Play T1. Tents and Porta Johns - Why even bother with the extraordinarily harsh cost of living in Southern California, Mexicans, when you can just go to California’s Canada? You can get work all the while having your rights protected and you can pee when you need to! Only in Portland.

2. Play – I did a search using my local library’s database recently. I was looking around to see if I could score a copy of Mudhoney’s Superfuzz/Bigmuff. I didn’t. However, I did find out that they recorded a track for a recent CD released by DeSoto records called Play. I’d heard of this release but forgot about it, truthfully. I didn’t forget the reason why it was released, though. J.Robbins (producer of so many fine artists, and mega-influential co-founder of Jawbox – one of my very favorite bands) and his wife, Janet Morgan, have a son, Callum. Callum was born with a genetic disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Read more about it here. Being a father to two perfectly healthy girls, I cannot truly imagine what J. and Janet must feel and what their days are like. Play is a benefit CD in which otherwise adult-oriented indie-rock bands have crafted kid’s songs in their unique, indie-rock way. I gave it a listen and – I kid you not – this CD might be the best CD I’ve heard all year (Oh, and Hero liked the CD, as well…ahem!). You need to check it out and buy it like I’m going to. I think I might get my kid one of those spiffy t-shirts that you can find on the DeSoto site, too. Do a good thing and enjoy yourself to this music and help a meaningful cause. While you’re thinking about it, give this NPR report a listen. This ought to jar you into action.

3. R’lyeh – As a pre-teen fan of both Iron Maiden and Metallica, it was only natural to develop an obsession over H.P. Lovecraft‘s writings. Both bands, especially the almighty classic Metallica, nodded to his works more than a few times in songs and/or artwork. Lovecraft’s deeply gothic and, often-times, surreal work is fertile ground ripe for the twisted workings of a bored teen-aged boy. All the mentions of half-man/half-fish demons, tentacled gods, Things That Should Not Be, and all the resulting insanity that comes from dealing with such other-worldly pests played perfectly into my life. Lovecraft’s now classic literature has never lent itself well to film, though. Plagued by dumb-asses who wanted to make another hack-and-slash flick loosely based on some of Lovecraft’s short stories, celluloid representations of his twisted art never carried well – until recently, that is. By way of Netflix, I came across an amazing black and white silent film called Call of Cthulhu. I couldn’t believe it, really, but upon renting and watching the relatively short film, I came to the utterly amazing realization that someone had actually done Lovecraft justice! Finally!!

4. Swimming – As I taught Hero how to swim during a recent foray into the pool, I came to remember that I forgot exactly how to swim. By this I mean that the entire act of swimming and learning how to swim is a metaphor for life and I haven’t swam in a long time.

5. The Future, My Ass – Did you know that the reason we’re paying so damned much for gas is because of “futures”? Did you know that what this means, basically, is speculation? Did you know that because of this, our entire economy (as opposed to just energy and lending sectors) could nose dive like nothing we’ve ever seen because there may not be the gold that all this money is hoping is guaranteed…in their speculations? Has no one learned from the “Gold Rush” of the tech bubble, the housing bubble, and the lending bubble? Hold on to your bikes, folks. You’re going to need them when we go all Mad Max.