I hope you like it.

Winter Training


  RIT v Canisus – Fourth Quarter 
  Originally uploaded by 2hLix.

Growing up there was nothing I hated more than early March lacrosse practice.

I was reminded of it today when I took Josh to his first baseball practice of the season in the snow on the freezing cold Hudson River at Pier 40.

Thankfully for Josh and me, his practice today was indoors.

Not so for my high school lacrosse team. Our first month of practice would be in sub freezing weather in the Stoney Lonesome parking lots (because we couldn’t practice on the fields until they defrosted and dried out).

That was hell. The combination of frostbite and ripped skin from falling on the blacktop gives me pains just thinking about it.

All spring sports start the pre-season in winter but in the northeast (and surely the midwest too), that takes on new meaning.

I call it winter training.

Nuggets

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One of my favorite bands from the 1970s is Thin Lizzy. To be honest, I’ve not listened to them much in recent years.

But about a month ago, my kid’s art teacher made some mixed CDs for the family and on one of the discs was Cowboy Song (Thin Lizzy). I hadn’t peaked at the song list and had no idea it was on there. But the first notes of the song took me back 30 years and I cranked it way up. I love that song.

Since then, I read Mike Doughty’s post where he expressed his love of Thin Lizzy and have been led into the depths of YouTube by Jackson in search of old Thin Lizzy videos. It’s been fun going back to an old favorite.

For those of you who are not in the know about Thin Lizzy, they were a unique kind of hard rock band. Led by an Irish lead singer/bass player named Phil Lynott who had an amazing soulful voice. He died young at age 35 but he made his mark.

They played soul, hard funk, and boogie in addition to classic 70s hard rock.

They’ve got a bunch of good studio records, but my favorite is the live record, Live and Dangerous. Here’s one of my favorite songs from it.

Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed – Thin Lizzy

I have heard that there are Wilco bootlegs out there with a cover of Cowboy Song on them. If anyone knows where to find them, I’d love to hear it.

Nuggets

B000002gyr01_aa240_sclzzzzzzz_Tom Waits is a wonderful singer songwriter who I love to listen to.

The record I most often pull out of our Tom Waits collection is Closing Time, recorded in 1973.

One reviewer at Amazon called this his "late night drinking record". That’s a good description, but to me what makes this record great is the range of styles on this record. There is something for everyone, jazz, blues, rock, folk, country.

There isn’t bad song on the record but two of my standouts are Martha and Ice Cream Man, which together show the artistic range of this record.

If you haven’t ever listened to Tom Waits,
you should.

Nuggets

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Watching Golden Smog cover Starman the other night has gotten me into a Bowie mood. And when I get to my house later today, I am going to put my vinyl copy of Hunky Dory on the turntable and turn it up.

I love Hunky Dory, almost as much as Ziggy Stardust, which is on my top 50.

Hunky Dory came out right before Ziggy, during the early 70s, when Bowie was at his artistic peak.

Hunk Dory is not nearly as much of a rock record, to me it’s a pop/folk record. It starts out with Changes which is probably the most played Bowie song ever. But it’s songs like Oh You Pretty Things, Life on Mars, and Andy Warhol that make this record so special.

I can’t wait until I get home and give it a listen.

Nuggets

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Last week, we had WEHM on the air in our home and on came the piano and then the words:

Now I’m calling all citizens from all over the world
This is captain america calling
I bailed you out when you were down on your knees
So will you catch me now Im falling

What a great song (Catch Me Now I’m Falling) and what a great record – Low Budget, another of the crop of 1979, the year I graduated high school. It was a tremendous year in rock music and Low Budget was certainly one of the highlights. It’s not on my top 50, but it’s on Jackson’s top 50.

This is a tremendous record from start to finish and includes three of my favorite Kinks songs, Catch Me Now I’m Falling, Superman, and A Little Bit of Emotion. Ray Davies writes great songs and he was in fine form on this record.

If you’ve got Rhapsody, do yourself a favor and tune into Low Budget. 

Low Budget

You won’t regret it.

Being Bullied

Bullies_1
I was talking to my dad yesterday morning, father’s day, and he brought up a the subject of bullies, specifically me getting bullied during high school. Blogging is the reason the subject came up at all.

You see, my brother got an email via his blog from a person that used to live in the same town as us in high school. He replied to the email and the original sender dropped a bunch of names.

My brother sent that second email around to my family to see if we knew any of them. One of them was a guy who had the locker next to me in high school and as my brother put it, "was unkind to me". I saw his name and shot some sort of strong worded email back to everyone on who was copied (all four of five of us).

My mom replied and asked what prompted such a response. I sent her the following email:

He had the locker next to me for 4 years in high school

He loved to taunt me, hit me, and generally make me feel bad which he accomplished on a regular basis

So that email has been bothering my folks for the past week. They never knew about this situation because I never told them. I never told my brothers either. It was my thing, I dealt with it as best I could. That’s the way I always did things back then.

My Dad told me yesterday, father’s day, that he was sorry that he didn’t know and didn’t help me. We talked about it for a bit and I assured him that it wasn’t something he should feel bad about.

I’ve been in the same boat as a parent. Last summer at camp, Josh got pushed around by another kid in his bunk. When we came up for visiting day, we found out and it really made me upset (maybe because of my own experiences). But we didn’t do anything about it other than coach him on how to handle it. To Josh’s credit, he got the kids on his bunk on his side and they ostracized the bully. I wish I could have pulled that off in high school but I couldn’t.

There’s a postcript to this story. My brother got an email from the very guy who caused me problems in high school and he asked to be remembered to me. My brother, always the comic, replied:

… So, if you aren’t interested in beating Fred up, I’d be happy to send him your regards.

And the guy replied back that "he understands my memory" of him. He’s with the marines in Alaska now. And I’ve got nothing against him anymore. Time passes, we all grow up, and move on.