Let The Rail Revolution Begin

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Obama shed some more light on his vision of high speed rail transit for America. Like most of the country, I'm all for this. And yeah, I've got questions on how in the world we will pay for this, but it's still an important step for this country.

But there were a few other thoughts on my mind too. First is how big this could be for Obama's legacy. If he pulls this off where so many have failed, it would easily be a highlight for his administration.

But the other thoughts come from my inner conspiracy nut. High speed rail makes a lot of sense to pretty much everyone. Most people want it and a lot of politicians and groups have tried to get it going.

They've all failed miserably.

Closest we've got is the Acela Express up here in DC and considering its only 10 to 20 minutes faster than the other trains running up here it is pretty much a rip off.

So, my thought is really just why haven't we been able to get this thing going?

Most will say just bad leadership, but part me thinks it has to be more than that. I think there had to be something pushing against high speed rail and that something was Big Oil, the Big Three, and the Airlines (or their lobbyists to be more specific).

And if I'm even partially right, that makes this the best time ever to go after high speed rail. Those factions could not possibly be weaker than they are now. Americans see the need for additional modes of travel more now than ever. Hopefully Obama can get this done.

The last thought is just basically how many battles can Obama fight at once. He's simultaneously taking on all comers at home and abroad and we haven't even started working on health care yet. Sure, if he can only accomplish a few of his broader goals he'll have done a lot for this country. But I hope he doesn't end up being spread too thin.

If that were the case he could end up not getting anything accomplished.

If there is one chink in his armor right now its that I'm not as sold on some of his staff choices as I at least tried to be initially. I still like his broad vision, but a coach can only do so much. He's got to have the players on the court that can execute his gameplan. Let's hope he really has picked the right people for the job.

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The Play Count Never Lies

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

As I continue to examine the play counts of songs on my ipod and home computer, I'm starting to realize there is a bit of a disconnect between what I think I like to listen to and what I am actually listening to.

The first explanation for this is pretty easy. What I listen to when I work out and what I listen to at pretty much any other time is vastly different. Given that working out is the main time i listen to the Ipod, I think those play counts kind of throw the other numbers out of wack a bit. So, I'm going to take them out and look at them on their own. With that in mind, I present my top 25 workout songs according to how often I listen to them.

  1. Saliva - Doom aka MF Doom aka Viktor Vaughn
  2. Fakin Jax - I.N.I.
  3. Stand and Fire - M.O.P
  4. For Heavenz Sake - Wu Tang Clan
  5. Shut Em Down - Public Enemy (Pete Rock Remix)
  6. Wipe Me Down - Lil Boosie, Webbie, Foxx
  7. Hip Hop Drunkies - The Liks
  8. Cash Money Is An Army - BG
  9. Brooklyn Zoo - Ol Dirty Bastard
  10. Where My Homiez - Il Al Scratch
  11. Do Ya Thug Thang - Max Minelli
  12. Kick In The Door - Notorious B.I.G.
  13. NY State of Mind Pt. 2 - Nas
  14. Diamonds Remix - Slim Thug
  15. Back Down - 50 Cent
  16. I'm a Beast - Lil Wayne
  17. You Can't See Me - Tupac
  18. Where The Party At - E-40
  19. We Got Your Money - The Lox
  20. Rock co. Cane flow - De La Soul
  21. Still Ridin Dirty - UGK
  22. G-Unit in The House - G-Unit
  23. Beasts From The East - Lost Boyz
  24. Dipset Anthem - Dipset
  25. Allustrious - Mobb Deep
Of the first five, I probably would have guessed that Shut Em Down would be number one because its one of my favorite tracks ever. The Pete Rock beat with all the horns and Chuck's lyrics are just perfect on that track. But, I can see how I would end listening to the other ones more, especially during a workout. I've wrote about Saliva and For Heavenz Sake before. But Fakin Jax kind of surprised me just because the beat is a bit more mellow (but still fire) than the other songs on this list. Stand and Fire is pretty much M.O.P. at their best.

My Louisiana brethren (Boosie, BG, Max Minelli, Wayne) nabbed several spots. Again, I'm surprised Wipe Me Down ended up so high, but that beat definitely gets me amped up during a workout.

Hip Hop Drunkies is a pretty big surprise. Like that song, but I would never have guessed I actually listen to it that much.

Beasts From The East is another one. I would definitely have thought I listened to that one more. Canibus' verse on there is one of my favorite of all time.

Other than that, I'm not sure there are many other tracks that I would move around. The bigger thought on my mind is that I really can't remember when I put what song on my ipod. So if a song has been on the ipod longer, it could definitely end up with a higher play count than something I like better. So, I actually think I will reset my play counts and just see what I end up listening to over the next couple of months and then putting up another post.

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Grown Folk Music....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Slowly working my way back into the regular posting game. Just had too much real life stuff going on for the last few weeks to keep up with my blogging.

But, alas, things are finally settling a bit and I'm able to spend more time doing my favorite brand of therapy...writing.

Which brings me to today's post. Both Avery and Blackink turned in nice lists of Grown and Sexy / R&B tracks. I honestly can't quibble with any of their picks, but my own similar list looks way different.

Quiet Storm - Smokey Robinson
Wait For Love - Luther Vandross
One Hundred Ways - Quincy Jones & James Ingram
Inside My Love - Minnie Ripperton
All Your Love - Raphael Saadiq
Voyage to Atlantis - Isley Brothers
You Don't Know Me - Ray Charles
Two Occasions - Babyface
Faithfully - Journey
If You Were Here Tonight - Alexander O'Neal
Take It To Heart - Michael McDonald
Dear Lover - Teena Marie
Softly, Softly - Maxwell
Can I Touch You - 112
I Have Nothing - Whitney Houston
Piece of My Love - Guy

I would tinker with this list, but my IPOD play count doesn't lie. So the first glaring inclusion is probably Faithfully by Journey. All I can say is that song hits close to home on a number of levels. Even though I'm not a musician, I'm on the road a lot and I just like that track. I don't care what anyone says, Steve Perry could blow.

As for the rest, I could listen to Quiet Storm, Wait For Love, One Hundred Ways and Inside My Love on repeat all day and probably not get sick of them.

There are a ton of Tony Toni Tone songs I could have thrown in here, by my IPOD says I like All Your Love the best.

Voyage to Altantis might be my favorite Isley song and that's saying something. This one doesn't seem to get as much love as other tracks in their catalog, but it's definitely my favorite.

You Don't Know Me is one of those songs that just takes me to another place. Ray was a genius, plain and simple. The next few songs are just some of my faves by those particular artists. Not much commentary on those.

But Softly Softly might be the track where I really just up and realized that Maxwell could really really blow. Yeah, I liked him and knew he could sing. But he just seemed to really cut loose on that one.

I feel another post coming about 112. I'm honestly debating if these guys aren't the most underrated group of our time. Yes, they've sold records and have a ton of hit songs. But I'm not sure if people really give these guys their due skills wise. Their first cd is easily one of the best R&B cds of their time. This track is just one of the standouts.

I listen to Whitney sing sometimes and I can't help but shake my head. How could this voice end up where it is now? Whitney's voice is just unreal.

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