Showing posts from August, 2017

Book review: Norm MacDonald "Based on a True Story"

Based on a True Story by Norm Macdonald My rating: 3 of 5 stars I honestly think that there is no gray area with Norm MacDonald’s brand of humor. It is either well-loved or well-hated. If I could sum the humor up in a nutshell, I would say that it is part uber-dry and part…BS. The title of Norm’s book, Based on a True Story is that it is not really based on a true story. It takes life events and whips them up into delusional tales a la Dr. Hunter S. Thompson-style, but with a Canadian smart-ass twist. You either get it or you don’t get it with MacDonald. A certain segment of the population gets it while a vast part just doesn’t get it. The thing is, MacDonald is not an underground comedic rarity. He has enjoyed years of success as a stand-up comedian, NBC Saturday Night Live performer/writer/mock news anchor and even starred in a few films and on a television situation comedy. But it was at ‘Saturday Night Live’ where MacDonald expanded his fan base as well as his detractor base inc

Eclipses, podcasts, hurricanes and more

We are feeling the fallout from Hurricane Harvey with rising gas prices. In the Atlanta metro, petrol is no longer cheap. As of this writing, I see at least $3 per gallon in about one week. August has been a rather productive month. The Eclipse on August 21 was a total treat. I was a tad skeptical about the event at first, but was soon "converted" to "believer status" when the Eclipse took place. Cami convinced me to drive into the Path of Totality in North Georgia, which is about 80 miles from where I reside. When the moon and sun align, a unique darkness descends upon the area affected. It's not exactly like dusk nor is it like a heavy cloudy day. Rather, it's like viewing daylight through a camera lens with the f-stop manually turned down. Speaking of that, I have a few pictures: I am delighted that I had the chance to appear again on the Peachtree Corners Life podcast where host Rico Figliolini and I discuss video, music, backyard chickens,

A pedestrian safety island makes good sense for our city

Morguefile/ShawnMSchmidt I’m once again getting local on this blog, but many can relate with this topic across the nation. In my neck of the woods, planners installed a well-marked pedestrian island on a busy two-lane county thoroughfare that cuts through my neighborhood. Runners, joggers, walkers, strollers and cyclists alike enjoy going up and down the sidewalks that line a good portion of the road on both sides. For years those who use the sidewalks – I shall call them pedestrians - have been complaining that it’s tough to cross the two-lane road – even in the protected crosswalk that has been in place for years. Their complaints were heard loud and clear. This past summer, city and county leaders did something about the issue and installed an island near where the old crosswalk was located. As expected in any city no matter how small or large the project, brouhaha ensued. It seemed like the moment the first service truck showed up to build the island, the complai

Flashback to 2005: The frat party in Iraq

If we're serious about tikkun olam, reparing the world through peace, then we can't minimize our sins in Iraq. We must face them and hold ourselves accountable.  by Robert J. Nebel  Autumn 2005 "It's a bunch of guys blowing off steam," ranted conservative syndicated talk radio host Rush Limbaugh. The copycats in every market quickly followed suit and echoed America's number one neo-conservative. Before you knew it, the right convinced its legions that the detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was one big fraternity party.  While the government and mainstream America was asking salient questions about, "Who knew what and when did they know it," the talk masters were having a field day. Many of these programs featured juvenile mockery from the host and callers who said that it was OK to treat the detainees with mistreatment because they were terrorists and deserved it anyway.  Callers to these talk radio shows should have made comments th

Fiction: The lawn chronicles

I cannot keep up with the vegetation growth in the yard. The hot days and rains have been relentless this summer. To me, the whole thing means death to me and the poor lawn mower. The last time I mowed, the poor thing was choking on the amount of grass and weeds that the blades cut through over the course of three hours under the blazing sun. This summer, I feel like I have been living in the Brazilian rain forest. Indeed, I realize that I’m being dramatic, but I confess that I’m sick of mowing the weeds and grass in my yard. I have been mowing, weed-whacking, weed-pulling, weed-killing for more than a quarter century. I figure that if I cannot beat them, join them. By that I mean, stop mowing the lawn. With lawn mowing, I’m well past my expiration date. I now have the craziest yard overgrowth ever seen in Suburbia, USA. I’m done Finished. Fin! Done! I’m on lawn mowing strike and quite proud of that fact. With the lawn overgrowth, I could care less what the homeowner’s associa

Fiction: Poor Rufus

I was approaching the house on another humid Atlanta afternoon when I noticed something out of the ordinary sticking out of my air conditioning unit also known as the condenser. This summer it feels like we have been living in the rain-forest so the hum coming from my condenser is music to the ears. Was it another raccoon doing whatever it took to lick the water flowing out of the overflow pipe? No, water isn’t as scarce as it has been in past summers when we experienced extreme droughts. This summer, water has been plentiful, I explained to myself. I was in my station wagon doing my best to assess the situation. I quickly turned the ignition to silence the engine and exited the car. My heart was pounding. I tip-toed towards the condenser on the left side of my home. I heard some rustling wondering what type of activity could possibly be occurring around my air conditioning outside unit? I turned the corner and saw two large boots moving about. As I approached, I saw a rotund white-as-