A Few Quick Things, vol. 61

Bowling-300x300I know you guys might find this difficult to believe, but I’m pressed for time today. Yes, my life is the proverbial “ten pounds of shit in a five pound sack” at this point. So, let’s just jump right into it, and see what happens.

From the Always Feeling Guilty Desk: There’s a new thousand-page book about the early days of the Beatles — it ends on December 31, 1962 — which is receiving rave reviews. I want to read it, and eventually will. However, it’s $13.99 for Kindle. A little steep, in my opinion.

So, I’ve started lurking, and waiting for it to go on sale. But, I heard the author on a podcast (can’t remember which one… they all blend together), and the dude worked on this project for ten years. It’s the first of three gigantic books about the band, and he’s fully invested — living Beatles history ’round the clock.

And I don’t want to fork over 14 dollars for it. He worked on this thing for a decade! It’s reportedly a stone-cold masterpiece, about a subject I’m deeply interested in, and I’m lying in wait, hoping to save four dollars on the deal.

I am a horrible human being.

On a more positive note, I upgraded my phone to the Moto X, and am loving it so far. I activated it yesterday afternoon, and have almost gotten all the apps replaced, etc. It’s a thousand times faster than my previous phone, and has a lot of crazy features.

For instance… you can put it into “driving” mode, and if a text message arrives, it’ll read it to you. It might not be such a great thing for people cheating on their spouses, but for me it’ll be kinda nifty.

There’s also a Siri-like thing, called Google Now, which works really well. You say, “OK, Google Now” and the phone will turn itself on and answer whatever question you throw at it. Within reason, of course. I’m not sure how it would do with existential dilemmas, and that sort of thing. But if you need to know, for instance, how old Pete Rose is… it’ll tell you in about three seconds, without the need for you to move a muscle. This, of course, will allow all of us more free time to shove Cinnabons into our mouths with the heels of our hands.

Yeah, I know… many of you are heroes who still have flip phones. But I love this kind of stuff. Gadgetry makes me smile. Or, at the very least, momentarily erases the scowl.

A few days ago at work I sat down at my desk, and started an hours-long project. This, of course, would require the aid of my iPod. So, I began scrolling through the available podcasts, and selected one. Then I hit play, and heard nothing. What the?

I turned the volume all the way up, and all the way down, and not a thing was happening. The screen said the show was playing, but it was complete silence on my end. I paid my son $26 for this thing, just a few weeks ago. Was it shitting the credenza already? I powered it down, and rebooted it, and it didn’t help. This went on for upwards of five minutes, all this frantic fiddling.

Then I realized: I didn’t have the earphones in. Ha! Wotta douche. It’s like those times when I’m talking on my phone, and start panicking, looking for my phone. Where is it?! It’s not in my pocket, what happened to it? Oh yeah, I’m talking on it RIGHT NOW.

And I need to go choke down a Miranda Cosgrove frozen meal (orange chicken), and go back to work. Ahhh… work.

For a Question, I’m afraid you guys will have to wing it. Maybe tell us what you’re feeling guilty about? Get it off your chests, boys and girls; you’re among friends here. Well, 87% friends, anyway. Also, what’s your favorite Beatles solo albums? If you had to pick one or two, what would they be? I’m telling ya… Ram is underrated.

Also, have you ever done one of those dumbass moves, like my earphones story above? If so, please tell us about it. Or anything else you’d like to discuss. It’s all good.

And I know this one isn’t the greatest, but it’s better than a French horseman photo. I hope.

See you guys again soon.

Now playing in the bunker
Treat yourself to something cool at Amazon!


  1. johnthebasket says

    I am amazed that you can undertake projects while listening to non-music audio. My brain isn’t that large or nimble. But live and be well.


    • says

      Well, it’s mostly just pulling data and summarizing it in an Excel sheet. It’s not like it requires any high-level thinking . Interestingly enough, music distracts me more. I can’t listen to music at work.

  2. johnthebasket says

    Dude, I really love the Beatles, and I was there, or, more precisely, I was THEN, and I like bigass books, but a thousand pages on Liverpool and Hamburg? Well, it DOES rain a lot up here.


    • says

      Really? It’s the volume of the trilogy I’ll probably like the best. I’m always fascinated by the early days of legendary figures, when they were still regular folks. I’m looking forward to reading the book.

      • Ognir says

        He’s an insider. Which you probably know from the podcast.

        I bought the hard back version. I can tell where he had to cut things. It must have been even longer at one point.

        • johnthebasket says


          Sometimes I think I’m more or less in the loop, and other times I realize I’m just up here jerkin’ off. I was blissfully unaware of the publication of the Mark Lewisohn book late last year. I must have been rearranging my cats or something.

          Mr. Lewisohn is more than an insider: there are actual Beatles scholars and he’s the scholar-in-chief for this generation, the last generation we will cohabit with living Beatles. So it’s not just a long read about the Fab 4, their antecedents, and what they did every day of their fuckin’ lives. Its a long read about the Fab 4, their antecedents, and what they did every day of their fuckin’ lives that anybody who understands the effect the Beatles had on Western culture HAS to read.

          People who say they don’t like the Beatles are kinda cute, but they sort of miss the point. Maybe you had to be there. (I swear I missed the battle of Midway but still understand that Wade McClusky and the “lost squadrons” saved the American Pacific fleet.) The Lads changed the way we talked, dressed, listened to music, and saw the world around us. Heaven knows they changed our hairdos.

          Sorry I was cavalier. I do that sometimes. Jeff, you were dead right about the need to read this book. And this guy needs to get paid for spending a lifetime researching. Give him the coin.


          • chill says

            This sounds like what I like to say about the Ramones. In both cases, you of course don’t have to like the music. But you do have to acknowledge the influence they had on the development of pop music, and of western culture in general. In the words of a buddy of mine, every rock band that has released an album since 1980 needs to pay the Ramones a dollar. Likewise the Beatles, and 1965.

          • Clueless says

            May I add- love my kindle, but this is a book you need to hold in the flesh. Was 16 when I saw them at their first American concert in D.C. They changed the world.

  3. johnthebasket says

    For economic as well as aesthetic reasons, I own a flip phone. Turns out he’s 72.


  4. Melissa says

    I would say I feel guilty for absolutely despising The Beatles, I won’t, because I’m not.
    I also can’t stand U2. *Shiver* Ugh.

  5. Doug says

    I think being labeled a “hero” for owning a flip phone is a little much, but I’ll take what I can get. BTW – I don’t oppose smart phones, I just don’t like how big they are. That and I’m cheap bastard too.

    My best dumb-ass move was searching for sunglasses that I was wearing.

  6. says

    I can totally relate to the ipod story. I listen to my ipod in the car every day, via one of those thingies that go into the cassette deck. At least once a week (and sometimes more often), I forget to plug said device into my ipod. And then I spend about 5 minutes wondering why I can’t hear anything.

    As for solo Beatles albums, “Ram” is my all-time favorite album… ever! I own it in every format, too: vinyl (multiple copies, including a mono version), 8-track, cassette, and two different CD remastered editions. It used to be the album I took with me to test out whenever I bought a new stereo. Back when such a thing was allowed.

  7. madz1962 says

    Guilted myself into visiting my mother tomorrow. I haven’t seen her in about 2 months and I found myself blaming the crummy weather. She’s bedridden and my sister has been taking care of her 24/7 – another guilt trip. So I’ll pay a visit and give my sister a break.

    My list of dumb assery moves is huge. Looking for prescription eyeglasses that are already on my face. clicking the trunk button on my car instead of the gas cap button. Then forgetting to close the trunk. Undressing and realizing a t shirt or underwear was on inside out… yep – I’m getting to be a clueless old fuck.

    • The Divine Miss E says

      I have lately worn my underwear inside out more times than I care to admit. Also the other day I wore a new shirt for hours before realizing that the sticker with the size on it was still on my boob.

  8. Steve in WV says

    I don’t own a single Beatles record, or a single Beatles song, for that matter. I came along much too late to have had to suffer through the British invasion. Def Leppard is pretty cool, though, so I guess Great Britain has that going for them.

    • johnthebasket says

      Oh, man, I know what you mean. I was born too late for the Greeks, the gospels, St. Augustine, Newton, Bach, Galileo, Einstein, the Gershwin boys, Benny Goodman and Howlin’ Wolf.

      I think I would have enjoyed Rhapsody In Blue and Smokestack Lightning. If only…


  9. Dave says

    My favorite move, panicking because my car keys are not in my pocket and oh shit where did i leave them….. while driving.

    and JTB it is raining now, now it stopped, now it’s raining…ah Kirkland in springtime

    • johnthebasket says

      Dave, there’s bright sunshine in Tacoma. I’m going to try to grow me some bananas. Quickly.


      • stratboy says

        moved to Tennessee five years ago, after 20 years in Washington. Tennessee is just fine, but y’all just made me homesick.

      • revashane says

        Back in the day before computers let you know everything about your car….. I stopped for gas in Nashville, it was cold so I left it running and locked my door and shut it. The second it slammed I “oh shitted” and looked through the window to look for the keys. I thought to myself “you stupid shit the car is running”!!!

    • Not Oprah says

      I panicked when the remote for my SUV didn’t work and thought I couldn’t get into my truck….

  10. Phil Jett says

    Ram is definitely number one on my solo favorites. For me, McCartney probably has the top three.

  11. Bill in WV says

    I dunno, maybe George’s album where he plays the sitar nonstop for 45 minutes. You just don’t hear shit like that every day. Well, maybe in Bahkcharasshole, India you do, but I digress…..

  12. Billy Joel says

    Ram was the first Beatles solo record that came to mind for me as well. That one and All Things Must Pass.

  13. bikerchick says

    I feel guilty for not lurking here!! I have been so busy since I quit my job with my own thing… And since I use my phone the majority of the time to stop by here, since it updated, it can’t read anything because the words are black and the background is dark grey!! Wtf!! So I’m on my IPad now. Miss you guys! Catching up on everything….reading old posts.

    Forgot how much I love you guys!!

  14. chill says

    I’ll have to jump on the Ram bandwagon as well. I only have one copy, which I bought when it came out.

    Dumbassery: I once spent a whole day at work thinking I had left my pocketknife home, when in fact it was in my pocket the whole time. But it was in the “wrong” pocket, where I didn’t think to check. Because that’s not the pocket it belongs in.

  15. mountie9wv says

    My Catholicism dictates that I should feel guilty about masturbation. I overcame that when I was 12. I guess I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. That’s what I always confess anyway.

    And “momentarily erase the scowl” is absolutely perfect.

  16. The Divine Miss E says

    The other day I said to someone that I wasn’t giving up anything for lent because I didn’t care, and I spent the next hour feeling guilty and that somewhere my grandmother was disappointed. I don’t consider myself religious at all and haven’t attended church regularly in years, so what the hell was that all about?

  17. Wisey in TTown says

    I am feeling guilty because I was thinking that Jeff sounded like a real Jeff Kaystein for not wanting to pay the extra 4 bills. Nah, I am not really feeling guilty about it. If any of you want to rip my racist post, get off your high horsestein, I’m just kidding.

  18. Wisey in TTown says

    Jeffstein, (Again, kidding). I just bought you a case of beer. Use your beer money to buy your book. I know it’s the principal of the book being too high for kindle but life’s too short. Enjoy!

  19. Ed says

    The Lewisohn book looks great. I perused it at the library for a few minutes and saw a lot of interesting new things in it. It’s a big fat good looking book. I’ll check it out eventually when I have time to read it. I have Lewisohn’s book about the Beatles’ recording sessions and I’d recommend that one as well if you’re that kind of fan.