I recently joined a closed group on Facebook dedicated to St. Louis Cardinals fans.  I feel like a well-informed fan, but thought I’d give this a try to see what other fans are discussing.

Giancarlo Stanton has been a big topic going into this off-season.  The Marlins reportedly want to decrease the team payroll significantly and with 10 years and $295 million remaining on his contract, Stanton seems like the prime candidate to put on the trading block.  The question is, how much of that contract will the Marlins eat in order to make a trade more appealing.  The Cardinals are certainly in need of a big bat in the lineup and Cardinal Nation seems to be frothing at the mouth at the idea of signing Stanton.

There was a post in this closed group about how great it would be to get Stanton and I decided to join in the discussion.  I disagreed.  Stanton has only played at least 125 games in only 3 of his 8 seasons.  My point was that the Cardinals could potentially get a few MVP-type seasons out of him, if he stays healthy, but paying him $30 million when he reaches his mid to late 30’s doesn’t make sense when his production is likely to decrease.  The other Miami outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna would be more attractive acquisitions in my opinion.  Yelich is cheaper than Stanton with 4 years and $43 million remaining on his contract and Ozuna is controllable for 2 more seasons at only about $11 million.

There were some thoughtful responses to my post.  One guy made the point that having Stanton in the lineup would elevate other players like Pham and DeJong, which I agree with completely.  That is what having a big bat in the lineup does.  However, the most common criticism to my post was that, “it isn’t your money” or “the Cardinals are swimming in cash and can afford him.”

The Cardinals are cashing in on a big TV contract and have money so why not just spend it all, right?  Who cares if it makes sense or if it’s a good business move.  Forget that the Marlins haven’t finished above .500 in 8 seasons.  We accuse professional athletes of being privileged cry baby millionaires when they say or do anything that we may disagree with, then get mad when our favorite team doesn’t spend a ridiculous amount of money to sign or trade for the high-profile player that we think the team needs.

You can’t argue with irrational people.  I really should stay away from glorified message boards on Facebook.


Sexual Assault

It seems like every day there are new allegations of sexual assault.  I get that one person coming forward may give another victim the courage to also step forward and that is wonderful, but I wonder if we’re throwing around the word assault too casually.

For example the headline in the New York Times says “Kevin Spacey to Seek Treatment as Assault Accusations Grow.”  The second sentence says, “More men have come forward accusing Mr. Spacey of behaving inappropriately toward them.”  Acting inappropriately doesn’t necessarily mean he assaulted these men, or does it?

According to the definition of sexual assault is as follows:

Sexual assault is any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.

I think of a physical attack when I think of the word assault, but the definition above includes behavior as well.  I feel like this is a common misconception when it comes to sexual assault.  Sexual assault is an umbrella term that includes not only unwanted or forced physical contact, but behaviors such as harassment, verbal abuse, exploitation, and unwanted exposure.

Laws vary from state to state so the definition also varies, unfortunately.  While some call it sexual misconduct and others say sexual assault, it is important to understand what it means.  It does not have to be aggressive physical contact for it to be wrong.




I caught an article from Vox ranking the top Halloween candy best to worst and I have some issues with the list. 

Obviously tootsie rolls are the worst candy on the planet and the little turds belong at the bottom of any list. However the next three, Mike & Ike, Twizzlers, and Almond Joy should be outraged at being placed so low on the list.  Okay, I get the comment that Twizzlers are “the perfect candy for someone who would like to feel the thrill of chewing on a candle.”  Touche, but I still love them. Except, of course, black licorice. Those should be banned from existence. It’s what I imagine death tastes like. 

Athough the list already lost all credibility by placing Twizzlers and Mike & Ike’s so low, I felt I needed to press on to find out what candy outranked a couple of my personal favorites   

The best comment in the article is about Mounds coming in at 22, comparing them to Barb from Stranger Things. 

And no one’s mother would really notice if Mounds were teleported to another dimension, because they are aggressively uninteresting

The author must have been smoking candy crack to have placed candy corn and Butterfinger essentially in the middle of the list. Butterfingers are great if you want an instaneous cavity or want your mouth glued shut. M&M’s are highly underrated at 14 on the list. 

Adding to my aggravation is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups at number 10. I was hoping the list would redeem itself by ranking Reese’s at number one where it obviously belongs, but I was sorely mistaken. Instead KitKat takes the top honor.  KitKat is easily a top 10 Halloween candy, but how can you possibly rank Skittles, gummy bears or Twix higher than Reese’s?  What a terrible list!  

Of course I realize this all personal preference. Except for Reese’s. There is nothing better in the world than peanut butter and chocolate mixed together in perfect harmony. My top 5 would be as follows;

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. M&M’s (it’s a toss up between regular and peanut. Plain is probably more standard when it comes to Halloween)
  3. Twizzlers 
  4. KitKat
  5. Mike & Ike 

I just realized Hot Tamales aren’t on the list! I wouldn’t consider them a big Halloween candy so I’ll let that one slide, but I’d rank them 6th on my list. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth or maybe a dozen?  Hard to believe I’ve never had a cavity. 

Happy Halloween!

You know you’re getting old when…

A sure sign you’re  getting old is when you’re excited about the band playing at the local 4th of July celebration.  Most of the time I have no idea who the main act is or it’s a country artist that I have zero interest in, but this year the Gin Blossoms are performing.  To be fair when New Miserable Experience came out when I was in junior high so I’m really not that old.

The Gin Blossoms were a departure from the gritty Seattle grunge sound at the time.  They are more light alternative pop with dark themes often mixed in with the pop melodies written by their troubled guitarist, Doug Hopkins.  While recording New Miserable Experience, Hopkins’ alcoholism got so bad the band was forced to replace him.  Hopkins later committed suicide while the song he wrote, “Hey Jealousy,” was climbing the charts.  “Found Out About You” was another hit single for the band written by Hopkins.

The band had more hit singles with “Til I hear It From You” on the Empire Records soundtrack and “Follow You Down” on the follow up album, Congratulations I’m Sorry, but they eventually broke up in 1997. Singer, Robin Wilson, and drummer, Phillip Rhodes, started another band, Gas Giants.  By the time they released their album, From Beyond the Back Burner, in 1999, I was working in radio.  We played the only single from the album, “Quitter,” and the band came to town for a concert.  But because of confusion between the label, the venue, and the radio station it turned out to be quite the cluster.  Okay, maybe I’m being a bit diplomatic about it. The station really had nothing to do with it. The band showed up unannounced thinking arrangements had been made such as, you know, hotel rooms and a venue to play. They hadn’t. Wilson wasn’t happy and let people know it, not that I could blame him.  I was frustrated by it all and didn’t bother going to the show.

The Gin Blossoms reunited and released albums in 2006 and 2010 with another new album rumored to be released soon.  Still, it’s those early songs that have become staples of the 90’s and remain relevant today.  I’ll have to check out the newer albums, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing them live on the 4th.

Image result for gin blossoms

New Foo’s!

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard some new music from the Fighters of Foo.  Sonic Highways came out in 2014 followed by the St. Cecilia EP in 2015.  Dave and Taylor debuted a new acoustic song, “The Sky is a Neighborhood” a couple of weeks ago at a benefit show.  And now “Run.”  The vocals remind me a bit of “Weenie Beenie” from the first album mixed with the melodies the band has come to be known for.

Also known for their wacky videos, this one is no exception.  It was even directed by Dave.

Paris Climate Accord

According to a Washington Post article, “The U.S. is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter and would otherwise have accounted for 21 percent of the total emissions reductions achieved by the accord through 2030.”  If Trump pulls the US from the Paris agreement, other countries are likely to withdraw as well worsening the warming of the planet.  The agreement has been signed by over 190 countries and was backed by global fossil fuel companies like Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, and BP.

And yet here we are, being teased about the fate of our planet like it’s the next episode of the Apprentice.

I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017

There are already more jobs in clean energy than there are in coal and yet the President continues to try and save a dying industry.  The climate skepticism and shortsightedness of Steve Bannon, Scott Pruitt, and the President will leave the US without a seat at the international table while continuing to destroy the planet.

Mother Jones shared this video from filmmaker Ian Cheney.  “In just over 12 minutes, he explores the scale of the challenge facing humanity: scientific and technical, the emotional, psychological, and political. Cheney doesn’t pretend to offer answers or specific solutions; he only seeks to shine a light into the fog, to look for shapes and patterns, and ultimately to explore the many reasons why the problem of climate change is so difficult for humanity to even fathom, much less come together to solve.”

Lithium Top 100

While on vacation, I heard the Lithium channel on Sirius XM counting down the top 100 Alternative and Grunge songs of the 90’s.  But as my wife pointed out, “isn’t that what they always play anyway, but now it’s in order?”  Well, yeah, but…okay I see your point.

As we closed in on the top 10, she asked me who I thought number 1 would be.  Obviously it would be Nirvana’s “Teen Spirit.”  It’s always number one.  But then there it was at number 5?!?  Okay, so it must be a Pearl Jam song since we already heard Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins in the top 10.  Nope, “Alive” landed at number 3.  The Nirvana MTV Unplugged cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” came in at number 2.  What is happening?!?!?!  We reached the number one song of the list and I was thoroughly confused.  The number one alternative and grunge song of the 90’s according to the Lithium channel was “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Foo’s and “Everlong” is a great song, but the number 1 song of the 90’s Alternative and Grunge era?   No.

Here is the complete list:

100 Praise You Fatboy Slim
99 Scar Tissue Red Hot Chili Peppers
98 My Own Worst Enemy Lit
97 Cherub Rock Smashing Pumpkins
96 Tomorrow Silverchair
95 Learn To Fly Foo Fighters
94 In The Meantime Spacehog
93 Hey Jealousy Gin Blossoms
92 Big Empty Stone Temple Pilots
91 Closing Time Semisonic
90 Glycerine Bush
89 The Distance Cake
88 Daughter Pearl Jam
87 The Beautiful People Marilyn Manson
86 Stupid Girl Garbage
85 Otherside Red Hot Chili Peppers
84 Good Better Than Ezra
83 What’s The Frequency Kenneth? R.E.M.
82 Champagne Supernova Oasis
81 Burden In My Hand Soundgarden
80 Just A Girl No Doubt
79 In Bloom Nirvana
78 Backwater Meat Puppets
77 Brain Stew/Jaded Green Day
76 Loser Beck
75 Undone-The Sweater Song Weezer
74 I Alone Live
73 I’ll Stick Around Foo Fighters
72 Hey Man Nice Shot Filter
71 Guerrilla Radio Rage Against The Machine
70 Song 2 Blur
69 Comedown Bush
68 Flagpole Sitta Harvey Danger
67 Plush Stone Temple Pilots
66 What Would You Say Dave Matthews Band
65 1979 Smashing Pumpkins
64 Black Pearl Jam
63 Jane Says (Live) Jane’s Addiction
62 Give It Away Red Hot Chili Peppers
61 Would? Alice In Chains
60 Epic Faith No More
59 Monkey Wrench Foo Fighters
58 Low Cracker
57 Heart Shaped Box Nirvana
56 You Oughta Know Alanis Morissette
55 Man On The Moon R.E.M.
54 Buddy Holly Weezer
53 Peaches Presidents Of The United States Of America
52 Basket Case Green Day
51 Don’t Look Back In Anger Oasis
50 Fell On Black Days Soundgarden
49 Machinehead Bush
48 What I Got Sublime
47 Sabotage Beastie Boys
46 Tonight Tonight Smashing Pumpkins
45 Come Out And Play Offspring
44 Californication Red Hot Chili Peppers
43 Even Flow Pearl Jam
42 Semi-Charmed Life Third Eye Blind
41 Heaven Beside You Alice In Chains
40 Santa Monica Everclear
39 Lightning Crashes Live
38 Down 311
37 My Hero Foo Fighters
36 Possum Kingdom Toadies
35 Come As You Are Nirvana
34 Hunger Strike Temple Of The Dog
33 Interstate Love Song Stone Temple Pilots
32 Longview Green Day
31 Bittersweet Symphony The Verve
30 Killing In The Name Rage Against The Machine
29 Losing My Religion R.E.M.
28 Santeria Sublime
27 Everything Zen Bush
26 Spoonman Soundgarden
25 Rooster Alice In Chains
24 Creep Radiohead
23 Bullet With Butterfly Wings Smashing Pumpkins
22 No Rain Blind Melon
21 Lithium Nirvana
20 Self-Esteem Offspring
19 Creep Stone Temple Pilots
18 Been Caught Stealing Jane’s Addiction
17 Say It Ain’t So Weezer
16 All Over You Live
15 Wonderwall Oasis
14 When I Come Around Green Day
13 Jeremy Pearl Jam
12 Bulls On Parade Rage Against The Machine
11 Where It’s At Beck
10 Man In The Box Alice In Chains
9 Closer Nine Inch Nails
8 Under The Bridge Red Hot Chili Peppers
7 Black Hole Sun Soundgarden
6 Today Smashing Pumpkins
5 Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
4 Vasoline Stone Temple Pilots
3 Alive Pearl Jam
2 The Man Who Sold The World (Unplugged) Nirvana
1 Everlong Foo Fighters


The core artists of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day, Bush, and Foo Fighters make up 47 songs on the list.  However, three of the five songs from RHCP come from the Californication album, which was released in the summer of ’99 barely qualifying for this list.  Is it a good album?  Absolutely, but not so much that three of the songs should outweigh other 90’s artists left off this list.  Where’s Candlebox, Seven Mary Three, Soul Asylum, or even Collective Soul?  I about drove off the road when I heard Harvey Danger made the list, but there’s no Butthole Surfers or the Cranberries.

Lithium host, Hardy, had this to say about compiling the list:

Narrowing down a decade’s worth of music to a list of 100 was a great deal easier than one would think. It only required two teams of experts, working 1,700 miles apart. The first team consisted of 9 of the world’s top alternative and grunge music experts locked in a conference room in the former Kmart World Headquarters in Troy, MI.  These musicologists needed only 3 weeks to compile a list of songs they felt deserving of being on the Lithium Top 100.

But in what order?  That’s where the second team began their work, in a laboratory built nearly a quarter mile beneath the surface of a nondescript patch of New Mexico desert. There, 17 rogue scientists used math, Bunsen burners and a particle accelerator to determine what song was truly number 1, and which one was 2.  And 3.  And so on.

So, enjoy! And give a silent nod to the brave men and women who gave so much to give you the definitive, undeniable and absolute Lithium Top 100 Countdown. Unless you don’t agree with the list, in which case, blame Twitter and Facebook.

At best this is an arbitrary list (what list isn’t?) designed to get people like me that grew up with this music to talk about what they left out and how I would rearrange the entire thing.  Well played, Lithium.