• The reigning king of hokum blues, Chris 'BadNews' Barnes has a new album

    As a kid, Chris Barnes gave us the legendary Bad News Bear Tanner Boyle, now he is singing the blues.

    American Blues Scene:

    Chris "BadNews" Barnes, a former SeinfeldCurb Your Enthusiasm30 Rock & Carol Burnett television show performer and writer, has made his mark in the blues community with this genre, even being hailed as The King of Hokum Blues by Elmore Magazine. His third VizzTone release, BADNEWS RISING is also his first all-original album filled with satiric muses interlaced with honest, biographical stories.

    The album kicks off with "You Wanna Rock? You Gotta Learn the Blues," co-written by John Hahn. It's an evil sounding, treacherous track that would have fit right into the soundtrack of Crossroads with no problem. The Ry Cooder-esque slide guitar provided Pat Buchanan (Cameo, Hall & Oates) provides a perfect dark backdrop for Barnes' green-bullet enhanced vocal.

    Grammy Award winning producer Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Roy Buchanan, et al) co-wrote several of the tunes as well as producing the album and playing drums. BADNEWS RISING was recorded at Sound Stage Studio in Nashville, with a bevy of top musicians including Kevin McKendree (Delbert McClinton, Anson Funderburgh) on piano and Hammond B3, and Tommy MacDonald (Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter) on bass.

    "When Koko Came to Town" is the first of Barnes' autobiographical tunes, recalling the days when he performed with legends such as Johnny Copeland, Pinetop Perkins, and, of course, the late, great Koko Taylor at Tramps in New York City. A high end, Chicago style composition with backing horns aplenty, it's a Wang-Dang-Doodle time.

    I've followed Chris's career for decades, he is hilarious, wonderful, and I am glad to see him having so much fun.

    Barnes has a voice and a soul for the blues.

  • Woman believes Tucker Carlson contributed to the vaccine hesitancy that killed her father

    Katie Lane feels Tucker Carlson's misinformation led to her father's reluctance to get the COVID-19 vaccine. That vaccine would very likely have kept Ms. Lane's father alive.

    Daily Beast:

    Referencing remarks she had made to a local Washington news station, CNN anchor John Berman noted Katie had said "one media source in particular" had fed her father vaccine misinformation, asking her to clarify.

    "He watched some Tucker Carlson videos on YouTube, and some of those videos involved some misinformation about vaccines, and I believe that that played a role," she declared.

  • Searches are far more urgent for missing women when they are white

    A report on Insider shares that over 710 indigenous women have gone missing in the same area as Gabbie Petito over the last 10 years. There is apparently a disparity in the effort, the resources, and press coverage that ties directly to the ethnicity of the missing.

    Insider:

    The disappearance of Gabby Petito launched a social media frenzy and nonstop media coverage since she was reported missing, possibly from the state of Wyoming, where she and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were said to be visiting Grand Teton National Park.

    But hundreds of cases of Indigenous people reported missing in the exact same state over the past decade have not been met with the same furor.

    At least 710 Indigenous people, mostly girls, went missing in Wyoming from 2011 to 2020, according to a January report published by the state's Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force. The vast majority, 85%, were kids, while 57% were female.

    I am pretty sure this holds true across the nation.

  • "Mother of all lawsuits" quietly filed against Facebook, Zuck, Sandberg, Thiel, and more

    On Twitter, Jason Kint shares that a massive and damning lawsuit was filed in Deleware last month against Facebook, and many of its executives, and board members relating to what they knew, hid, and lied to congress about relating the Cambridge Analytica "hack."

    If you recall, Cambridge Analytica used data that it simply acquired through Facebook's APIs to target US voters vulnerable to misinformation attacks. Facebook tried to call this 'a hack' and has apparently been lying about it ever since.

  • Fortnite, now with really tough walls!

    I haven't played any of Fortnite's current Chapter 2 Season 8, as I haven't really gotten around to it. Fortnightmares are back in the game, or so the trailer suggests, as it is Halloween time and I find they get in the way of the simple Battle Royale I enjoy so much.

    I was pretty surprised, today, to see they are trying to entice me back with a revolutionary upgrade — walls that are harder to break.

    I guess I will try them out sometime soon.

  • Another great lesson in homemade beef jerky

    A few months back I tried making beef jerky at home, and it was pretty good. Rather than set up my smoker, I simply set my home oven to around 175F and let the beef go.

    The beef I used was some pre-marinated Bulgogi, and it worked out pretty deliciously.

    Smokin' Joe's process here looks pretty great and will likely improve my results.

  • Looks like Amazon is beating auto parts stores for convenience and price

    Some kind soul needed a side-view mirror for a 2012 Ford F150. I also needed that mirror, however, this was apparently not the other party's concern.

    Those side view mirrors are pretty easy to remove, as I've learned, and so began my adventure looking for a replacement.

    I called my mechanic and they told me I was wasting money asking them to find or install the mirror. I was told it'd take less than 5 seconds once I had the mirror, and Napa would have it.

    Napa didn't have it. They can order it but the sales guy kept trying to sell me the whole housing and I just need the glass with the snap-in fitting. They had that for $80 but it was a one-week wait. I figured I'd find it elsewhere. The other local parts outlets also needed a week or more to order the part at about the same prices.

    A few years back Amazon had been really encroaching on the auto-parts market. I was able to find stuff that was previously considered NLA or 'unobtanium' for a few older vehicles. I remembered to check Amazon.

    Amazon could only offer 2 days shipping on a $24.19 replacement part.

    The mirror was installed in less than a minute.

    I gather that services like having tools and testers to borrow, and a parking lot they'll let you work in may help keep the O'Reilly's and Pep Boys of America going, but it seems this battle is going to be lost. The ability to run out to the shop in the middle of a project for a part that you unexpectedly need (broke) is going to get more difficult, but is it worth paying the insanely inflated prices for the same part?

  • This tripod-selfie stick is fantastic

    I am very happy with this combination tripod and selfie stick.

    Insta360 makes some cool 360 cameras, but their selfie stick with a grip that converts into a tripod is invaluable. It serves as a monopod, tripod, and selfie stick for all my photo and video-taking needs. With the uber standard tripod mount, things are easy to spin on and off.

    It is very well made and feels great in the hand. The stick is heavy enough for any small to medium-sized camera to be stable at nearly full extension of the stick. This isn't really for SLRs but smaller digital cameras and sports activity cameras like GoPros need something like this to be useful off of my motorcycle helmet or boogie board.

    Please use your own judgment and don't try to slap a full-sized professional camera on there.

    Insta360 Selfie Stick with Built in Tripod for ONE X2, ONE R Cameras via Amazon

  • LAPD: to infect and serve?

    It would appear that an impressive number of Los Angeles Police Department employees are seeking religious exemptions from vaccination for COVID-19.

    While the City of Los Angeles has mandated vaccines for all employees, The Los Angeles Times reports that nearly 2600 LAPD employees have indicated an intent to seek a religious exemption.

    LA Times:

    Roughly 54% of LAPD employees have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Chief Michel Moore. That rate lags the general public, raising concerns about the health risk posed to the people LAPD employees interact with on streets and in confined spaces such as jails and courthouses.

    Activists have routinely recorded police officers without masks in public spaces, despite a department directive to wear them "whenever in public or in the workplace." Ten LAPD employees have died of COVID-19, and thousands have been infected. Moore told the Police Commission on Tuesday that there had been 66 new infections in the department in the last two weeks, with more than 140 employees at home recovering and four hospitalized.

    In recent days, a group of LAPD employees filed a federal lawsuit challenging the vaccination mandate, arguing that it violates their constitutional rights to privacy and due process. Among those who sued are employees "who could not assert a medical or religious exemption," as well as those who contend they have natural antibodies from contracting the coronavirus, according to the legal complaint, filed Saturday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

    Perhaps these employees are unsatisfied with simply killing people with guns and fireworks.

  • The animated 'The Addams Family 2' trailer looks fun to me

    I have enjoyed every incarnation of Charlie Addams' The Addams Family. The first animated film gave me the opportunity to introduce my daughter to television shows, movies, and Cousin It.

    While I enjoy these animated adventures, they do not compare to the television and movie series for me. Jackie Coogan, John Astin, Carolyn Jones, Anjelica Houston, Raul Julia, and Christopher Lloyd are some of the biggest names in the history of filmed entertainment and their performances are all wonderful.

    They are always worth rewatching.

  • These songs have lyrics that teach you a dance

    Quite a few songs apparently do not trust the listener to dance of their own volition.

    My favorite is probably the Time Warp.

    For folks who want something with a little less flair, there is Kylie's Locomotion.

    I don't know what you've been told but The 69 Boyz gave us the classic Tootsee Roll, which was a brand new dance in 1991.

    Even though you may want to, who can forget the Urkle Dance?

    Perhaps the same thing, but animated was The Simpsons' Do the Bartman.

    I'll close out with another favorite, Bob and Earl's Harlem Shuffle.

    I am sure I have missed a ton, like the Hokey Pokey. Please add them in the comments.

  • ICUs full of COVID-19 patients forced into leaving people with treatable conditions to die

    Across the United States, hospitals are overflowing with COVID-19 patients. Many, if not most to nearly all, of these folks refused a vaccine that would almost certainly have kept them home to recover, if not prevented the infection in the first place. Worse than these people becoming sick, and or dying, is the fact that their life-saving treatment is keeping others from using the hospital, often to terrible effect.

    ProPublica shares this very sad article:

    Kakli went on Facebook and posted an all-caps plea to physician groups around the nation: "GETTING REJECTED BY ALL HOSPITALS IN TEXAS DUE TO NO ICU BEDS. PLEASE HELP. MESSAGE ME IF YOU HAVE A BED. PATIENT IS IN ER NOW. I AM THE ER DOC. WILL FLY ANYWHERE."

    The doctor tried Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston for a second time. This time he found a bed.

    Around 7 p.m., Wilkinson, still conscious but in grave condition, was flown by helicopter to the hospital. He was put in a medically induced coma. Through the night and into the next morning, medical teams worked to stabilize him enough to perform the procedure. They could not.

    Doctors told his family the internal damage was catastrophic. "We made the decision we had to let him go," Puget said.

    Time of death: 1:37 p.m. Aug. 22 — 26 hours after he first arrived in the emergency room.

    A Boy Went to a COVID-Swamped ER. He Waited for Hours. Then His Appendix Burst. ProPublica

  • Take a two-minute tour of this US Forest Service wildland fire engine

    Fire fighting wildland fires in the western US has become an around-the-clock and around-the calendar problem. I rarely think about the equipment these guys use, as 100% of my idea of what a wildland firefighter came from reading Norman MacLean's epic Young Men and Fire, but this quick tour of a wildlands fire truck is pretty great.

    Thanks, Randy!

  • Trailer for the new Star Wars arena combat video game

    Squad based multiplayer arena battles in the Star Wars universe? Here comes Star Wars: Hunters.

    Set after the fall of the Galactic Empire, Star Wars: Hunters will bring players together in thrilling, team-based multiplayer battles. Select from a diverse cast of new characters, including daring Bounty Hunters, heroes of the Rebellion and Imperial stormtroopers. Star Wars: Hunters will be free to download for the Nintendo Switch, on the App Store and on Google Play in 2022.

    Star Wars games always look a lot better than they are, however, I will give this one a shot. Most interesting in the trailer is the droid wielding a lightsaber.