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Monday, March 31, 2008

XM / Syrius Satellite Radio Merger - Programming to Suffer?

OK, well ol' Ace used to think, "Who in their right minds would shell out good money to pay for satellite radio, when they can listen to the same ol' tired crap for free on regular FM radio?"

So a couple of years ago when I bought my Infiniti G35, I passed on installing Syrius.

But last year, I bought a new SUV that came equipped with XM and a free 3 month trial.

I got hooked. Amazing! Unfriggenbelievable! So good I haven't listened to FM radio in over a year now. In fact, I went out and bought an XM Sportster radio for my G, which has the added benefit of being portable so I can take it jogging with me.

Now it looks like the XM /Syrius merger is gonna get approved. This is my concern: are the unique channels that one doesn't hear on regular radio now gonna disappear due to cost cutting bean counters?

I listen to 2 channels on XM mostly - #72 (Beyond Jazz - a way cool, modern, fusion, etc. jazz station) and #84 (Chill out music - so cool I don't even need my air conditioner anymore). I hear musicians and bands now that I never in 100 years would hear on regular FM radio. ESPECIALLY HERE IN BAKERSFIELD!!!!!!!!!!

I don't know for certain, but, I suspect that neither of these 2 channels cater to the bland, boring tastes of the masses. (I know most of my friends in Bakersfield say, "You listen to what?")

So my fear is that these 2 (and many of the other "niche" channels) will get dropped once the "suits" start forcing the bottom line, dollar-wise.

What do y'all think?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

End of Jericho - Geez, What a Waste!!!

Well, CBS cancelled Jericho. Just watched the final episode - at least they tied up loose ends and offered some closure.

But Geez...what do we have to look forward to now - more dumbass reality shows? CSI - Buttonwillow?

It's stuff like this that makes me wonder why people are spending so much money on HDTVs.

Crap in 1080p hi definition is still crap.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Slowpokes Driving Down the Mountain - GEEZ!!!!!!!

Well, ol'Ace was enjoying a week off from single dad-dom this week. My kid was camping in the Sierras above Kernville with one of her friends and her family. Just as I was getting ready to go out to enjoy myself today, after only 4 days, I got a frantic phone call - "Daddy, come get me!!! We can't stand it up here!!! There's nothing to do!!!"

My visions of nights out on the town, meeting young lovelies, etc., went flying out the window. Such is the life of a single Dad I guess...

So, I drive the hour plus to Kernville, am not in such a great mood as you may suspect. I pick up my kid, then start the long drive back down the mountain. Five minutes downhill from Lake Isabella, traffic has slowed to a crawl. Lots and lots of cars and trucks are backed up, going only 25-30 mph, because some moron in a dark blue Honda sedan won't go any faster.

People are going nuts!! Everyone is honking their horns for this guy to pull over in one of the NUMEROUS roadside turnoffs to let people pass him by. There are signs posted all over the place telling slower traffic to pull over and let faster traffic pass by.


Oh man, I saw 2 or 3 cars try to pass this guy on a double yellow line on this twisty, 2 lane highway. Numerous near head-on misses with traffic coming up the mountain. And still, this guy refused to pull over and refused to speed up. He drove this way all the way down the hill to where the NASCAR racetrack used to be.

Geez! What a frustrating drive! What is wrong with these people?

Monday, March 17, 2008


OK - everyone have a good time tonight. Don't drink too much, get a designated driver if you can, and if you can't, don't you dare get in that car until your head clears!

I'm wearing a bit of green to my regular Monday night tennis match, but after that, who knows?

Where does the line start for single old farts like me?

Have fun, be safe, don't get into trouble, don't hurt anyone.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Reuban Estrada Concert - Follow-up to Earlier Post

OK - the concert was great, I had a great time, it brought back memories - mostly good, a few a little melancholy, but overall, I made a good decision. Reuban looked (and sounded, of course) just like I remembered him. Hard to believe he just turned 70. Just a fantastic band, a fantastic night of latin jazz!

A side plus to it all - I made some new friends and got reacquainted with some others.

Met Reuban's keyboard player, Mark Massey, before the concert and again during the intermission. He seemed to be a pretty cool, down to earth guy. (Mark - I hope you got through the snow on the Grapevine today in time to make your gig in Orange.)

Also met some real nice folks attending the concert, including a guy with whom I had business dealings in the past and hadn't seen in years and whose son played keyboards for the Bakersfield Jazz Youth orchestra, who opened the night. You and your lovely wife must be very proud Robert. A very talented bunch of kids I might add.

Then there was Jeannette (from Glasgow, Scotland - how some folks find their way to Bako I can never get over!) and her friend Ruth. Don't worry - that woman who complained about you 2 talking during the concert must have had her hearing aid up too loud and pointed in the wrong direction. Unfriggenbelievable what she said to you two.

And finally, I had the most pleasurable experience of meeting Kama Ruby, a very talented jazz "chanteuse" (whom I had seen open for Tom Scott last October) and, as I later learned, a talented actress as well! Kama said she was a rocker girl wanna be too, but, as I told her, there aren't many things in life cooler than being a jazz singer/musician. I hope to see more of her performances in the future. (And if I might add, she's drop dead, jaw dropping gorgeous too, with a personality to match it! - Calm down Ace!)

So there you have it. To say it wasn't so bad is an understatement. I'm really glad I went!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reuban Estrada Concert - 3/15/08

Well, after much internal debate, I'm off to see if I can still get a ticket to see Reuban Estrada at The Nile tonight.

Why the debate?

Well, you see, I lost my wife to a horrible disease 3 years ago.

What does that have to do with Reuban Estrada you ask?

Well, Reuban Estrada and his band at the time, The Estrada Brothers, played at our wedding reception 18 years ago in Ventura, CA. My wife was friends with a woman who was a relative of his.

It was the greatest wedding reception band I ever heard.

The debate is whether tonight will bring back good memories or bad ones.

We'll see - I'll let you know what happens.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Damn - just got done watching the latest episode of "Jericho" on the net (missed the broadcast the other night).

If this isn't THE best tv show right now, I don't know what is.

And to think ol' Ace passed up a chance to be an extra on it last year!

If you haven't seen it yet, go to the official website - they have all of this season's and last season's episodes on-line. For free.

I haven't been this enthused about a TV show since I got hooked on 24.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Was watching Gladiator on cable today, and I was reminded of something that has always bugged me.

Why is it, everytime someone does a film or theater piece about ancient Rome, they all speak with British accents???

Man, they're all paisanos like Ace. Italians don't speak like that!!!!!

Why don't they all have Italian accents for once??? Wouldn't that be great, just for once?

Et tu Brute? Fuggedaboudit.