September 2010


pop culture&SPORTS25 Sep 2010 11:10 pm

okay, so last week dealt me a miserable 7-9 result on my picks, leaving me at 17-14 for the season so far… we’ll see if i can do better this week…

Chiefs over 49ers: Niners keep eeking out defeats.
Pats over Bills: Fitzpatrick not the answer either.
Saints over Falcons: Marching on and on.
Steelers over Bucs: It had to end sometime guys.
Giants over Titans: Young. Collins. If only we had a young Collins.
Lions over Vikes: M-I-S-S… ing the mark another week.
Ravens over Browns: Bad Offense + Good Defense = LOSS.
Bengals over Panthers: At least it wasn’t a run away victory.
Texans over Cowboys: Ride them Cowboys.
Rams over Skins: Let’s try running the ball.
Eagles over Jags: Kolb sobs. Vick remains the pick.
Chargers over Seahawks: Carroll-It’s a learning experience.
Cards over Raiders: See Saw up again for Derek.
Colts over Broncos: The higher they are, the farther they fall.
Fins over Jets: Jets bottled up.
Packers over Bears: Not there yet for the Bears.

so, a couple risky picks… we’ll see how it all works out…

peace… love… bdg…

pop culture&television22 Sep 2010 11:21 pm

and the week goes on… and today we’ll talk about Wednesday’s lineup… i’m running a little behind today, so not much time for a long intro… let’s just dive right in, shall we?

WELCOME BACK: WEDNESDAY…

the first welcome back goes out to the ABC Comedy Block… well, most of it… while i never quite understood why they didn’t package Better Off Ted in this time block, it’s good to see The Middle, Modern Family, and Cougar Town return for what are likely to be strong second seasons… they’re joined by… well, we’ll get there eventually…

also returning are Criminal Minds, which i enjoy, but have stopped watching regularly, Law and Order: SVU, which i haven’t watched for at least two seasons, Hell’s Kitchen and Survivor, which i’ve never watched, and Lie to Me, which i think comes from a different night, but should continue to do pretty well… i enjoy the quirkiness of Dr. Lightman and, without the FBI involved, he’s sure to go off the rails more and more frequently… the concern here is that it will go too far and jump the shark…

NEW: WEDNESDAY…

the headlines here read “J.J.Abrams” in support of his new series, Undercovers… it seems to me this might be season six of Alias without the overarching storyline, but it may drift into the territory of a Chuck that takes itself too seriously… the premise surrounds a married couple who happen to both be spies with intersecting missions…

Hellcats, or Bring it On, the TV version also debuts this season, starring High School Musical’s Ashley Tisdale… um… okay, and rounding out the Comedy Block is a new show that i know nothing about other than it’s called Better With You and i’m guessing it has something to do with being married… maybe newlyweds…

Finally, the ten o’clock hour boasts three new lawyer shows: Law and Order: LA, a.k.a. Crime Solving with the Stars, The Whole Truth, or “i see your Terrence Howard and call with Rob Morrow and Maura Tierney”… and The Defenders, which pairs Jim Belushi and Jerry O’Connell as Vegas-based defense attorneys… i’m most interested in Defenders, but i wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see all three charged with contempt and thrown out…

MOVED OR M.I.A.: WEDNESDAY…

chopped from the comedy block are Hank, which didn’t even make a half dozen episodes, and ScrubsHuman Target moved, while Mercy, Eastwick, The Beautiful Life, and Happy Town all went the way of the Jay Leno Show… i guess Wednesday isn’t the best night of television…

That’s all i’ve got for Wednesdays… we’re officially over the hump… tomorrow’s lineup features another comedy block and not much else… actually, i may be able to bundle the rest of the days into just one more entry… we’ll see…

peace… love… bdg…

pop culture&television21 Sep 2010 11:19 pm

moving on to Tuesday nights which offers less debuts and more returning shows… as for last night, i’ve only seen the HIMYM premiere and the debut of The Event… so far so good… HIMYM wasn’t the funniest it’s been, but it had a few moments and The Event, well, let me just say how much i enjoyed the “Boomtown” approach to storytelling… and without further delay… here’s Tuesday’s outlook…

WELCOME BACK: TUESDAY…

a hearty welcome back to Glee, which has been more hit than miss over the last half of the first season… yes, the plots are cheesy and the dialogue tends to be pretty lame, but it’s all about the music and the arrangements are outstanding… shut up and embrace it… next, Parenthood, which boasts a fabulous cast and a rather touching premise… it’s full of funny and sentimentalism… this one actually premiered last week and it was a happy surprise… also returning is The Good Wife, which i’ve been meaning to watch, but haven’t… is it any good? other notable returns i suppose is the NCIS block and a few shows on the CW… that’s all i have to say about those…

NEW: TUESDAY…

debuting not this week, but next, is No Ordinary Family… i can’t say that i’ve heard all that much about this one, but everything i have heard has led me to believe that i’m going to like this one… the best description i can come up with is that it’s a live action version of The Incredibles… which sounds totally awesome… plus the cast looks pretty solid, too…

also in the running is Detroit 1-8-7, which doesn’t even light up any blips of interest on my radar… it’s basically a cop show shot like The Office… or maybe COPS, but keying in on the homicide department…

and finally, FOX is following Glee with what they hope is a dynamic duo of quirky comedy… Raising Hope, from the creator of My Name Is Earl and Yes, Dear, follows the story of a baby born to a trailer park dad and a mom who just got locked up in prison… and Running Wilde, which promises to follow the vein of the beloved Arrested Development, even featuring Will Arnett alongside of Keri Russell… and i could have sworn the girl from AD was in the original pilot, but i could be wrong… anyway, there’s some promise here, especially with the sweet place in the lineup…

MOVED OR M.I.A.: TUESDAY…

well we know that LOST is no more… or is it still wandering around the island somewhere… and The Forgotton is Christian Slater’s second straight one and done… and unfortunately, Better Off Ted met its demise after a solid second season of being funnier than The Office… but my real question is: What happened to V?… is that just debuting in January? or did it get tossed out? I’ve not yet seen an episode so i can’t say that it really matters either way, but i thought i saw a lot of mention of it from folks who went to Comic Con…

and that should wrap up Tuesday… same questions as yesterday… what shows are you looking forward to… what shows did you enjoy… what shows did i miss…

i’ll be back tomorrow with a look at Wednesday’s line up…

peace… love… bdg…

pop culture&television20 Sep 2010 11:01 pm

Alright… it’s the beginning of a new television season… can you smell it in the air?… i’m going to try to stay ahead of the game here and preview some of what’s coming back, what’s debuting, and what i’m watching throughout this fine premiere week… as always, a plethora of shows clogs up the DVR, and i expect a handful to be wiped from our memories within six weeks… since, today is Monday, we’ll start with Monday…

WELCOME BACK: MONDAY…

returning to my television on Monday nights are How I Met Your Mother, Castle, and Chuck… first, HIMYM as the insiders abbreviate it… half hour comedy which is basically the modern version of Friends… Neil Patrick Harris, Jason Siegel, and a great ensemble cast… at it’s best, it is the funniest thirty minutes on television… unfortunately, those moments have gotten fewer and further between… i’m really hoping that this season proves to be a return to form… next, Castle… Nathan Fillion plays the lead, a mystery writer in the vein of Stephen King meets Dannielle Steele perhaps, who tags along with potential love interest, a detective… it’s usually good for a few laughs and an interesting storyline… low commitment, but a lot of fun… and finally Chuck… i clearly remember reading this premise a few years back and discarding it offhandedly, expecting it to last no more than five episodes… but there’s an uncanny charm about the cast and the stories, though rather unbelievable, are engaging at times and works pretty well… this season promises to unveil the identity of Chuck’s mom and all the mystery surrounding that situation…

the follosing shows are back, but i don’t really care because i don’t watch them: House, 90210, Gossip Girl, and Dancing with the Stars

NEW: MONDAY…

so there are four and a half new hours of television slated for Monday nights that caught my eye… first up, LoneStar on FOX, which features Jon Voight and some guy playing a con man with a couple wives and a life fraught with lies… it seems this has mixed reviews, but at best it’s going to be an interesting character study, at worst, it’s going to be this year’s Smith or My Own Worst Enemy

next up, the most hyped show of the year… The Event… as far as i can tell, this is the closest thing to a LOST successor in any lineup… i don’t know too much about it, but it seems to be a serialized drama with lots of twists and turns and unexpectedness… and it too, has mixed reviews… and as much as i’m intrigued by it, i’m also concerned because it’s on NBC and we know how well they do with these kinds of shows… still, fingers crossed for some solid story-telling…

also on NBC, the potential 24 replacement, Chase… this show apparently follows the adventure of a really good US Marshall as she, you guessed it, chases a fugitive… i don’t think there are any one-armed men, but we can all hope for an inspiring speech from the girl playing the Tommy Lee Jones character as we follow this “hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse”… oddly enough, Sucre from Prison Break is in this as well, but i think he’s on the other side of the law this time… i don’t have the highest of expectations on this one, but it may be worth checking out…

and then, there’s Hawaii Five-0… a series reboot, with Jin from LOST and a whole new attitude… i’m entusiastic about this show simply because the cast looks good and it’s sure to be a silly time of action and cop drama… a good throwaway hour if nothing else… on a side note, up until earlier today, i’ve never seen an episode of the original series, but i watched one called Samauri and it was pretty good… not that it has anything to do with this new series, but still…

finally, there’s a new half-hour comedy… Mike & Molly features two fluffy leads going through the dating process… he’s from Yes, Dear and she’s from Gilmore Girls and i don’t expect that this show is going to be around long enough to change either of those reference points… but while it lasts, it might be good for a chuckle or two…

MOVED OR M.I.A.: MONDAY…

just a few notes for those scratching their heads looking for the following shows… Big Bang Theory has moved to Thursday nights… Heroes is dead, done, and over, and i’m pretty sure neither Sylar nor the Cheerleader can bring it back again… also cancelled: Accidentally on Purpose – you know the sitcom with Jenna Elfman and that dude that’s half her age… Lie to Me moved to Wednesday nights, The Good Guys to Fridays, and Trauma… i guess that was cancelled, too… i never watched it…

So that’s Monday… what shows are you looking forward to… what shows did you enjoy… what shows did i miss…

i’ll be back tomorrow with a look at Tuesday’s line up…

peace… love… bdg…

MUSIC&reviews20 Sep 2010 04:42 pm

Well, this didn’t start as such a make up post, but one thing led to another, and i just never got around to finishing it up and getting it posted… here i am though, and i have other things to talk about, but i want to get these taken care of first… the following releases are from the weeks of August 24th and September 2nd (i’m not sure what happened on the 31st)… anyway, quick as a rabbit or something else that’s kind of quick… off we go…

Anberlin – Dark is the Way, Light Is a Place

i’m always torn on Anberlin… it’s not that i don’t enjoy their albums, but i often find myself wondering what exactly is the “big deal” that makes them such media darlings and fan favorites… well, this album finds them treading similar ground musically and the tone is rather the same… i’m not sure it’s anything revolutionary or even particularly moving, but it’s slick production and solid vocals and i can’t help but like it… fans will continue to swoon, critics will continue to rave, and i’ll just continue to enjoy them… Pray Tell is my favorite of the bunch, if you care, love the rhythm to it…

Young Joshua – Thinking Out Loud

Young Joshua is the latest signee to Cross Movement Records, which specializes in that bass first, gritty, take-it-to-tha-streetz type rap music… and YJ fits right into the mix, delivering an album that suits the label and serves the fanbase… (yes, the label has a fanbase because it was started by the group and echoes with their previous albums to this day)… this is a fine album if it’s what you’re looking for and it features a lot of guests including one that sounds like Fat Joe, but certainly isn’t Fat Joe… i’d recommend tickling through all the track previews to see if it’s your thing… personally, i don’t see myself giving it much more attention than i already have…

Jeremy Camp – We Cry Out

color me skeptical… well, i’m always skeptical… especially when one of the top names in the industry takes a quick detour from the clearly mapped out path of creating a new version of the same album every 15 months or so to do a worship album… especially when he’s already done a worship album and the press materials all but ignore that fact, calling this his first worship album… i’m just saying… and all that said, color me won over… at least on this album… at least this time around… We Cry Out is a good selection of songs that definitely play to Camp’s strengths as a singer and for a little bit there, you kind of forget that you’re listening to an album at all…

Natalie Grant – Love Revolution

well, being a mom hasn’t aged Natalie Grant a bit… in fact, some of these tracks rival the pop teens that all the kids are crazy about these days… of course, she does delve into territory that none of those acts can go, hitting more serious themes and laying down vocals that are simply unfathomable for anyone else… to be honest, girl pop isn’t generally my thing, but Natalie brings it once again and you can do nothing but appreciate how amazing it all is…

Chris August – No Far Away

of all the albums covered here today, this is the only one that surprised me… seriously… and yes, a large part of it is because i had no idea who Chris was, but hey, another big part of it was because it’s really good… he’s got a sense of soul to him that is reminiscent of Jimmy Needham at his best and at times i almost expect to see Michael Buble listed as the artist… the production brings to mind the likes of Maroon 5, Jason Mraz, or similar popular artists… he’s really got a nice tone and, as a debut, this really sets the stage for a pretty promising career… i’d guess he’s pretty entrancing live, too… definitely worth checking out… i really dig Want to Be Real

Press Play – NY2LA

count me among the number of those surprised that a second Press Play album was greenlit at all… i wasn’t all that impressed with the first one and – no shocker – i’m not terribly impressed here either… i don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but i found this one rather annoying… kind of like if Jump 5 grew up and continued to make the same kind of music…

Israel Houghton & New Breed – Love God, Love People

oh yeah, this one came out on the 31st… so, i wasn’t all that impressed with this one at first blush… i’m not sure it will grow on me, but i can’t help but appreciate the talent here, even if it doesn’t quite capture my attention at the moment…

also of interest… Casting Crowns released a live CD/DVD package as is their custom…. the Showdown dropped Blood in the Gears which is another metal outing that, based on the clips that i’ve heard doesn’t grab me quite as much as their previous two outings… and Sivion, from Deepspace5, released Butterfly Sessions which appears to be another fresh batch of organically-grown rhymes and rhythms… again, that’s based on clips, since i don’t quite have the sway of days gone by…

okay, that’s all for now… more on other things in a bit…

peace… love… bdg…

SPORTS18 Sep 2010 10:17 pm

okay, so last week i went 10-5 with my picks and 3-0 with my fantasy teams… pretty good start… and, if you consider that the lions got robbed of a victory, i was even better… this week, i plan to do better still having gotten a week under my belt and a better idea of how the teams are playing this year… and, yes, unfortunately, i realize that the Bills are playing like, well, the Bills… such is life… i’m going to go ahead and do headlines again this week because i thought that worked pretty well and i didn’t get any complaints… off we go…

Packers over Bills: Are you better than an NFL QB? In Buffalo you are.

Vikes over Fins: The Silver Fox Rides Again.

Chiefs over Browns: Jamaal Fades ‘Em All.

Cowboys over Bears: Midway Monsters Lose Battle of Dysfunction.

Falcons over Cards: The Two Lives of… Mister Anderson.

Panthers over Bucs: Rushing and Not Much Moore.

Eagles over Lions: Vick Makes a Case to Start Somewhere.

Ravens over Bengals: Dynamic Do-No.

Titans over Steelers: Former Duck is Covered.

Seahawks over Broncos: But They Probably Won’t Be Eligable Next Year.

Rams over Raiders: Someone had to Win.

Texans over Redskins: “If Only We Had a Runstopper.”

Pats over Jets: Slouch Rebounds, The Boys Are Back.

Jags over Chargers: San Diego Still Allergic to September Wins.

Colts over Giants: Big Brother Is Laughing.

Saints over 49ers: RATS! 0-2.

Now i should go check on my lineups…

peace… love… bdg…

SPORTS11 Sep 2010 11:34 pm

Okay, so time is really thin, so, i’m just going to run through tomorrow’s games lickety split and i’ll try to do better in the coming weeks… below are my predictions and a potential headline for the morning after…

Bucs over Browns: “So there was a football game…”

Bills over Fins: “Bills, Spills, and Thrills”

Pats over Bengals: “81 + 85 < ‘The Other 81’ + 83”

Colts over Texans: “Manning Cuts Deep in the Heart of the Texans”

Jags over Broncos: “Changes in the Garrard”

Falcons over Steelers: “Turns Out, We DO Need a Running Game”

Titans over Raiders: “Campbell’s Soup is Good, Team Still Not”

Giants over Panthers: “Turns Out, You DO Need More than a Running Game”

Lions over Bears: “Cutler, Martz: Yes, the Offense is Still Under Wraps”

Cards over Rams: “Matt Who?”

Packers over Eagles: “Nice Job, Kolb”

49ers over Seahawks: “There’s Gold in That Team Yet!”

Skins over Cowboys: “McNabb’s ‘O’ Makes Up for Fat Albert’s No”

Ravens over Jets: “Jets Overcome by Professors of Hard Knocks”

Chiefs over Chargers: “King of the Cassel”

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&reviews11 Sep 2010 12:29 pm

i have a lot of books to talk about, but i’m only going to talk about one right now… and i have a lot of music to talk about, but that’s going to wait… and i have the first week of football to talk about, but i’ll get to that later today (i hope)… i do think i’ll pick the Saints to beat the Viking this week though (har har)… anyway, first things first… a quick take on a new book from a familiar name…

now playing: Live Like We’re Dying by Kris Allen

Outlive Your Life – Max Lucado

i think it was Maximus Something-or-Other who, in the movie Gladiator, said something to this effect: “Our actions on earth, echo in eternity”… as you can probably tell, i’m not the biggest fan of the movie, but the quote stuck with me… and it came back to me over and over again as i read through the latest book from Max Lucado… (and not because of the Max-Maximus similarity)… Outlive Your Life suggests that we can life our lives in such a way as to have impact on generations to come, long after we’ve passed on to eternity… the book opens with a short tale of one man’s lasting impact on a thriving, but uncharted island and unfolds to reveal simple actions to help mold our lives into an influential legacy…

As with all Lucado books – he is pretty much a brand name at this point – the book is inspiring, easy to read, and filled with nuggets of wisdom, insights from everyday encounters (like coming home from the grocery store with bags full of food), but not the needed bread that inspired the trip… it’s all very practical and attainable goals, such as coming out of your shell, treating others with equal respect, and stand up for those in need… and, with a conversational tone, it reads quickly and enjoyably… one thing i found odd though… the opening “fable” described a thriving island near to an island full of despair, poverty, and hopelessness (i suppose similar to Haiti and the Dominican Republic)… it would’ve made sense to wrap that around at the end of the book to explain the responsibility of wealth and the compassion the prosperous should show to those in need as that was the point of the book…

anyway, it’s another good piece of advice from an author who clearly sees things from a unique perspective… a fun read…

peace… love… bdg…

Bookshelf&reviews08 Sep 2010 10:08 am

I’ve got a lot of books to talk about this week, some due to agreements on specific dates and some simply because i finished them recently… today are two inspirational books from Andy Andrews… i reviewed The Noticer a while back and was pretty impressed by his way with words… the following two books, The Boy Who Changed the World and The Butterfly Effect are variations of the same theme – that our decisions and actions make a difference in the grand scheme of things – but they’re intended for different audiences… anyway, enough chit-chat… off we go…

now playing: Butterfly Sessions by Sivion

The Boy Who Changed the World

This is the kid’s version of the story… by the way, i believe the story was at least referenced in The Noticer, but i could’ve been familiar with it from somewhere else… Anyway, the story is, as expected, about a boy who changed the world… Norman Borlaug to be exact… maybe… i read this to the littles and they both really enjoyed the story – not sure how much of the message came through, but they laughed everytime the opening sentence repeated… “I want to tell you about the boy who changed the world.”

you see, the story repeats somewhat as Andrews explains the story of the boy who influenced the boy who changed the world… and, because of this influence, the title is passed to the previous generation… Norman changed the world, but Henry changed Norman, so Henry changed the world (and so on and so forth)… the overall point is that everyone is important and every decision you make, or action you take, has a greater effect on the world at large, than you could ever imagine… the boys loved this book and the illustrations are imaginative and immersive (even on the small screen of my iPod touch)… i definitely recommend this book to provide young ones some perspective on life in a fun and enjoyable way…

The Butterfly Effect

and now onto the adult version of the tale… this one includes blood and gore and bayonets and bravery just this side of insanity… yes, The Butterfly Effect also shares the story of Norman who, by the way, developed a method of growing corn and wheat in disparate climates and remote locations during the 1940s, in the process saving as many as two billion people from starvation, but this book opens with a different premise…first a tale of science fiction turns proven science, then a tale from the Civil War… the tale of Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the Union Army and a bold stand on the outskirts of Gettysburg…

The lineage of his decision’s effect is traced through history as is that of Norman Borlaug and once again, the reader is faced with the bold statement, Everything you do in life is important… every choice you make affects generations to come… (especially if you happen to follow the lineage of Borlaug or Chamberlain, which probably makes Kevin Bacon and his six degrees of seperation from everyone incredibly important in the grand scheme of things)… anyway, it’s an interesting perspective, presented in an intriguing light… the illustrations are, again, stunning, and it’s a quick, but inspiring read…

both of these books are available pretty much everywhere, including my seasonal reading list on Amazon.com… later this week, i’ll be discussing more books (and other things too, but this is all about books)… i finished reading books by Matthew Paul Turner, Ted DeKker, Lewis Carroll, and on Friday, i’ll talk about the latest release from Max Lucado… which i’m reading now and have a lot of ground to make up to be ready in time… until then…

peace… love… bdg…