The CMA’s Seem to be About One Thing – Cutting Off The Winners

By:

The Dude on the Right


I watched the CMA Awards last night, but in the end, figured I might have been
more entertained by what was originally set to record on my TIVO, namely "The
Biggest Loser," and "My Name is Earl" (thankfully I set up my VCR for some extra
taping).  I thought Garth was great, although from a couple of the country
bulletin boards I check into every now and then, the Garth haters are out in
full force, and even though Bon Jovi is getting wailed on for being there (oh,
how they forget the soundtrack to "Young Guns II") I finally figured out who
Jennifer Nettles is.  But for this podcast, it’s about Big and Rich who
probably got the most publicity thanks to Chevy and Target, and the fact that
for this year, and least for me, the CMA Awards were all about giving someone an
award and cutting the winners off before they could actually thank everyone and
enjoy the moment.  And until there is an apology, it will be a long time,
or at least a year, until I forgive them for how they cut short Alabama’s
acceptance speach.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





Sorry Neil, I Didn’t Buy Your CD Today.

By:

The Dude on the Right

I was faced with my first ever CD purchasing dilemma today.  I had heard of
the dilemma before, the fact that Sony music has been putting

copy protection
on some of their CD’s, but today it stared me right in the
face, at the f.y.e. store in my local mall, as I contemplated purchasing the
latest CD from Neil Diamond called "12 Songs."

It seems, unbeknownst to most
of the music purchasing public, you know, those who actually go to a store and
buy the CD with the sole intent of just listening to it on their CD player,
computer, or maybe iPod or other portable device, Sony has been encoding some
releases with a form of copy protection.  Pretty much if you put the CD in
your computer to play, the Sony player opens up, you accept their agreement
without reading it because that’s what you do, and in the background the CD
installs a copy-protection scheme on your computer so you can only rip the music
to the Windows protection scheme (sorry, no iPod installing for you), but even
worse, installs this copy protection scheme in what is known in the hacking
world as a
rootkit
on your computer.  Suddenly your computer is actually more
prone to getting a trojan horse virus, and you didn’t even plan on it. 
That’s the easiest way I can explain this issue, but for more, head to your
favorite search engine and type in the phrase "Sony rootkit" and you can
research it to your hearts content.

So, there I was, seeing that there were
actually two versions of the CD, one with 12 songs, and another with two bonus
songs, and just as I was ready to shell out the extra bucks for the two bonus
songs, I turned the CD over, and low and behold, in what really just looks like
your standard "To run the extra features on your computer you need" box, it
vaguely referenced the fact it would load this crap on my computer.  I knew
some work-arounds to this issue, but really, is it worth my time and frustration
to get Neil’s new music on my iPod?  And yes, I know I could actually save
money by just downloading it from the iTunes store, even with the two bonus
tracks, but  for me, there is something permanent about actually owning the
physical CD, a fact I realized after downloading the latest Bon Jovi CD from
iTunes rather than buying it.  I was torn, because I really wanted the CD,
but it really pissed me off with the Sony folks trying to force copy protection
on me, and not even in what was really a secure way.

So I didn’t buy the new
Neil Diamond CD.  I took a stand, and Neil, as much as I love ya, until
Sony gets rid of this copy protection crap (and supposedly from the latest news
the Sony folks are pulling the CD’s from the stores and re-issuing them without
the protection, but we’ll see), and will let me put it on my iPod, I’ve got to
take that stand, although it probably won’t matter much, and in the end, I’ll
probably just download the songs from iTunes and save a few bucks.

The record
companies, still, just don’t seem to get it.  They didn’t get it when file
sharing started, they didn’t get it when Napster exploded, and they sure as hell
don’t seem to be getting it now, especially by installing hidden software on
your computer that can actually make it more vulnerable to getting a Trojan
virus, or if you try to get rid of it, you actually f-up your computer. 
Maybe instead of just someone who is a great business person, the record folks
might actually try to put someone in authority who has a clue to the buying
public, and how technology is affecting them.  "Don’t steal our music," and
"Dammit, we want more money from Apple" seem to be the music company’s current
mantras, and all those mantras do is make the music buying public seek out the
same ways to get music they have been continually been fighting, by downloading
it free from someone who has figured out how to get around the copy protection
scheme, or at least from their friend next door.  Really, until the record
company folks actually figure out a way to stop someone, in the most simplest
terms of copying songs, from A:  Purchasing a legal version of a CD. 
2:  Playing that CD on their stereo.  III:  Having microphones in
front of their speakers, plugged into the "Mic In" on their computer sound card
and using any generic sound recording software to record each track. 
Quatro:  Making sure that the individual songs are in an mp3 format. 
5:  Sending those songs to two of their friends, who then send them to two
of their friends, who then send them to two of their friends, and so on, and so
on, and so on, the record companies have no shot at really controlling music
piracy.  But if they want my ten to twenty dollars to buy it, and I will,
all I really ask is that they don’t fuck up my computer, and they let me put it,
easily, on my iPod.

I’m stepping off of my soapbox now.  My next Blog
will be about the proposed size of Garth Brooks’ unit, not by my recollection,
but by something our crack reporter Trash witnessed at a press conference, and
our dudette, Whammy, who really loves Prince, especially since he’s back to
using his real name, that being, of course, Prince, and her scientific study on
how to figure out the size of a dude’s unit.  I’ll bet you will all be
waiting for that.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

The Edmund Fitzgerald, Cheerleaders in the Bathroom, the FCC, and Chicken Little.

By:

The Dude on the Right


This podcast is just a recap of some stories I found amusing and scary as last
week went on.  Here’s the link to the

entertaining Richard Roeper article
, a

scary article on the FCC
and their upcoming fine frenzy, I talk some about

Chicken Little
and The Wreck
of the Edmund Fitzgerald
, and I wonder what happened to
Nancy O’Dell
‘s eyebrows.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





I Missed My High School Reunion Again. Damn.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Last weekend was my 20 year high school reunion and I didn’t go, and the more I
think about it, I’m a little bummed I missed it.  The worst part about it,
as things ended up working out, in hindsight, I could have gone.

The first
hindrance in making any plans was that by the time I found out when the reunion
was, I had already put in a request for concert clearance for Bon Jovi. 
Jovi was playing in Chicago last Friday and Saturday, and when I put in the
request, I said either show would be fine.  Not knowing if I would get
clearance for Friday or Saturday, or get clearance at all, I couldn’t make
definite plans.  And in a case of unbelievable coincidences, I missed my 10
year reunion, because of, well, a

Bon Jovi
concert.  Anyway, my plan was that if I got clearance for the
Friday show, or didn’t get clearance at all, I would head back to the homestead
Saturday morning for the reunion on Saturday night, then head back to the Windy
City on Saturday.  As it turned out, I didn’t get clearance at all, so
could have gone, but something else got in the way.

In addition to this web
site, I also do some business consulting, and one of the companies I do work for
was having problems with this GPS unit they recently purchased.  They
wanted to use it to find manholes for a construction job they had, and got the
manhole coordinate files from the General Contractor.  I got it installed,
but something wasn’t right.  When I installed it at their office, I knew
that the manholes were anywhere from 30 to 40 miles away from their office, but
the GPS unit kept saying the manholes were about 500 miles north.  That put
them in Canada.  The G.C. files also contained a "coordinate system" file,
saying the coordinates were in something called a "Stateplane
Illinois East 1201" system, yet every time I entered that into the GPS unit, I
kept getting the same thing, manholes 500 miles away.  Not being a mapping
dude, I tried to do some investigating on the internet, but no matter what I
tried, the result was the same.  Then one of the computer dudes at the GC
said they had problems getting the right distance out of their office, but when
they were actually in the near vicinity of the manholes, it worked fine. 
Well, the company was really jumping to get this thing to work right, so I
agreed to go up to northern Illinois on the Saturday of the reunion, pretty much
cementing my missing the reunion.  The thing is, in my gut, I knew it
wouldn’t make a difference.  I figured something was wrong with either the
coordinate file or the coordinate system they said it was, but I went up to the
north shore of Illinois to do some testing anyway.  Sure enough, I get up
to the North Shore and the manholes are now around 470 miles north of me. 
Yup, according to the GPS, they are still up in Canada.

As things worked out,
on Monday I got a hold of the engineers who supplied the original coordinate
file, and low and behold, the coordinate system was in something called "UTM
NAD83 ZONE 16," or something like that, and the coordinates were in meters, not
feet, like the G.C. supplied file said they were.  I popped that into the
GPS unit, and yup, everything was right with the world, or at least the manholes
were right where they were supposed to be.

My problem, still to this day, is
that at times I don’t listen to myself.  Everything told me not to waste my
time heading to northern Illinois last Saturday, it wouldn’t make a difference,
and it didn’t.  No Bon Jovi clearance, the GPS unit still wouldn’t work
right, and in the end I could have gone to my reunion.  I will give the
folks that organized the reunion credit, though, because they put it together
even though my

high school closed down
, and they posted some pictures from the shindig, but
I have to say, that for the most part, after checking out the photos, I’m having
a hard time recognizing most of them.  Me, I look in the mirror and I don’t
look like I’ve aged a day after high school.  Well, alright, maybe a year
or two.  The hair is the same, I’ve still got the svelte body I had back
then, and figure I would have walked in the door with everyone saying something
like "Dude, you look exactly the same as I remember you!  What’s your
secret?" to which I would reply back "Who are you?"  All I know is I hope
Bon Jovi won’t be in Chicago the same day as my 25th year reunion because that
started the entire process of missing my reunions ten years ago.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

The Big Dicker, Howard Stern

By:

The Dude on the Right

Okay, the celebrating might have went  on a little longer than planned for
the White Sox winning the World Series, especially since all I’ve gotten done
publicly was a

podcast
with my take on the singing that went on during the series, but
behind the scenes, you cannot imagine the things I’ve gotten done.  But
enough of that, this blog is about what I’m calling "The Big Dicker."

I can
hear you saying something like "Dude, what’s ‘The Big Dicker,’ and how does it
relate to Howard Stern?"  If you’re a Howard fan and have visited
his site anytime of
late, I think you already know.  If you’re in an area of the country that
Howard Stern was never on your airwaves, you almost might be saying "Who’s
Howard?"  And if you’re a Stern hater, you’re probably saying something
like "Fine, Howard’s a big dick.  That’s no surprise to me."  In any
case, if you are 17 years or older and went to see an R-rated movie this weekend
(as was my case), or maybe are under 17 and bought a ticket for "Chicken Little"
and snuck into see "Jarhead," you may have gotten a little shock at one of the
commercials shown on the screen before the start of the flick.

Without ruining
the visual for you by my lame writing, you can go directly to
the
commercial with this link.
  And even if my writing doesn’t do it
justice, I still urge you to check it out.  In any case, the commercial
starts out with a simple starlit night.  Strauss’ "Also Sprach Zarathustra,
Op.30: Einleitung" is playing in the background, at least I believe that is the
piece (you might recognize it better as the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey"). 
Then the stars begin to re-align, into something that resembles, well, I’m 
naming it Peni Major, in other words, The Big Dicker.  As "Also Sprach
Zarathustra" gets to its climactic moment (yes, the pun is intended), Peni Major
begin to tremble a little and a shooting star bursts out from a place in the
night sky that one would expect it to burst in relation to The Big Dicker. 
And as the commercial is concluding, the wording is filled in at the bottom of
the ad: "Coming in January.  Howard Stern.  Only on Sirius…"
satellite radio that is.

Love him or hate him, know him or barely recognize
the name, there’s a pretty good chance you will start to see five words in tons
of places, in print, on TV, and little did I figure, at a commercial at a
gigaplex near me.  Those five words, in some combination, will be Howard,
Stern, Sirius, satellite, and radio.  Yup, the advertising blitz is
beginning as Howard Stern goes from the normal FM dial to the Sirius Satellite
Radio system.  For some quick disclosure, even if I really don’t need to,
I’m a big Howard fan, based part of my last car purchase on the fact the Sirius
was factory installed, and even own some Sirius stock.  But it’s an
important time for satellite radio, and Howard’s switching sides is part of that
importance.  My quick assessment goes like this:  Sure, both systems
have commercial free music, music purists argue which is better, but I see the
future of satellite radio’s success will be based on content other than music. 
Why?  That’s where the additional money comes in, in terms of additional
subscribers, signing on to hear someone they want to during the day, and maybe
more importantly, the addition of advertising revenue, because it’s only the
music that is commercial free on satellite, and both companies own up to that
fact.  The content has commercials, and commercial revenue is bumped up by
the quantity of listeners, and you can be damn sure both satellite radio
companies are aware of this.

Alright, enough sounding like I’m turning into a
college business class or an investment blog, I just found it pretty funny to
see Howard
Stern’s Sirius ad
, on the big screen, before I got ready to see "Jarhead,"
which is a pretty good movie by the way, and my review is to come in the next
couple of days.  In any case, be warned, you probably won’t be able to get
away from Howard Stern in the next month and a half, like it or not.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

The World Series and Why Can’t They Just Get the Anthem Folks to Sing

By:

The Dude on the Right


This is my last

podcast
, at least for this year until next year when it’s the Chicago Cubs’
turn (yea, right, like that’s gonna happen), on the super-duper, most-fabulous,
unbelievable, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, World Series that just went
down between the Chicago White Sox and the Houston Astros.  It was a great
series, except for the singing, and maybe it’s just my opinion, but I don’t
think that the Major League Baseballs, the NBA’s, the NFL’s, or even the hockey
folks, understand that we don’t really need to have someone famous singing the
National Anthem, just someone who can sing it well, or at least just enjoying it
(like a kids choir), at least at the playoff/finals time.  Most singers
can’t sing the Anthem, and we are constantly reminded of this, during these
championship games, so why can’t the league folks just grab the people who can
do a great job, and plug them in.  My favorite is the dude who does the
Cubs’ games,

Wayne Messmer
.  For baseball all I ask is a couple of things: 
Drop the singing of "America the Beautiful" at the

7th Inning Stretch
and go back to either "Take
Me Out to the Ballgame
" or a local favorite for the team, like the Houston
fans singing "Deep in the Heart of Texas."  Let the famous person butcher
these songs, at least we can have a laugh, as we, in Chicago, always laugh at
Mike Ditka singing at the Cubs game.  This is almost turning into a blog
rather than a podcast, but click on the podcast link and listen to it, because
my favorite World Series audio is from a news broadcast after game 4.  As
much as I make fun, I’d probably be doing the same, but it’s pretty funny, at
least for me.

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





All Real Postings Begin Again Tomorrow – The Partying is Coming to an End.

By:

The Dude on the Right

Well, the celebrating is over!  The Chicago White Sox have won the World
Series in one of the best World Series I have seen in a while.  Alright,
maybe it wasn’t the best, but with a team to cheer on, there was a vested
interest in the games.  That and the fact that my sister and her family
won’t be able to taunt me because their Astros, well, lost.  They could
have won, won any of the games, but they didn’t.  So I’ll just let this one
last thing fly: "Na
na na na.  Na, na, na, na.  Hey, hey, hey.  Goodbye.
"

So,
now, with baseball over in Chicago, there is only one thing to ask: 
Are you
ready for some football?
  Yup, all focus now turns to the Chicago
Bears, who tonight sit alone, atop the mighty NFC North Division, with the
phenomenal record of 4-3. 

Kyle Orton
is the man, or at least the first quarterback in a long time to
play seven consecutive games, and that gives me hope, especially since he seems
to get a little smarter with each game.

Anyway, enough about sports, what
about this place.  Well, this week I’ve got a lot planned to finish. 
There will be a movie review of "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang", a podcast on some last
thoughts about the World Series, a DVD review of "Kicking & Screaming," and
maybe also "Batman Begins," a written CD review of

Bon Jovi’s "Have a Nice Day,"
hopefully a CD review of the latest CD from 
"Story of the Year," and a movie review of either "Saw 2" or "The Weatherman,"
leading up to, hopefully, covering Bon Jovi at the United Center next weekend. 
And if that’s not enough, I came up with an idea for a new web site this
weekend, so even though you may not see it directly, I’ve got to put some
initial work into it.

So I’m off to get my audio clips ready for my podcast,
have some CD listening to do, and some writing to be posted later.  And if
you say, "But Dude, I’m tired of coming back here day after day only to find
nothing new," well, if you’ve got a

Yahoo!
,

Newsgator
,

MSN
, or an RSS
news reader
, you can always subscribe and get What’s New? when it’s new.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

All Real Postings Have Been Delayed Until the End of The World Series.

By:

The Dude on the Right

First, I have to admit, I did fall asleep and missed the ending of Game 3 of the
World Series last night.  I was tired to begin with, the game was all over
the place, and Aaron
Neville’s
version of "God Bless America" just put me to sleep.  So,
yea, I missed everything from the 7th inning slumber until my body woke up
somewhere around 3AM, the TV still on, and me wondering what happened.

In any
case, as much as I would like to see the White Sox win the World Series in
Chicago on Saturday night, the person in me who wants to get back into a normal
groove sort of just hopes the Sox sweep the Astros tonight, and I won’t even
taunt my sister
and her family
much if that happens.  Also, from the way things have
been going, it seems God is on the White Sox’ side, and definitely not on my
side to win the lottery.

I will say this, no matter what anyone says, and with
some respect for the Astros, it’s been a hell of a World Series so far, but it
just seems the White Sox have been able to capitalize on nearly every break they
have gotten, whether a mistake by the other team, or a wacky call.  The
Astros, last night, had a home run that wasn’t a home run, but nobody made that
big deal about it, and who would have thought that Oswalt would give up five
runs in an inning, but for me, with everything that has happened for the White
Sox so far in the post-season, it seems that God and his cronies of Baseball
Gods want the White Sox to win the World Series.   Either that, or
they are in the midst of the cruelest joke He and his He’s could pull – let the
White Sox win the first three games, then shift every break to the Astros for
four games and let the Sox go down in history as the first team in Major League
Baseball to lose a World Series after winning the first three games of a seven
game series.  Two groups of people would love that:  Cubs’ fans, and
Astros’ fans.  And to top all of that, they would also probably not have me
win the Mega Millions which is now up to $147 million.

And I guess lastly, I’m
hoping the White Sox win the World Series tonight, simply so that no one in
America will have to suffer with the choice of singers Fox is pulling out to
sing our "National
Anthem
" and "God
Bless America
."  Most every ballpark or city would have their go-to
guy, or gal, to sing these songs, and they are fantastic at it.  In
Chicago, most no one does it better than

Wayne Messmer
, and I’d like to also think that Houston has one of their own. 
Both the "Anthem" and "God Bless" don’t really need to be sung by someone
famous, just someone who does a fabulous job.  The TV folks still haven’t
figured that out.  If I can get the gumption, I just might also try a
podcast about this singing stuff, but I suppose we’ll just have to see if I can
get back in my groove.

I’ve got to go now, Game 4 is starting, I want to get
this posted tonight, and if He and his He’s want this series to continue, I
guess, in continuing with my prayers for this World Series time,  I now
pray "Go ahead, but if that’s your will, at least let the Astros win two and get
it back to Chicago and let the Sox win there, or at least let me win the lottery
on Friday night.  $147 million would surely drown my sorrows if you really
want the Sox to go down in history in the wrong way."

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

A Review of Bon Jovi’s “Have A Nice Day” and World Series Musings.

By:

The Dude on the Right


A review of Bon Jovi’s latest CD, "Have A Nice Day," is
my
latest podcast
, and it’s probably a train-wreck, so, I hope, like most
disasters, you can’t help but listen to the entire thing.  My talking, I
believe, is over-modulated (meaning slightly distorted), but I think the music
sounds alright.  I’ve got to work on that a bit.  I also talked some
about the World Series and some of the celebrities that showed up at

The Joan
, since I’m pretty sure I figured a decent way to get audio from my
TIVO to be able to be included in a podcast.  The questions are still out
there, though, like
is Bernie Mac
really a huge White Sox fan
, and how do you really pronounce Dan
Castellaneta?

As always, I welcome your comments.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Download and Listen Here Subscribe Here





I Still Wonder What God Has In Store – The World Series or the Lottery

By:

The Dude on the Right

Well right now it seems that God is granting my prayer that the White Sox win
the World Series because, well, I didn’t win the
Mega Millions game on
Friday and the

White Sox took Game 1
on Saturday night.  Since no one won the jackpot,
though, I told God this morning that he could still let Houston win the Series
as long as I win the estimated $128 million jackpot coming up on Tuesday. 
I guess we’ll see which way God is leaning after tonight’s (Sunday) game, as
well as Tuesday’s game, and if I win the big money on Tuesday night.  I
can’t help but hold my breath either way, and I’m not re-taunting my sister’s
family until at least Tuesday night to see exactly which way God wants to take
this.

In the meantime, this weekend, I almost got all of my podcasting
connections working like I want them to, I just have one more thing to work on,
and that’s trying to come up with an easy way to get some
TIVO sound into my iTunes
library because I’ve got some audio from the World Series Game 1 that really
needs to be revisited, and I’m not talking about Liz Phair’s version of "God
Bless America," because that stood out on its own, and sadly, not in a good way
(don’t get me wrong, I love Liz Phair, wish I would have gone to
Oberlin College back in
the day just to maybe hang with her, but is it really a good idea to put someone
who notoriously has been known for not being the most comfortable in front of a
crowd, and plopping her in front of 41,000+ people who aren’t really fans of
hers, as well as the thought of millions on TV?).

Anyway, the Bears won this afternoon :-), the Browns lost
:-(, Doom pretty much sucked,
and that Snake Plissken, I mean
Kurt Russell horse movie
was really enjoyable.  I’m settling in for Game 2 as I write this, and the
weather has gone to shit here in Chicago, but not nearly as gone to shit as
Florida is about to get.  The baseball folks seem to think they can get the
game in, and with the money involved, they probably will, but it might be a long
night, hopefully with a White Sox win, unless, of course, God has the intention
of me winning $128 million on Tuesday.  Only God knows right now, I just
hope he’s kinda got Hurricane Wilma on cruise control and doesn’t let something
slip by in the World Series or the lottery.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!