Thanks a Lot Jenny McCarthy, You Killed the Royals

The Royals have a cart that gets injured players safely off the field, but when they all have a disease, there's no cart to save them.

The Royals have a cart that gets injured players safely off the field, but when they all have a disease, there’s no cart to save them and no magic fix.

So, the Kansas City Royals have been on some kind of fire the last two years.  Which is kind of a gift from the Gods, really.  They were the best when I was a tyke.  Almost and should have won the World Series in 1980 when George Brett almost hit .400 — the first baller to do it since Teddy Williams, my book-learnin’ mentor (curse you Philadelphia Phillies).  Then they won it all in the I-70 Series against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 (Queen’s We are the Champions is still echoing in my head from that night).

Since then?  Nothin’.  Nada.  Some Bo Jackson fun in the late 80’s.  But other than that, the team became basically the best farm club in the majors.  Small market source for good players to migrate to good teams where success has fertile ground.

Then last year, miracles and magic.  The underdog Royals made it to the World Series somehow.  Didn’t win it, but man, what a rush (damn you San Francisco).  This year, the Royals returned strong as 1980.  Arguably the best team in the Bigs.  Nothing could stop them.

Except Jenny McCarty and the idiot anti-Vax dark ages science-denialists.  That’s anti-vaccination, if you were fortunate not to recognize what I was talking about.  Jenny McCarthy got it in her head that vaccinations cause autism from some quack scientist’s hokey and now-withdrawn, disgraced work (he lost his license to ever practice medicine again over his fraudulent research here, BTW).  But, the damage was done.  Millions of uneducated mommys saw McCarthy on the TeeVee and took it to be qualified advice, somehow.  And, the anti-vax movement was born.  Now, in America, of all countries, kids aren’t getting vaccinated and diseases that the modern world had wiped out are back and epidemics are regular news.

All fun and games until it takes out professional sports.  America’s game.

Two players on the Royals have contracted Chicken Pox.  Sounds like a kid’s thing, and it is.  Until it isn’t.  When adults get it, it puts them down for months and often kills them.    Kelvin Herrera and Alex Rios  have chicken pox.

Just two players, right?  Wrong.  Chicken pox is super-contagious.  And, you are incredibly contagious for weeks before you even know you have it.  The entire team could have it.  If so, the Royals are DONE.  Watch some ESPN guys discuss it:

Of course, it’s only a game. Maybe they’ll be back for another shot in another 30 years and America will have shaken off the stupid so medieval disgrace like this won’t ever happen again. Thanks a lot Jenny McCarthy, FOX News, and all the people who don’t have the sense to think for themselves or master 6th grade science.

And, now for a kid whose parents had the sense to vaccinate him so he wasn’t sick and could enjoy a big ice cream cone at a Royals game before the killer outbreak.

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Ride a Foal on the New Music Video Standard for Visual Roller Coasters

Screengrab of the new most awesome video ever, Foals' interactive 360 degree experience to "Mountain at My Gates."

Screen grab of the new most awesome video ever, Foals’ interactive 360 degree experience to their new single, “Mountain at My Gates” from “What Went Down.”

Not a new British Invasion out of a new Manchester, but my new favorite band (for the next week, anyway) is out of the crumbled empire we yanks rose from. Foals. Like little baby steeds. They are out the gates with some great singles and a great new album due to break next month, What Went Down.

This journal entry is only partially about the new album. That’s great news, but no offense intended, it’s just another new awesome album by another new awesome band. What’s worth a journal entry here is their debut single’s accompanying video.

The song is “Mountain at My Gates.” If you’ve shopped for a home in the past couple years, you’ve unavoidably seen the interactive online tour websites featuring the properties for sale. Walk through the home online with your fingers moving the view perspective in full 360 degree fashion so you can see everything from every angle almost in 3D.

Well, experience the rock the same way.

The new standard in music videos. If you have a fear of birds or wolves or guitarists or collapsing mountains, wear a helmet for this one. As they say, shit just got real.

Don’t completely wear out your mouse buttons :-)

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I DO love Mashups

Love yer DJ

I found this rad collection of internet radio stations in the left column of the media player I use, VLC.  The station is die Deutchland bravo awesome, called “I Love Mashups.”   You know shat a Mashup is, I know.  Some crafty German sound editors mind-meld two songs together and magic happens sometimes.

i heard one earlier and tried to find it on Youtube.  It was Michael Jackson’s prison-riot anthem, “They Don’t Really Care About Us” and a classic George Michael tune.  I couldn’t find it anywhere, but ran into another one that is one of my new favorites goes smack in my “Tao of Steve” playlist.  Michael and Culture Club.  Dig into it.

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Buckin’ Bronco Junior

Mad Lad
Mads’ favorite toy and game. It’s a blown-up squeaky life saver doughnut on a chewed-up stretchy nylon tether with a plastic handle at the end. The game? A furious defense of it being applied to his head as a “squishy ball necklace.” You may play the whole go-round without scoring a ringer zinger. Maddy loves the feeling of victory.

But, every once in a while, you get it on and he has a new game: The get that dang thing the heck off my neck game. He’s gotten a LOT better at it over timez. He used to wear it for hours and sleep in it when he gave up. The first couple minutes of frantic struggle are always the best, and I’ve wanted to film it for seven months.

I had to hide the squishy purple doughnut toy for a while because the way he was going, it would lose its necklacability in no time, and that would make me sad. But, He sniffed it out the other day and was out-of-practice.

Nailed it, and luck would have it, had my phone right nearby. Like a buckin’ bronco. Suppose it was inevitable once he got back from the groomer sportin’ a mane.

Bam.

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Dark Attic Hiding Nook

Still from HBO's 2007 "John from Cincinnati," tragically pulled after its debut season.

Still from HBO’s 2007 “John from Cincinnati,” tragically pulled after its debut season.  HBO has grown significantly, since.

There were those shows taken from me before their time. Like a church you trust with your salvation stealing your kid before you even get a chance to learn ’em to walk. They took John from Cincinnati. They stole Rubicon. The only reason I can know to even mention them is because they came up in conversation. My loves, once. You know how much about them I remember now? Not an actor; a director; a character or but just a most general translation of the basic plots. I’ve packed up those memories in a dark, muw5y attic corner of my brain. A place where they can’t remind me of the disappointment. The betrayal. There are whole networks I hold in disdain and wouldn’t write on a production for if I were starving.

There are a couple networks I won’t even watch a show on. No kidding. I watch the cancellation notices like grunters watch pro sports drafts.

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Cold Turkey

So, I’m off Facebook.  The addiction cut quick.

Facebook Sucks Bird Flip OffWhy on earth would you do that? 

Well, it wasn’t my choice.  Facebook in its new corporate IPO crusade to the bottom has taken issue with peoples’ nomenclature.  Their names.  Whereby we signed up to use this site and were not required to show papers, now, we must confirm to their NSA bent.  I had a slight disagreement with this concept, so, I go.

Important to know that there are a whole host of reasons why people don’t want to use their birthname in a place as public as a post-Myspace Myspace.  Half of my friends exist in the public sphere.  Many of them dodge paparazzi and know detectives on a first name basis beating back stalkers.  That’s just musicians, actors, directors, producers, and the most protective of their privacy, the writers.

Now, others on my page are people who work in politics in one way or another.  You won’t see Senator Frank’s private page with his super-secret incog profile name.  I did, but no more.  And, now, I don’t even have alternate contact info for 90 or so actual business contacts; a couple hundred actual friends; and even family.  You get to depend on Facebook like Ma Bell.  It’s gonna be there.

Well, that ain’t the case.  You have no rights.  I was a stubborn ignoramus.  I didn’t make sure I asked everyone for their email addresses.  Their phones.  Now, I’m locked out because I won’t submit to Facebook’s demand to watch me poop, metaphorically.

Why so secretive?

I’ve always been critical of Facebook’s internal security.  Because I’m not a freshman noob moron.  If you can maneuver around the angry and aggressive tweener brigades of wannabe bullies fouling the place up with profane, juvenile monkey-crap flinging best-of-no-show contests, you still have to deal with the reality that your personal and private information isn’t secure.  It’s not as common as it used to be that a company entrusted with client information would sell it on that market.  I know.  In four different, but somewhat entwined industries, I spent solid dollar on these lists.  Harder to score that way with eyes on it, legally speaking.

Facebook Thumbs Down Dislike

Worse, now, as you’ve seen with the Sony and now the US federal database hacks. For cryin’ out loud, everyone enduring the process of undergoing clearance background checks since 2000 have just had all of their credit and contact information stolen in a hack that is bigger anything before or after, but too big to really acknowledge without just passing out from shock.

We’re talk8ing psych backgrounds of intelligence officers.

And, you think we should even trust Facebook with even our name?  Let alone our financial information.

Papers Facebook Privacy Rape Nazi

Do yourself a favor and get everyone’s real contact information.

SAVE ALL THE DATA ON YOUR PROFILE.  I used mine as a journal.  A personal journal.  My captions.  My comments.  My “notes.”  All of it, gone, because Facebook DEMANDED to know everything about me.

There are alternatives.  Here, of course.  Use your email again.  Your phones.  Twitter (my profile).  Anything but Facebook.  The last social media company to grant your trust to.

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She Said Yes

The other day was my girl’s birthday. I’ve been planning a special day of it since Christmas. Kind of a gift to me, really. I took princess D to a special place to make a special request. We went to a friend’s private beach palace patio overlooking the crashing waves just below.

The hidden stairwell leading to the private beach off PCH in Malibu.

The hidden stairwell leading to the private beach off PCH in Malibu.

I took her down for a little time away from the L.A. we see every day. Nothing more than that, would seem. That was nice enough for both our sensibilities. A little picnic in paradise. Spending the early evening watching the sunset on one of the most beautiful beaches in Southern California.

She had no idea what was coming.

Waves crash on the rocks as the sun begins to set in Malibu.

Waves crash on the rocks as the sun begins to set in Malibu.

All of the chairs around the pool table and jacuzzi were wet from the regular barrage of crashing waves. As Poseidon’s drum rolled on, Dax stood nobly at ease by the rocky ledge. She smiled and kind of nervously trembled as I got down on a knee and gave her a little box along with my lifelong commitment to be her prince and her king.

She sai1d yes!

She said YES! Dax wearing a special engagement ring.

She said YES! Dax wearing a special engagement ring.

Dax wearing a Claddagh family heirloom engagement ring

Dax, wearing a Claddagh family heirloom engagement ring

A couple things.

First, the ring. It’s a Claddagh band. It’s a cultural concept dating back to the Roman Empire.  The hands represent friendship.  Together, they hold a heart, which represents love.  Atop the heart rests a crown, which represents loyalty. The Irish evolution of the symbol is the “Claddagh,” and dates back to the 1600’s.

How this mythological symbol found its way to Ireland and became the ring it is today is another thing altogether. There are some almost Marvel / DC-quality legends around its origin story, but truth — as often is — is richer than fiction.

Even though it has a distinct Outlander feel to it.

Galway of the 17th century was a small fishing village a wee bit off the war-paths of more historic Irish clans of the time. One of the nobles in the clan was also a jeweler. Richard Joyce. He designed the ring that became known as the “Claddagh” and it became culturally significant from the tribal trade system and later throughout the rest of Ireland.  As well.

The seemingly trivial fact that the ring had its origins in a fishing village made my presenting one to her amongst the crashing waves serendipitously significant.

These rings are traditionally given to a young lady by her father as a coming-of-age gesture. It is worn on the ring finger of the right hand with the heart pointing out.  This positioning signifies the girl’s youthful availability for courtship by young lads.  Only lads, though.  Dudes and Bros don’t generally pass the father’s kneecap test.  It’s an Irish thing.  Good damn thing we’re not in Ireland.

Anyway . . .

When father’s daughter takes a suitor, the ring is turned around so the heart points towards her own.

Then, if / when she accepts his proposal of marriage, the ring is moved to her ring finger on her left hand — again, the heart pointing outward. It is worn like that until the wedding day, when the ring is again turned around — once again, the heart pointing forever towards the blushing bride’s.

This particular ring was my design, which is nice, but, that’s still just a ring. What makes this particular band so special to me is that the gem set into the heart is the one on my mum’s original engagement ring given by my father in the summer of love, long ago. My parents are silently and respectfully invested and excited in this whole thing. Which brings me to my last point.

I am an adult who has lived through decades of marital eligibility without ever having come even close to giving my father’s name to another. Never found the right person at the right time. I’ve been with Dax for six years, now. I’ve known I had found my “soulmate” from shortly after meeting her at a memorable live music presentation in Santa Monica. It was always my intention, and hers, to live through this life and on together.

Doing it as it’s been done for generations and millennia is paying respect to all those we know and all those who came before us and facilitated my this time around.

Here are a couple other photos of the evening.

You may now kiss the bride-to-be.

You may now kiss the bride-to-be.

A beautiful shot of my princess looking up along the rocky cliffs:

You’d think “contemplating wisdom,” but this was before she knew whassup.

Dax is tucked away into the rocky coastline over the edge of our patio shelter from the angry Pacific:

Dax, camera-shy, in some shock, tucked into the coastline.

Dax, camera-shy, in some shock, tucked into the coastline.

Shortly after putting the ring on her finger, I rose and we posed for some selfies together in our new landmark location:

A kiss to the forehead of the promised queen.

A kiss to the forehead of the promised queen.

Another shot of us dwarfed by the Ocean behind us. Such a beautiful place, and this doesn’t even pay homage to the smell of the mist all around.

The happy couple of eternity framed by the mighty Pacific.

The happy couple of eternity framed by the mighty Pacific.

A photo with the world’s most beautiful sunset illuminating us:

Twilight illumination.

Twilight illumination.

And, just like that, the most important day of my young life came to a close and we made our way to the car and over the canyon hills. This is Dax standing on the sidewalk by our car on the Pacific Coast Highway:

What highways have sidewalks?

What highways have sidewalks?

And, as we prepare to drive away, a beautiful shot of the cascading shadows of the setting California sun dancing across the Pacific Coast Highway announcing the upcoming performance of the young moon and Summer stars:

Pacific Coast Highway Sunset close.

Pacific Coast Highway Sunset close.

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