End of an Era

Howdy RKDeemers!  I have been writing under The Mix Up category for a couple months now and we’re going to wrap it up tonight.  Thank you all for reading and I hope you keep reading as we roll out a couple new features and start out a new chapter.  I like Laurie’s idea of a History of RKDeem, so you can expect to see key historical moments being featured in my blog’s next chapter. 

The past couple of days have been busy.  Monday, dinner out with the client, got home around midnight, Tuesday, went to Phillie’s game with client, got home around 1AM, Wednesday, birthing class, home around 10PM.  I am whooped.  I know a lot of you reading this blog have yet to give birth, here’s a couple tips for men who are thinking about getting their wife pregnant:

  1. Get ready to spend a lot more on health insurance.  I think I spent about around $100 a month when I was single, $300 a month when I was married, and now it’s close to $600 a month as a family.  Then you throw in deductibles and co-insurance and it adds up. 
  2. Even though this is our second time around, taking a class is highly recommended.  It reminded me about packing a bag well in advance, the logistics of checking in and where we’d stay, what gets done with the baby after it’s born, and they confirmed that they had wi-fi so I could monitor my fantasy football team.
  3. Figure out the car seat before the baby is born. 
  4. Prepare yourself to be involved.  I couldn’t believe it when Jack first gave birth, I never imagined being so involved with the process, but the doc had me right in the thick of things and it was quite a rush, I’m glad I saw a video beforehand, it made the real life event much less shocking.  Oh, they asked if I wanted to cut the ambilical cord, I said no.  I stand by the decision, I’d be happy to do it in a jam, but if there’s a hospital filled with capable staff, I’m letting them cut the cord. 
  5. Sneak out of the hospital for a bit.  You’ll be sleeping on a tiny recliner, there will be a constant rotation of women oogling over your child and you’ll need to get out and stretch your legs.  You can tell your wife that you’re picking her up a special treat that’s not available in the hospital convenience store. 
  6. For the love of God, when your wife is giving birth, do not do anything but pay attention to her every need.  If you change the radio station, blow bubbles with your gum, crack your knuckles, pace, or anything remotely annoying, you will face serious consequences.  Just suck it up and give her everything she needs during the delivery. 

RKDeem’s #1 Rivalry – Best Place To Get Something You Don’t Need

The best place in the world for crap you don’t need but you’ll inevitably buy is Rice’s Market.  I remember when I was little, it was awesome to check out the vendors selling knives, fireworks, baseball cards, and huge boxes of discount candy, good lord, it was heaven!  It was fun figuring out how you’d spend your month’s allowance, would I buy a Rambo knife?  Maybe I’ll use it all on a Jose Canseco rookie card.  Or maybe I’ll put together a diverse portfolio of weapons, ballistics, and candy.  Now days, I stroll the aisles looking at fake replicas of Kate Spade purses or Ray Ban sunglasses, but I mostly go for the weird antique stuff that I really don’t need, possibly a spent bullet from Gettysburg, a collection of old arrow heads, or maybe a Randall Cunningham rookie card. 

RKDeem’s #1 Band – Ray Charles

Ray Charles’ music is brilliant.  I love soul, I love funk.  Ray Charles combines both of them beautifully and he sprinkles in some pop, gospel, and rock n’ roll for good measure.  It’s the perfect music for whisky on the back porch, it’s the perfect music for dancing, it’s the perfect music for driving, it’s classic & it’s fresh.  If I had to choose one person’s music for an extended stay on a lonely island, I’d pick Ray Charles.  I’m too tired to write more, but trust me, he’s the best.

Two For One

Rivalry #3 Best Sandwich – Good lord Philadelphia makes a damn good food.  Philadelphia makes Cheesesteaks, Italian Hoagies, Chicken Cheesesteaks, Pizza Steaks, Buffalo Chicken Cheesesteaks, and the their calzones and strombollis are unparalleled.  But that’s not what I’m talking about, I’m talking about sandwiches.  If I want the best sandwich in town, there’s really no one who comes close to Lilly’s in Doylestown.  People complain about Lilly’s because it can gets crowded with the lawyers at lunchtime, but there’s a good reason it’s crowded, it’s the best.  They use fancy breads, fancy ingredients, and they don’t skimp, these are huge mammouth sandwiches that have you taking half of them home.  I have to throw some love to Panara Bread, they make ordinary sandwiches awesome with Panini technology and you can get half a sandwich with a cup of soup for basically the same price which is a nice option, especially in the winter.  Best sandwich though, belongs to Lilly’s.

Rivalry #2 Best Place to Disappear in Doylestown – If you happen to be in Doylestown and you don’t want to see cars, bars, or any other nonsense, I’ve got the place for you.  Walk down East Street along a cemetary, across the street you’ll see a huge cement gate that’s been there for over a century, walk through the gate along the trail and disappear into the dark trail cloaked by a canopy of trees.  It could be twelve o’clock noon on the brightest of days, but it will be dark and creepy back there on that trail, it’s like Sleepy Hollow, you expect the Headless Horseman to come flying by at any time.  The trail’s not that long, maybe a quarter mile, then it opens up into the most spectacular oasis.  It’s just amazing, what a vision Henry Mercer brought to life.

This is what you emerge to from the Sleepy Hollow trail:
 

RKDeem’s #3 Band – Johnny Cash – Great music and great stories.  I hated country music until I heard him, I’m not sure if he’s even classified as country, he’s just bad ass.  The stuff towards the end of his life was amazing, he hand selected songs that had lots of meaning to him and I appreciate the perspective, it reminds me of Nirvana’s unplugged, every lyric is sung with emotion.  Standout Tracks – Drive On, Tennessee Stud, I Hung My Head, & Long Black Veil.

RKDeem’s #2 Band – Beck – This guy could very well be the top spot, every time he comes out with an album, I buy it on the day it comes out.  He has not let me down yet.  What’s amazing about him is that he keeps it fresh too.  He’ll make albums utilizing beats from old computer sound cards, he’ll make acoustic albums, he’ll make “alternative” albums, he’ll make party albums, and each album that comes out sounds like the best thing I’ve heard in that genre, I mean this as a compliment, he’s like the a music nerd’s Madonna, he’s always ahead of the curve, moving music along.  I saw him in concert with Edman and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.  Everything he does, he does incredibly well.  I have no Standout Tracks for Beck, every album is a standout album.  If you’re down, tired, or just feeling mellow, buy the Sea Change album and listen to it start to finish.  If you’re ready for a party, you’ve just drank a Red Bull, pop in Guero and listen to it loud.  Don’t forget about his older stuff, it’s all good my friends, just listen to it until you love it.  He’s brilliant, trust me. 

Observations:
Hey, there’s this insanse physics project going on in Switzerland & France where they’re building a 27 kilometer tunnel underground to accelerate protons along these tracks and then they smash them at unimaginable speeds.  They are predicting that this collision will create a type of matter never seen before, possibly creating a black hole and sucked the Earth into itself (okay, the black hole thing probably won’t happen, but I like to think it is).  Well, I’m not doing a good job of explaining it, but it’s a really important experiment that 60 countries have invested billions of dollars into, hopefully this rap song will help you understand what this is all about.  If the rap doesn’t help, we can ask Brother-In-Law Matt who knows about this kind of stuff.

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia about Large Hadrom Collider:
As of August 2008 the majority of the LHC ring is now cooled to the
1.9 K (−271.25 °C) operating temperature. The initial particle beams
are due for injection in August 2008,[8] the first attempt to circulate a beam through the entire LHC is scheduled for September 10, 2008,[9] and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on October 21, 2008.[10]
It has been claimed the collision fo the particles has a 1 in 50000
chance to create a small atomic black hole and would create the
apocalypse.
Which has brought much cause for concern, including a large
petition to stop the event.

Gas Stations 9 tenths of a cent?

Why the hell do gas stations place a 9/10 of a cent after the price per gallon?  I did some research and there’s several reasons – marketing gimmick, it gives customers a sense of security that the price they’re being charged is super accurate, or it just looks cheaper.  I’ll tell you one thing, if I was a crafty lawyer, I’d file a class action lawsuit against all gas stations in the USA and demand that we receive our tenths of pennies back, just to return the favor of being an asshole. 

It’s Sunday night and it feels like Sunday night, even though I have tomorrow off.  Jaclyn’s visiting her friend Erin up in New York, so Winston and I have the house to ourselves.  He’s battling a cold and I think it’s going to be a long night. 

I wonder if my camera takes panoramic pictures, I would like to start taking more panoramic pictures. 

As we wrap up the rivalries and my favorite bands feature, I am about to unveil a new feature to my blog.  I hope to unveil in mid-September. 

Rivalry #4
Mix Tapes vs. Mix CDs – I’ve been known to make a good mix CD here and there.  Recently, I got really hung up on certain genres and I made mix CDs specifically around the old Elvis sound, or soul music, or CDs where Johnny Horton fits in perfectly.  In general, I think I’m getting worse at putting mix CDs together, I think it just comes down to my inability to focus with a crazy child running around.  Mix tapes were pretty awesome, there was a real labor involved, waiting for the song to start, the synchronization of the record and play button, staying focused to stop it, and hand writing the artist and song name on those tiny little lines.  Mix tapes were a little more durable and they lasted a lot longer than CDs.  Jaclyn recently unearthed a bunch of old Phish concert tapes, I was unfortunate enough to listen to one in her car’s tape player and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever heard.  I’m not the biggest fan of Phish to begin with, but it was recorded in horrible quality, and it just sounds terrible, but Jaclyn still loves them and she was extremely pleased to discover those old tapes.  I give mix tapes an edge for that very reason, it’s cool that they last long.  My favorite mix CDs get carried all over, transported to multiple CD players, and they get scratched up within 6 weeks, plus I can just print out a song list, so the mix CD just doesn’t seem as sincere. 

RKDeem’s #4 Band
Bob Dylan – At this point, all of these bands are favorites, so this isn’t a shot a Bob, it’s just that I was so into him about 10 years ago, I’ve focused on other bands more in the past 5 years.  I still love his music, I enjoy his new stuff, and he’s way up there on my list.  Bob Dylan is known for being a poet with brilliant lyrics, but I really enjoy the folk sound, the story telling, and his perspective on his relationships.  Dylan influenced so many great musicians, he’s been covered by Hendrix, Guns & Roses, Joan Baez, Rolling Stones, The Byrds, and countless others.  His latest album is perfect if you’re head over heals in love with someone, but my most favorite recent album by him is Time Out of Mind.  The standout track for Time Out of Mind is “Not Dark Yet”.  It’s an incredible song that could only come from Dylan, a man who’s seen it all, been everywhere, done everything, and still not finding meaning, it’s hopeless, but there’s some comfort in coming to terms with it as well, great song.