Friday, May 17, 2024

Billy Idol!


 Billy Idol is one of those not quite great rockers that I don't understand why isn't considered great. Idol has been rocking so long and has so many hits and deep cuts that it was a shock to me that at 68 years old he's older than me. In your face, Idol! 

Idol and his band rocked the Pinewood Bowl in Lincoln Thursday night for a solid 90 minutes that got the overwhelmingly over 50 crowd home early. Just as we olds have learned to love.

Opening act, The Effect, obviously a new band, played only 4 original songs and got off stage within 30 minutes. The band has one helluva pedigree with band members including Nic Collins, son of some drummer from England and Trev Lukather, son of some guitar player from LA. No seriously, this is the kind of breeding that would make this band a favorite in any horse race. They are good.

Billy Idol took stage at around 8 pm and launched immediately into hits Dancing with Myself and Cradle of Love, my personal favorite Idol tune. We were off to the races. Idol and his guitarist Steve Stevens obviously have a chemistry from the decades of working together. Idol lets Stevens shred the guitar so often it's like getting two concerts at once. The hits were there, Mony Mony, Eyes Without a Face, and the show closer Rebel Yell. Other songs played included newer songs like Cage and the haunting Running From the Ghost, a ballad/rocker Idol wrote about his heroin addiction. 

The encore included the mandatory White Wedding which is a song not dated whatsoever.  People all on their feet singing along as Idol allowed the crowd to sing the chorus. So much fun and then at 9:30 pm he and his band were gone and we all high tailed to the car.

My only problem was we didn't hear Don't Need a Gun, my second fave Idol tune. But if that is all I can complain about, I had a great time.

Bill Idol at 68 can still get it done. Yeah, his voice isn't as strong as it was in 1986 and he can't hit certain notes but he allows the crowd to fill in the blanks and lets Stevens take control when necessary. And he can still "owwww" with the best of them.

If you get a chance, the answer is yes yes yes to see what I consider a great rock n roller. He delivers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Nebraska Primary Day!


 It's primary day here in the "heartland", ya know where "real Americans" live and have kept the same shitty slogan for 50 years "The Good Life".  Nebraska is flyover country, for good reason, but if you live here, you can make sense of it and then leave if you can. If you're stuck here, well make the best of it, which is my choice. If you want to know what it's like to live here, watch the Alexander Payne movie, Nebraska. Thats a brilliant study of the rural parts of this state while Election may be a better study of Omaha or Lincoln. Anyway, don't worry yourself. you'll never live here.

The Nebraska primary is really nothing more than a repeat of the middle of the country as a whole. You have Republicans with a sense of delusions that MAGA is THE way and anybody with a working mind or a sense of compromise is a cuck who deserves nothing but hate. 

Earlier this year the Nebraska Republican Party, taken over in 2023 by a band of book banning fascists, decided to put out their endorsements of Nebraska's five incumbent congressional candidates, who are all Republicans.

Don Bacon is a Republican who claims to be a commonsense conservative. He's not but because he doesn't throw shit all over the Capitol walls and act like a fucking drunk baboon, he's considered a "moderate".  He is the incumbent Republican House Rep for Nebraska District 2. And because he is the incumbent with a pretty good chance of being re-elected, of course the Nebraska GOP endorsed a guy name Dan Frei, a MAGA freak who thinks Bacon is a Bolshevik and would not hesitate to shut down the gubmint. Frei isn't going to win because he's already saying he will join the kooky Freedom caucus and start sucking up to Large Marge Greene and this district voted for Biden by 6 points while crossing over to put Bacon back into that snake pit, The House.

In the 3rd district, Nebraska's permanent Republican playhouse, where men are men and women are stuck in shitty marriages to these men, the NE GOP has endorsed a dude named John Walz. Now the district hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress since the Dust Bowl, and has an incumbent, Adrian Smith, who is as vanilla as they come just like the district itself. But the Ne GOP wants Walz because Smith isn't Nazi enough. Walz answered a question on why he wants to run this way:

"In high school, my involvement with the John Birch Society spurred my fascination with America’s founding. I took great interest in the Revolutionary War, our Christian heritage, where our rights come from, and the role of governments."

What? John Birch Society? That still exists? A high school nerd Bircher? Damn I haven't seen Birch shit since my childhood dentist left the Birch pamphlets out on the waiting room table and pissed off my mother. Ok then....

The 1st district has an utter mediocrity named Mike Flood as its congressman. Flood is a former speaker of the Nebraska Unicameral and won a special election when former rep Jeff  "Googly Eyes" Fartenberry    Fortenberry was convicted of accepting illegal campaign contributions and then lying to the FBI about it. But then that was a California jury and not a Nebraska jury where he thought he could bamboozle hicks into acquitting him. He's now been re-indicted by a DC prosecutor. The Nebraska GOP made no endorsement in this race. I guess Flood is too much of a gentleman to endorse.

Senator Pete Ricketts was appointed by his bribe taker, Gov Jim Pillen, to the US Senate when previous Senator and Runza salesman Ben Sasse ran off to serve Rhonda Santis in Florida. Ricketts is a trust fund baby who buys anything he wants. He personally paid for an effort to bring back the death penalty after it was repealed by the legislature (a million or so) just so he could attempt to buy illegal drugs so he could kill a guy. Now Ricketts is bankrolling ($500k) an anti-abortion petition drive to put the ban on abortion in the state constitution, a real shitshow of a document. But the Nebraska GOP endorsed his opponent, John Glen Weaver, an Air Force Lt Colonel (retired). The guy is similar to Walz. A bomb thrower who wants to shut down government and cut social security (he says he won't cut it BUT get rid of the bureaucrats there so yeah, he wants to cut SS). He's one of those guys pushing forth the "UniParty" bullshit. Ricketts is as bad a Senator as can be imagined but for some reason (cuz he opposed Trumps choice for Governor?) the Ne GOP says nope, we need the nuttier one. 

Deb Fischer is the other Senator running for re-election. Shes as worthless as the fact you've never heard of her is. A total yes woman who does what she's told by the crazies. She's a loyal Trumper but again she may have pissed the NE GOP for some reason. Maybe she didn't show quite enough fascism for them. She has no primary opponent other than a perennial loser candidate who gets into races because he's got nothing else to do. They neglected to endorse her.

Now the Nebraska Democrats. Hoo boy, where to start. Thet didn't even put up a candidate to run against Fischer instead opting to endorse and independent, Dan Osborn. They do have Tony Vargas, a state senator who came within 3 points of ousting Bacon last time. And they have Carol Blood, another state senator with a good record. but without the chops to overcome the gerrymandered district. But at least they have a candidate.  If you are a long-suffering Nebraska Democrat, like me, you are used to this incompetency. Hell, it wasn't that long ago when this state had a Democratic Governor and two Democratic Senators. But those days went bye bye when the black man won the Presidency and scared the shit out of "real Americans" aka white Americans. Nebraska Democrats need a Fetterman, a Democrat who can relate to rural people. We have none.

The Nebraska Gop, one of those state Republican parties that have actual white supremacists onboard, would rather lose than win because it gives them the opportunity to bitch. Oh, the Republicans won't lose here, but the Nebraska Republican Party will try. It's just a shame the Nebraska Democratic Party will try and lose even harder. 

 

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Final Thoughts on Boston!


 Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston thus they are the 3rd city to claim him. The statue is so cool. Per the trolley driver, Poe hated Boston. 

The first thing we saw after getting to the hotel in Boston was two cab drivers hollering at each other over a stolen fare. It was the most impolite moment we encountered. But it was glorious to see.

Amtrak is the way to go. I'm sure it's different during the week from NYC to Boston but our experience was perfect in the so called "Quiet car" where you cannot use your phone or talk. Perfecto!

Fenway Park, so cool. has a garden on the roof where veggies and the like are grown and served in the ballpark. Since Vegetables and me don't really click at ball games, all I had was something grown on a pig farm and swept up off the floor at a slaughterhouse, aka Fenway Frank.

In the right field bleachers there is a seat painted red. Thats where Ted Williams 500 foot plus home run landed. Nobody has ever hit one as far. The seat is in high demand apparently.


The Red Sox logo from 1950-59 displayed in the concourse is rather strange but then the 50's were rather strange..


Boston is compact. You can walk the entire city if you're in shape and young. If you're old and decrepit, take the subway or the trolley.

I 🤟Boston

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Final Ramblings on New York !

Just some thoughts on New York's unimportant stuff.

Flying into New York can be impressive as you take pictures of everything you will not see when there. La Guardia airport is much bigger than I remembered. 

Times Square is a zoo of mental illness. So many weird things happened there. The Comedy Central hustler trying to get us to go to a "comedy show" then when I said no yelled that now he knew we wouldn't have helped Jews in the Holocaust. Whaaaaaa? The "comedian" who hit me up for $20 for his comedy "download". I gave him $10 cuz I felt generous which only led to other "comedians" descend on me when they saw a $10 bill. By the way the guy "autographed" the QR code so I couldnt download it anyway. I'm sure we missed nothing. The kid who asked us to buy him ice cream. I wasnt feeling generous then and told him to get lost. When he came back after failing to get another sucker to buy him ice cream he pointed at us and said "Thats the guy who wouldn't buy me ice cream" to which my reaction was "get your own ice cream" cuz I have no filter and puts forward my theory I will die in a shooting because I mouthed off to the wrong person. Yet many people commented on my beard and my Mets hat, all positive. The red bleachers which used to be easy to get pics on is now full of tourists and virtually impossible to climb on. They never leave.

The line at the half price TKTS booth has gone from walk up and buy line like in 2015 to hours long wait snakey line up and down that we bailed on and bought full price tickets to Suffs. It was worth the extra $20 or so.


Hotels that put this in your room and then dare you to pay $12 for a Reeses or $10 for a Pringles are the worst. Don't they make enough money off their outrageous rates AND "resort fees"? My advice is to not even look at it as there might be a $5 look at fee.

The incessant honking by NYC drivers is just mind blowing. It just never stops. On the Brooklyn Bridge sitting in traffic behind a truck going nowhere, some guy laid on his horn so long we yelled hey it's not doing you any good. Go early to the Brooklyn Bridge to avoid the crowds. It's mainly just joggers from Brooklyn and older people like us avoiding crowds.

The courthouse is cool seeing the very steps Jack McCoy and the gang of Law & Order people walked down after winning their latest impossible case. The federal courthouse is so closed off it's not worth it, unless you want to see the 4-5 pro Trump sign holders who speak no English and realize what a fraud he is.

Get a hot dog from a street vendor. It's kind of a performance art. And the hot dog is damn good. But he had no relish.

The delis seem to have caught on that everybody wants hot pastrami when in NYC. I did, until I saw it was $25, $10 more than anything else and got a lesser Pesto sandwich. It was great too.

The souvenir shops are reasonably priced by have too much Pro-Trump shit in them. I realize MAGA is so griftable thus making the selling of Trump bobble heads and t shirts with his mug shot on them is profitable. But some of us don't wanna see that and it makes us leave.

Feed the pigeons, even the fat ones. It keeps you humanized.

Go there for 5 days. Plenty of time to do all you want plus see some kick ass Broadway shows.

Don't pay $25 to sit on the beam at the Top of the Rock. It does go up but it never gets close to the edge, so you are never in danger. You can get a picture on a beam that doesn't move. Get TV studio tour tickets before you go. They sell out fast.

Finally, despite the scare tactics of the GOP and the fear mongering by the "liberal" media

Total number of crimes we saw-- Zero

Total number of migrants living on the street we saw--- Zero


We 💖New York.


Monday, May 6, 2024

Boston Day 3!


Fenway Park. I don't really have bucket lists because I'm not a planner. But Fenway Park was definitely on the list, if I had one. We had tickets for the game that night but decided to ride the T down to Fenway for a tour. A lil tip, get off on Kenmore and not Fenway. No idea why Kenmore is closer to Fenway than the stop called Fenway but it is. The Boston subway is fast and efficient but still has those confounded steps crawling back to the streets.

The Fenway tour is a must. Our guide was full of information and told it in a fun way. We went to the stands, found the seat with a pole right in front of it, and then climbed more steps to the Green Monstah where we could look over the baseball cathedral. Then to the press box and the suites. and finally, to the right field stands where the red seat is (Ted Williams 520-foot home run landed there). It lasted about an hour and was loads of fun. The museum contains all the Red Sox memorabilia you would want to see.



Johnny Pesky's zippo to light up heaters in the dugout. Old timey gloves that quite honestly were worthless. 

Back on the subway to hit the Freedom Trail before going back down to the ballgame. The Freedom Trail is up hill. Ugh. But we managed to get to Faneuil Hall and the Quincy Market where the food court is full of every possible combo you want. More chowda, more cannoli's and more souvenirs. Then back to Boston Commons via the subway.

Then the game at Fenway vs the Giants.

Back on the subway to Fenway with the masses of people. Got lost again and probably circled the entire stadium to find our gate. Entering the stadium and going up the ramp reminded me of the first time I ever did that, at Wrigley Field when I was a kid. I still remember the green field and this view was just as fine. Tickets just to the 3rd base side of home plate, a row of 4 seats and full of Giants fans. The Red Sox dominated the game so us Giants fans simply could take in the Fenway experience. Take me out to the ball game, the 8th inning Sweet Caroline, and the vendors including an actual chowder vendor. I was chowdered out, so we stuck to Fenway dogs, beer and pretzels. 

I cant emphasize how much fun that was for this old baseball fanatic to finally see Fenway. I almost wished for the old 3 1/ 2 hour games just to be there longer (no not really). The game ended at 9:45 and we got on the subway and were back at the hotel at 10:15pm. 

It was over. Day 3 done. Back to Omaha tomorrow. There's just not enough time. 

I want to go back already.

Boston Day Two!

 


Day 2 begins with a daily trip to Boston's finest restaurant, Dunkin, of which there is one every two blocks. Then it's off to find the Edgar Allen Poe Statue to pick up the Old Tyme Trolley to tour Beantown. We had purchased this day pass from a broker at the hotel. Don't do that, just book it online and you will save some money.

The Old Tyme Trolley is just that. A trolley with comfortable seats. The driver, Townie, was a real Bawston guy. He had the accent; he had the temperament, and he had the ability to entertain. He started busting my chops as we waited for the 9 am departure time. I guess wearing a Red Sox hat and a Seattle Supersonics t shirt might confuse people. We only went a couple of stops before hopping off at the Boston Tea Party ships. Yeah, its touristy, but it was fun to listen and participate in a rabble-rousing speech from actors playing colonial roles. You then tour the ship, go into the bowels and back up where you get to throw "tea" into the Boston Harbor. Suck it King George! You can then tour the museum with interactive films and are released thru the Abigails Tea Room where for 5 bucks you can have as much tea as you wish including the 5 teas popular in 1775. 3 of the 5 are hideous. 

Back on the trolley and we were let off near the Old North Church and the North End. A walk uphill will do ya in. Then another walk down a hill past a cemetery full of colonials. There's the Old North Church which is closed on Mondays. There's Paul Revere's house, a tiny little thing that housed 16 people. Then there's the food of the North End. Mikes Pastry has cannolis and Boston Creme Pie to die for.  Across the street is Galleria Umberto, a pizza place where you can get two slices and a pop for less than 10 bucks. The pizza is pan style and wonderful. 

Back to the trolley for the rest of the trip. Bunker Hill, Old Ironsides, Faneuil Hall, the Gahhhhden, Cheers, all the while with stories from Townie that were both informative and funny as hell.

Back to the hotel where I can tell a story in 3 pictures.



There was a Robert F Kennedy Junior fundraiser at the hotel and there were actually people going to it. The lone demonstrator across the street got a big thumbs up from us. The guy is a nut. Period.

Day 2 in the books. 

Boston Day One!



Up early for a short taxi ride to the Daniel P Moynihan Train Station for a 3-hour trek via Amtrak to Boston. I love the train. Always have. Off we went on the Northeast Express with plenty of leg room and seats in the "quiet car" which means shut the hell up. Thru Connecticut and Rhode Island and all I have to say is Amtrak tracks must go through the shitty neighborhoods in New Haven and Providence cuz woooo...it looked bleak.

Arriving in Boston and getting an Uber to the Hilton Park Plaza was easy. Unfortunately we arrived 3 hours early and to avoid a $75 check in early fee we began to walk. Now when I get stressed, I sweat and when I sweat excessively and feel like I'm going to pass out. A short stop at a cafe and some water and protein sent me to normal from I'm dying here.

The Boston Commons was right near our hotel. It was full of people laying on the grass, listening to a one-man band changing Dylan lyrics from the times they are a changin to the climate is changing. He was a trip, kind of a Wavy Gravy vibe to him. People feeding the ducks, riding the swan boats and sleeping outside, a bustle of activity. Seems like a cool place to chill.

The permeating of Cubs fans was in force. Cubs fans walking all over the place waiting for that night's game, which they lost thank goodness.

That evening a short trip to what turned out to be the hotel bar, M J O'Connors, a pub with food at 8 pm. The Sox game was on and a pint of Guinness and a cup of clam chowda was a must. 

And with that, Day one was done.