Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

20 August 2007

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Rips Up Verona, NY

This past Friday your favorite Don and his ole lady hit the I-90 here in Western NY. Destination was Turning Stone Resort and Casino to check out Big Bad Voodoo Daddy live in concert. I hadn't been to Turning Stone since 1994 and apparently our Indian Friends have been busy making a once small casino into a resort complex with an Event Center and a special section for select concerts as well. Most know that I am not a live music/concert fan, but after incredible show earlier this summer from the Cherry Poppin' Daddies I decided the 107 mile trip to Verona NY wasn't that bad.

Upon arriving we quickly found out where we had to be and was surprised by the venue. If you have seen the movie (great flick that is) "Swingers", towards the end of the movie when the Fellas go see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at The Derby in Hollywood, the venue was like that but bigger and more cramped. The trade-off was the fact despite getting a kink in your neck from being turned sideways, every seat offered a fantastic few of the band. Our table seated 8 so it was Bren and I, another couple from Corning NY and Swing Dancers. The rest were blue hairs. The couple that were swing dancers were cool and I enjoyed talking with them. I got to use my knowledge of retro swing music and pass along some bands for them to check out. They were definitely cool to sit across from.

The show itself was incredible. Of everything, I only had one complaint! BBVD didn't play as long as I thought they would. I would say the Fellas were on stage for 80 to 90 minutes then called it a show. Brenna did mention the fact they are a high energy band which makes sense, but I was thinking they would play around 2 hours. Did that make the show suck? Hell no. Did it turn me off? Nope. So lets get on with it!

The show kicked off with the boys hitting the staged dressed in slick sharp suits and some were rockin' the classic Godfather/Fedora type hats. As they hit the stage they started to get after it with what seemed like a warm up jam session. During this time lead singer and band leader Scotty Morris (more on him in a bit), introduced a few of the band members while they were all getting warmed up. I forget what song they opened with, only because the second song played is arguably my second favorite song of all time "You and me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight". Incredible to hear live!

As the show went on, Morris made sure all the Fellas in the band got some solo spot light time and the accolades they deserved. I think doing things like that is really cool. From the Baritone Sax guy to the trumpet guy to the trombone buy to the bass guy to the piano guy to the drum guy etc. they all got their individual time in the light to shine. And shine they did! Matter of fact, it didn't take me long to realize that every member of the band was fucking cool. There wasn't a fucking square cat on that stage anywhere. And while I am not into the gushing of celebrities and such if I could be anyone else I wouldn't be Bill Gates or Donald Trump or David Wright (well maybe David Wright) or Michael Vick, I'd be Scotty Morris front man of BBVD. Everything about this guy is fucking cool. From his movements, singing, actions, how he handles himself and the band etc., he fucking rules. And if anyone wants to say I might have a disturbing man-crush on Scotty Morris...I might be hard pressed to argue it. But hey, at least I'm man enough to admit it! Or dumb enough, time will tell I suppose.

Like with CPD earlier this summer, BBVD played their music and left the artistic creativeness elsewhere. They played their music the way we have all heard it before and loved it. They didn't dick with the music or tweak the lyrics. It was Big Bad Voodoo Daddy at their finest. Another thing that was great about the concert was that the Fellas in the band all looked like they were having a great time. I've been to concerts where the band just looks like they are going through the motions until they can get off stage. BBVD looked like they wanted to be there and were having a great time at playing. It makes it more enjoyable seeing that as a fan and a patron they are down with throwing on a good show as well.

Every song they played I knew of course, except one which was a new song. Brenna while not a big fan like me knew all the songs as well just from my heavy BBVD rotation in the CD player. I give her credit though for allowing me to indulge in my Retro Swing obsession. Its only a matter of time though before she uses it to guilt me into a night of lame French music at Starry Nights Cafe here in Rochester. You'll all know when that happens when you read the blog titled "Your Don gets his balls clipped on a Starry Night".

The ended much too soon for me, as I could have sat there all night listening. After several rounds of hearty applause, people started to file out. The merchandise table
was packed, so I decided if I wanted anything, its easier to go online and get it. After about 10 minutes the band all came out to greet the fans and sign autographs on CD's, shirts, tickets, posters etc. I thought it was a cool thing to do. Once I got a glimpse of all the Fellas, Bren and I headed out. Still had a 107 mile trip back to the friendly confines of my suburban based crime family local.

It was a great show and I was glad we made the roadie. I know that like CPD, the next time BBVD are anywhere near my location, I'll be in the audience.

16 August 2007

Soccer Sucks Part 33

You know, its been far too long since the Don talked about Soccer. Granted, I hate Soccer with a passion, but that doesn't mean I don't like sharing and talking about my disdain for the horrible game.

I believe I'm pushing around a year or so since my last Soccer Post. It was about the Rochester Rhinos losing their championship game or something. As usual, my pal and Soccer friend Mark went to the Rhinos Fan Forum and posted a link to my blog which lead to me to getting ripped apart by the members of said forum. Of course your favorite Don, being the head of a powerful Crime Family isn't about to let some jagoff's just besmirch his good name, so you know I had to make another appearance there to defend myself. This was the second time I had to do such. This time however, as the thread about my blog degenerated, the Don was banned indefinitely by some asscan named Spinning Webs. Apparently this scumbag is a member of the Stampede and a big time ass rammer errrrr Soccer Fan. I give this douche credit for sticking up for his game, I respect that. I was doing the same in regards to my opinion as well as baseball when SW started to attack that as well. I know Mark likes to empty his can of gasoline all over the place and drop a match leaving me to have to deal with the fallout, but these Soccer Fans just take things too far. I mean Spinning Webs is a 40 something year old dude who suspended me from the site for the reason "Because I Can". Really? I can do a lot of things too. I could fuck his mom if I wanted...but I don't do it you know? Before that, he slapped my peepee because I was "insulting another user". Riiiiiight. I had a thread where about 18 Soccer Honks all talking shit about me, when when I responded...I was insulting? Look, I'm actually a moderator of a forum. I can understand certain actions and I can pretty much guess what causes other actions. When it comes to Spinning Webs, it doesn't take Freud to figure this guy out. Dude likes Soccer. Dude likes to make fun of others and their favorite sports, however when he gets made fun of and Soccer gets made fun of he can't take it. His name is Spinning Webs. He takes an internet forum way to seriously. He uses his moderator power to "strike back" at other users. Its quite simple to see that dude used to get his ass beat on a daily basis throughout his school years. Unfortunately for him, he was one of the very few who despite fighting everyday never developed fighting skills to make people leave him alone. On top of it all, he is a finok. If he wasn't such an asshole I'd feel sorry for him. But all that lead up to his high standing as a stampede member and first rate jack-off Rhinos Forum Moderator. Next time I stop by to "visit" your moms Web, I'll be sure to stop down in the basement and say hello.

As far as my current take on Soccer, now that the frenzy over Posh Spice moving to the U.S. has died down, I figured it was a good time to talk about her husband, Soccer Spice Dave Beckham The Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS signed dude to a 250 million dollar contract to leave Europe and come play Soccer here in the States...where we don't give a rats ass about it. Look, Soccer is not going to work in America. We have too many other sports that we all like better! Sure, more kids might play Soccer than any other sport combined, but that's because not everyone can play real sports growing up. This is why the minute a kid gets out of High School, their level of care about Soccer ceases to exist. I mean Pele playing on the NY Cosmos couldn't make Americans care about Soccer in the late '70's, so Beckham Spice on the L.A. Galaxy isn't going to make is care now. Sure all games involving Dave will either be sold out or have a large attendance, but why? its not because people want to see Soccer. The Females will want to watch Dave run up and down the field and hopefully see him take his shirt off. The Dudes are their to catch a glimpse of his anorexic Spice Girl and that's that. Ole Becky isn't going to increase the attendance at any game he doesn't play in. Here in Rochester he sure the hell isn't going to help increase the anemic attendance figures at Paetek Park...Rochester's very own Soccer Specific Stadium that saw attendance figures drop around 50-75% depending on the night in just a couple of years. Maybe Spinning Webs can round up all his friends and decrease Rhino's attendance even more. And here is a telling figure when it comes to Soccer and its place in America. When Beckham made his first appearance on the field for a practice, less than 5,000 fans shower up. At the same time, for Alabama's (college football) Spring Practice 105,000 fans showed up. Look, Beckham is on the downside of his career. Sure he got A-Rod money to come here and play, but he wasn't even starting anymore on the English National Team. Real Madrid didn't try to keep him when his contract was up. I wonder why? If the MLS wanted to take a legit shot and getting their league really up and running and bringing Soccer to the American Population, maybe they should try and score one of the best young players in Europe and go that way. Instead they go for the celebrity train wreck couple that will sell millions of tabloid rags in the Grocery Store.

Taking this Soccer shit even further, while literally dozens of Soccer fans in America were celebrating the arrival of Soccer Spice, almost no attention was given to the fact that the best home grown American Soccer player Fred Adu left his MLS team to go play Soccer in Europe. Somewhere in Spain I believe. Isn't that just perfect. Soccer Fan is constantly bitching and moaning about their game and trying to talk it up among us real sports fans but they aren't talking about this. Adu has been playing MLS Soccer for Washington D.C. since he was like 9 years old or something. Dude is like 18 or so now. He is correction was American Soccer. So while the MLS is spending 250 million to import a once great player on the downside of his career, they let an 18 year old "phenom" escape to basically take over for Beckham in Europe. So tell me Soccer Fan, what does that tell you? Soccer in America Sucks. The brightest stars of today are leaving to go play in Europe, where they have nothing else to get excited for except Soccer. maybe Soccer Player has met one to many "Spinning Webs" and decided the riotous Soccer world in Europe would be better after all. Either way, I fucking love it. Soccer will continue to struggle as nobody in this country cares. Soccer can continue to toil with Redneck Games and Ping Pong on the list of games Americans take seriously. Remember, this weekend be sure not to support your local Soccer team and for gods sake...keep your kids out of Soccer. It's like giving your kid a Red Sox hat....its damn near cruelty!

09 August 2007

Working With Engineers

I'm always looking for a good topic to blog on. I run into the proverbial "writers block" as much as anyone - or I just get lazy. So when Mark came to me with this topic, I knew it was straight up money. While I work with a lot of engineers, I myself am not one, so I have the unenviable task of working alongside engineers. Most of us know that engineers are qwerky yet usually intelligent. So, here I'm going to chronicle a few of my experiences working with engineers, as well as placing them into their own unique groups.

Group 1 - Cool Engineers. For the most part, a lot of the engineers at some level can be "cool", but this group (and its the smallest one) is for the engineers who are truly cool. Guys you would go throw back a few beers with. These guys are the Young Turks of the engineering world. Usually young (between 24-34) and right out of college or the military and haven't been corrupted yet by 20 years of engineering service. They laugh at other engineers as much as you do and if you joke on them they can take it and give it back. They are still free thinkers and work to get their job done. They haven't been "re-educated" by 23 years of company policy's that leaves the best engineers standing in front of the grunts (such as myself) with drool falling out of the corner of their mouth and expecting you to make shit happen based on the sketch they drew on 3 sheets of single ply toilet paper while they were taking their mid-morning dump.No, the cool guys will be down here getting dirty like the rest of us and when they get in the way and we tell them to get fucking lost, they get fucking lost. Fellas, your overpaid asses can buy me a beer anytime.

Group 2 - Young Dick Engineers. These are the younger engineers who you would not have a beer with. These are the guys in the same age group as the cool engineers, however they are not cool. Matter of fact usually they are fucking assholes. They are determined to make it to the top of the company no matter who they have to step on or who they have to fuck over to get their. Its safe to say that these are shitty engineers for the most part, yet are the ones who will make it to the top 1.) because they step on people on their way up and 2.) they keep getting promoted because they suck. Sad but true, but when one boss finds out how useless YDE is, it's easier to promote him and send him elsewhere then get rid of him. Fucking politically correct bullshit. A great example of YDE in action is this. YDE brings a design of his to you. As the Mechanic who will build his design, he asks for input (although he thinks its perfect). You will take a look at YDE's design and quickly notice its full of more shit than last nights bowel movement. You give your input, YDE blows you off yet takes your input and cleans up his design. You build it then, it comes out better than was expected and YDE takes all the credit for it. Cocksucker. Another example is as a floor worker, you will be in charge of a program out on the floor. The assigned YDE will never be anywhere to be found. The program's due date will be pulled in and you end up working overtime and busting your ass to get this program done and shipped on time. This included dealing with a bevy of problems ranging from supply issues to mechanical issues. Never the less, you get the job out and under the new deadline and YDE takes all the credit for your hard work. Luckily for me, YDE's around my job are in short supply.

Group 3 - Old Miserable/Crusty Engineer. These are the guys that have been around forever. 25, 30, 35 years or more. They never achieved the success needed to get into management or program management, but they are at the top of the game among other engineers. The thing is, most of these guys are flat out miserable. Miserable that they are back as a test engineer or doing some other aspect that newbies would handle. However after 30 years, trying to find a place for these guys is tough. To OMCE, don't blame me that you are miserable and surely don't take it out on me. Its not my fault you don't have the drive to break out, or are content just hanging around in your secure world or whatever. When I saw "good morning" or "hello" I want something better in return than your mumbling and grumbling. These are also the guys who have no patience or tolerance. If something isn't working as it should, start building your bomb shelter like the Commies just dropped off some warheads on Cuba because these guys will blow a gasket! Look bitch, work through the problem like you would have 20 years ago and deal with it. Don't start yelling and expect me to come running with the fire hose to put out your fire. be happy you're still here working. If we were in Alaska you would have been put on a block of ice and pushed out to sea.

Group 4 - Managerial Engineers - What a classic group these guys are. These are veteran engineers who were able to land a promotion and end up a "boss". See, where I work, the Engineering group is broken down to several different groups inside, based on what you are doing. Each group gets one of these ME's. Once an ME has been in place for a few years, gone is all common sense, ability to reason and think, and to be able to help the people who work under you. After a few years in these slots, gone is the understanding about what it takes to get the job done, what life is like on the floor. After a few years of paper pushing, worrying about deadlines and the cleanliness of work areas, and a couple million games of FreeCell and Solitaire, an ME ceases all usefulness. Most of the time, ME just hinders his groups performance, causes riff's among co-workers, and has completely lost touch with the work that he supervises. While achieving ME status might be good for your paycheck, its is a death sentence to your common sense abilities.

Group 5 - Know it all Engineers - I'm going to keep this description short, as their issues will be described in the idiosyncrasies of Engineers, but as you can imagine, this group thinks they walk on water and act like it too.

Now that we have a few of the groups out of the way, lets talk about some things that stand out about Engineers.

1.) The Superior Attitude. You would think these guys belong to some secret club that makes them better than everyone else. We all know the fact that they are just crackpots, And they know that too yet they act like they shit out rose smelling gold bars. Listen, you'll be still paying off those 5 years at R.I.T. by the time I retire so spare me. To the older engineers...Technology has passed you by. All your knowledge and expertise is as useless as ME right about now, so spare me the look down your nose at me treatment.

2.) Missing - Common Sense. There is no question that engineers are some smart mother fuckers. Some even brilliant. Apparently though, this intelligence comes at a great expense. Once they have reached a certain level of intelligence, all common sense falls right out the window like Eric Clapton's son. The simplest of tasks like filling out a move ticket or operating a pallet jack become some of the most difficult tasks these asscan's have to do. Keeping their shoes tied, a shirt tucked in proper shave etc. are all problems these smart guys face. Seriously, if I get so smart that simple tasks become a problem for me, here's hoping I go the other way and end up a dumb shit.

3.) Strange/Weird. Yes, there is just something about this group that just isn't right. It's nothing that can be pinpointed, but we all know its there. Whether its Software Engineer's geek/dorkdome, Mechanical Engineer's "why get it right the first time when I can redraw it on the computer 7 times and keep having you build it wrong" attitude, Managerial Engineer's Duuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh, or Test Engineer's decision to make a simple 3 minute test last 17 days and seem like the fate of the known world rests on it. Something just isn't stirring the Kool-Aide with these bitches. Nothing is more ridiculous than listening to smart engineer one tell me over and over about this device he built that shot out a signal that would trigger peoples radar detectors and he would always bring it on his road trips to "mess with people". Wow, you got them slugger. Nothing like possibly causing a motorist to possibly slow down or say "fuck" as they think they have just been nailed by radar. The way he says this story, its like he just masterminded the great train robbery and made off with the biggest score ever. Seriously dude, you're a fucking douche. Now go play your Wizards and Wagons game of whatever it is you do instead of having actual sex with an actual woman and leave me alone.

4.) Bathroom Habits. I will close with this one, seeing as its pretty gruesome. We might all need a breath of fresh air after this one. The bathrooms where I work are fucking disgusting at best. Considering the bank this company is pulling in, you think they would get a cleaning crew that would actually put a little elbow grease into cleaning shit at night. Maybe a crew that would remove the growing "fur" on the edges of the sinks. Scrub the floor and get whatever is on it off. Scrub down the walls etc. With all this, its not like the bathroom isn't nasty enough. It makes the Port-O-Pottys that the Army used to stick out in the field for training exercises seem like a shithouse palace! So, with all that working against it, when you add some nasty mother fuckers to the mix, it just makes it that much worse! Lets start with the urinals. Never mind the fact they are old and the little mat in the catch basin is about 20 shades lighter than it originally was. You walk in there at almost any time of the day and there will be piss all over the floor. The little dividing wall between urinals has been coated with piss day after day and never cleaned. Seriously, what the fuck. I have no problem pissing in the proper spot. Sure I might get a few drops on the floor right in front while I am packing the hog leg away, but I don't piss all over the floor and leave a standing amount that the floor drain can't even handle. The stalls. There aren't too many more disgusting places on earth one could be. Upon entering and locking the door behind you, you usually are greeted with puddles of piss in front of the bowl. I get that you might drip some upon standing up, but drop some TP down there and soak it up. Next you would inspect the seat. Sometimes you might encounter piss on the seat as well as shit. Yes shit. Now look. These are grown ass men. These are smart engineering grown ass men. Do you mean to tell me that these guys are not smart enough to get their shit in the good sized opening provided? Taking that further, how do you actually get shit onto the back part of the seat? Do you only have half your hold dangling over the edge? Do you reposition yourself so you lather up the seat with your shitty ass? And even if you do get shit on the toilet seat...when you flush, how do you know notice? At least grab a handful of TP and wipe it up. And the topper, when you go a stall and a courtesy flush is needed. After a flush or 3, you still notice shit stuck to the porcelain...under the water line at that! Now I don't have the best diet, but I have never had shit that fused with the porcelain and could withstand about 14 straight industrial strength flushes. What the fuck can these engineers be eating? Better yet, I don't wanna know.

Now, if you can get through all that because you just have got to take that shit (and when I do, I spend the first 5 minutes of my stall time building a TP nest on top of that shit stained seat), once you sit down its time to relax and drop your load. Normally when doing this one will look around the stall. If you do that in the stalls where I work, you are in for a real treat. Boogers. That's right, Boogers. Apparently not challenged enough engineer is so board at work that he while he drops a deuce, he picks his nose and flicks the little goodies all over the stall walls. Absolutely fucking perfect. These are grown ass men, not 3rd graders. Most of these men are married with kids but it would seem that they need the fucking diaper. I don't even want to know what their wives must have to go through at home! And let me end with this. One of the facilities guys here usually will get stuck cleaning the shit house every afternoon. Nothing too serious, but he rolls with a bucket with a sponge or something and water with cleaner in it, some paper towels and a toilet scrub brush on occasion. I almost feel bad for the guy, but dude talks to himself all the time, so obviously all his dogs aint barking, so better him than me. Although if I had to clean anything in there, I'd be sporting a biohazard suit. So, I walk in there one afternoon to take a piss. Dude is in there cleaning and was just starting the stalls. As I stand there pissing, dude erupts with a flurry of self-talking. It sounded like this. "Goddamn mother fuckers. Nasty mother fuckers. Fucking disgusting. Its all over. Its in the hinges. I can't get that out. *gags* Nasty mother fuckers. All in the hinges. *gags* Nasty Goddamn fuckers. *gags*. While that might not sound funny reading it, hearing it and knowing how nasty these fucking engineers are, I stood there long after I finished pissed just to listen to him go off.

Engineers are a different breed. For all the intelligence they have, for all the creative shit they come up with, its too bad that they are nasty, weird, and plain messed up most of the time. Make sure you don't get played out by an engineer. In reality you're smarter than they are!