Thursday I finally visited the Dade Battlefield State Park. Although I have passed it dozens of times, I never had the chance to stop by. With my personal history in the US Army and my growing interest in Seminole Indian history, the Dade Battlefield was a place I needed to go.
While I visited I brought my video camera and recorded my walking tour of the park. Feel free to check out the video.
Before I started this humble website TheSeriousTip.com was my home on the web. It was where I learned how to blog and how to write for an audience. I covered a lot there, from sports to music to politics to almost everything in between. I was serious, creative, analytical, and satirical.
Now the best of this site is available for purchase, both in book form on Amazon and for a Kindle, if you are the technologically advanced sort.
I am really excited to make this available as it is my first solo book and my first self-publishing venture.
So please support an aspiring writer and order your copy today!
This super special anthology includes:
The story of when I tried out for the Atlanta Braves!
Interviews with a pornstar, a comedian, a singer, and a Playboy model!
An analysis of Super Bowl contenders and their effect on the stock market!
Local alt-weekly newspaper Creative Loafing published their annual Best of the Bay awards last week. Although I didn’t win an award, numerous people I know or organizations I am associated with did win.
I’ve been a big Buckethead fan for over 10 years. After being introduced to Buckethead by my friend Shelbs who was and probably still is a huge Primus fan, I bought Buckethead’s Colma album.
After Colma, I picked up Buckethead’s Monsters and Robots, then I dipped into the guitar great’s back catalog and have been following along since.
I discovered Buckethead was not only a guitar virtuoso, but also one of the most creative musicians out there.
As the years past, Buckethead crept up my list of guitar greats I had yet to see.
I’ve seen Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Zakk Wylde, Dimedag Darrell, Alexi Lahio, and Magic Red, but never saw Buckethead.
Finally, on September 22, 2011 at State Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, I had the chance to finally see the bucketed one live. And outside of two minor complaints, he didn’t disappoint.
Seeing Buckethead is visual experience as well as a musical treat. After his stage was prepared by a dreded tech in a hospital mask, Buckethead took the stage with his trademark KFC bucket on his head and dressed in black. Immediately he started his guitar wizardry with his fingers flying up and down the fret board. I’ll admit, I am not good at memorizing the titles of instrumental songs, but I recognized a few songs from his classics Monsters and Robots and Giant Robot.
Buckethead is also part Carrot Top in his show. The dreded tech placed several toys on Buckethead’s amp and speakers for the guitarist to play with during the show. These included a hand-held distorting mirror (like those in an amusement park House of Mirrors), a toy chainsaw, and of course Buckethead’s nunchucks.
Seeing Buckethead whip his nunchucks to and fro was a treat I looked forward to. As was seeing Bucket put down the guitar and dance like a robot on stage. These are things Buckethead is known for. Of course all the while he kept his bucket and Michael Myers mask in place.
Halfway through the performance the theme song from the movie Space Jam played and Buckethead walked to the front of the stage with a big blue bag. He reached in the bag and started handing out toys to the fans. Buckethead gave out Halloween masks, Star Wars toys, action figures, and other assorted goodies.
I was surprised however when the toy giveaway turned into a toy exchange and fans gave Buckethead gifts as well. If Buckethead saw something he liked, he simply traded toys with the fan.
Speaking of Star Wars, Buckethead is a huge Star Wars fan. As of course, I am. Needless to say, when he played the Star Wars theme song and the Imperial March, I got goosebumps. For real.
One of the strangest things about a Buckethead concert is seeing an artist that looks completely emotionless. That’s his schtick and being a big fan, I get it. But to not see an artist smile, laugh, or talk on stage is an interesting phenomenon. The emotion of the show comes strictly from his music or the crowd.
This lack of emotion is part of one of my complaints. The show was only and hour and 45 minutes long. That’s it. Granted, I’m not sure even I could have withstood three hours of guitar shredding, but not even two hours? It went by quick. And when he was done, Buckethead simply walked off stage. No bow, no cheering the fans, no thank yous. He just walked off as if his programing was finished and he had something else to do.
My other small gripe: Buckethead’s t-shirt selection was awfully small. There was only one t-shirt for sale. And not only did it not have the tour dates on it, but it was an ugly white design.
Oh well, I guess that’s another reason for me to visit Buckethead’s Toy Store. I hope they have a clothing department.
Here is a video a fan took of Buckethead’s performance Thursday night.
It might seem hypocritical for me to post this video and then complain, but I’ll have an opinion piece soon on the absolute annoying trend of people who hold their phones up to video record entire concerts. You can enjoy the music without being a cinematographer. Trust me, it’s possible.
The web has been a cornucopia of amazing things lately. Ok, I’ll be honest, I’m unemployed and find things online to occupy my time when I should be finding a job. It’s my cross to bear.
Anyway, here are a few links worth checking out . The post title might seem a little strange, but I promise it will make sense.
As I mentioned a few days ago, Star Wars has been taking over Major League Baseball ballparks across the country this month. A few days ago in a state far, far away, they invaded Shea Stadium Citi Field, home of the Mets. Jason Fry, one of the writers from Fear and Faith in Flushing, one of my favorite baseball websites, dressed up as a stormtrooper and joined the festivities. Check out his account of the day.
Over at National Geographic there is a neat article on overconfidence, what causes it and why we are prone to exhibit it on occasion. In the last few months, a few people have called me arrogant and other not-so-flattering things. That’s not true. I may have my tendencies to think a bit too highly of my abilities, but as Nat Geo points out, that’s human.
I don’t normally read Andrew Sullivan. I think I’ve heard he is a prominent blogger or something. But I couldn’t resist checking out this post on the decline of meth use and the rise of marijuana use in the US. If I was going to invest in illegal narcotics on my block, in my town, or in my state, I think it would be time to dump the meth lab equipment and put my money in hydroponics.
Speaking of local, one of my neighbors is an aspiring rapper. His name is M-16 and he recently put an new song on youtube. Check it out.
As part of my training to be the next great comic genius, my lesson book, Comedy Writing Secrets 2nd Edition, instructed me to compose a few “light bulb” jokes as an example of triples – a tried and true comedy staple. So here are my answers to the few subject they suggested and one of my own:
How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?
One to say we need to work together, one to blame the Muslims for the bulb going out, and the last to sell the opportunity to the highest bidder.
How many generals does it take to change a light bulb?
One to petition Congress for a new bulb, one to create a new unit of bulb changers in case this happens again, and the last to see how Patton would have done it.
How many lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
One to represent the old light bulb, one to sue the lamp for damages, and the last to prevent the last light bulb from being screwed.
How many cops does it take to change a light bulb?
One to arrest the lamp for assault and two to get donuts.
How many auto mechanics does it take to change a light bulb?
One to give you an estimate, one to order the parts, and one to put it together wrong so you have to bring the lamp back in next week.
I think this is a great idea and I hope they have been successful in their first year and a half. Especially with today’s financial lunacy, having someone to help people with their financial decisions is a genius idea. Too many people I know are sending money down the toilet with the hopes that they will get some sort of decent return.
Yet of course, the rich are getting richer.
Needless to say, I have a lot of problems with the financial industry.
1) It’s very elitist.
Seriously, one of the reasons I have no interest in joining the financial sector, even though I love money, is that I often hear about people working 60-90 hours a week. That’s more than 10 hours a day.
How about they train more people to work in the field, and then work forty hours a week and have other people work the difference. Pay two people 100K instead of one 200K. Sure, companies have to pay less in benefits and health care, but with higher employment, they might not have to pay as much in social benefits, like unemployment and social security.
There is no way I would like to work 80 hours a week. I’d like to eventually have a family, home, white picket fence, minivan, and all the other trimmings of suburbia. And I would like to enjoy them. I can’t do that if I was working 85 hours a week.
Meanwhile, unemployment is still over 9% nationwide. We pay CEOs and their ilk millions in salaries, bonuses, golden parachutes, and other lucrative advances. There is no way sharing the knowledge in these fields – education through employment – is not cheaper than letting the financial upper class have a monopoly on money moves and management.
2) They should have to do pro-bono work.
Lawyers have to a percentage of pro-bono work in their careers. The fact that there are already too many lawyers means this pro bono work is just making work for more lawyers. We need professions that really make a difference to do pro-bono work.
Namely fitness trainers and financial advisers. I’ll talk about why and how fitness professionals should do work for free sometime later, but although there are some startup companies that offer low cost advising, financial advisers should absolutely do a certain percentage of their work for free. Especially if their clients make under a certain amount.
We need to get the people who know how to make money together with those who don’t have money. Financial advisers need to be as accessible as priests. People need to know they can approach them at any time with any confession and that they will offer wisdom and advice.
I doubt this will happen, but it’s easy to imagine if you try.