Saw Mr. Beck Hansen last night, at the Red Hat ™ Amphitheater in loverly downtown Raleighville.

Because they got rid of the first three sections of seats in order to make a ‘pit’ area (so thousands of people could stand shoulder to shoulder in a 90-degree Raleigh July evening), I bought a seated ticket – right in back of the sound guy, as it turns out. At least I’d get the best possible sound!? I surely hope I didn’t, because it mostly sounded like crap. The only songs that sounded good were the mellower things from his current album. Everything else – all the loud, rappy, sing-along songs – that was a mushy mess. So, though I couldn’t really tell if they were any good, the band did seem to be having a good time. And from my vantage point, Beck himself was a very mobile and active indistinct black and white blob.

Beck is the bright-blue smudge on the far left. The big building in the middle is the county jail. Atmosphere.

The beers were $8, but they were 24oz, so not really expensive. The bros were there in force. I left my assigned seat early and wandered the place seeking better views – they were all better than sitting in back of the sound guy. The venue sits right next to – and because it’s a bowl, right below – the train tracks, and trains always go by during shows. Last night, three Amtracks passed by. I wonder if the people on the train are able to hear the concerts.

Song selection was good; he easily filled the 90 minutes with his hits and the better of his non-hits. There are about a dozen songs I would’ve also liked to hear, but Raleigh’s noise ordinances mean all shows there have to be done by 10:00 – there was only so much time.

A band called “Ghost of a Sabre-toothed Tiger” opened. They do the same kind of retro-psychedelic rock that Tame Impala does, so I dug them. And they actually sounded better than Beck did. They ended with a rockin version of Syd Barrett’s “Long Gone”, which was very cool. Turns out, though I didn’t know it at the time, that their singer is Sean Lennon: son of John and Yoko. I reckon that gives them a better claim on the sound than the Aussies in Tame Impala. And that’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Beatle.

Don’t Let Your Meat Loaf

I usually make meat loaf once every two weeks.

  • Meat loaf mix from the store (beef, pork, veal ground together)
  • An egg
  • Bread crumbs
  • Some finely-diced garlic, onion & bell pepper, gently-sauteed to soften (since they otherwise won’t have time to cook in some of the variations below)
  • A good squirt of Sriracha
  • Salt, pepper, etc..

Squish it all up. And now you have pink slime.

Given a bowl of this squishy mess, I usually make one of the following:

  1. The classic: a big ol’ loaf
  2. Mini loaves cooked in a muffin pan. They’re a handy serving size!
  3. Micro loaves cooked in a mini-muffin pan. They’re like little oddly-shaped meatballs.
  4. Meatballs (hand-roll, fry, bake). Takes the most work, but frying them makes increases the yummy.

Wifey likes the smaller ones because they’re easier to take to work – pop a handful of meatballs into a baggie and then you can eat them with your fingers! And, the little ones cook quicker. But it takes a lot of work to clean a muffin pan after meatloaf grease has caramelized all over it.

But, the best thing to do with meatloaf mush is to shape it into patties and then grill it. And put Pepper Jack cheese on it. It’s sublime.

Expected Consequences

Two weeks ago, this happened:

DONETSK, June 29, /ITAR-TASS/. Self-defence forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic have taken control over a missile defence army unit equipped with Buk missile defence systems, the press service of the Donetsk People’s Republic told Itar-Tass on Sunday.

So far, no details are available about the number and condition of the missile systems taken over by the self-defence forces. The press service refused to comment.

The Buk missile defence system is a mobile medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system designed to defend field troops and logistics installations against air threats in conditions of heavy electronic countermeasures and intense enemy fire.

And today, this happened:

According to the anti-terrorist operation’s information center, Ukraine’s aviation did not fly today. The area where the plane crashed was in an area controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists.

Russian-backed separatist leader Igor Girkin (who also goes by the name of Strelkov) claimed credit. “The plane has just been taken down somewhere around Torez (Donetsk Oblast). It lays there behind the Progress mine. We did warn you – do not fly in ‘our sky.’ And here is the video proving another ‘bird’ falling down. The bird went down behind the slagheap, not in the residential district. So no peaceful people were injured. There is also information about another plane shot.

And now they are lying about it, because they didn’t know WTF they were doing with their big weapons, and don’t want anyone to know that their reckless negligence has killed hundreds of innocent people.

Delusional assholes with weapons they can’t handle – fucking the world up, everywhere.

And, this whole thing puts me to thinking about what the US would look like if the blithering idiots who hoard guns for the always-coming revolution actually managed to get access to heavy weapons. Lots of innocent dead people, killed by trigger-happy suburbanites playing soldier, I suspect.

Because It’s Not About Protection

It’s about projecting aggression.

Researchers at Texas A&M University, for a study published in the Journal of Human Resources, concluded that homicides had increased by 8 percent in the more than 20 states that had passed "castle doctrine" laws, many of which include Stand Your Ground provisions. That equals 600 additional homicides every year in those states, they wrote.

At the same time, however, the researchers found no detectable decrease in burglary, robbery or aggravated assault.

It’s about trying to assuage gun-fondlers’ insecurities.