It’s Our Turn to Salute, AC/DC


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Perennial rockers AC/DC released a new album this year on the heels of some less than fortunate news for the band.  These guys have been lighting up the charts and hearts of serious heavy metal rockers since their debut in 1975.  With the exception of Bon Scott’s untimely demise in 1980, the band has remained largely unscathed over the years and kept a relatively low-profile as far as the press goes.  That is until last year, when headlines broke that Angus Young’s older brother Malcolm was succumbing to dementia.  It was hard news to believe for this generation of fans, many of whom are just crossing the bridge into their 50s.  Before their audience could hardly grasp that update, next came the unthinkable report concerning drummer Phil Rudd who apparently found himself facing conspiracy charges for an alleged murder plot.  The details were sketchy and dropped due to lack of sufficient evidence to press charges.  Still, it left the fan base wondering whether the band could possibly recover and carry-on and Phil facing more court dates for possession of methamphetamine and cannabis which were discovered when his residence got raided for the dirty-deeds-done-dirt-cheap-hire.

Rolling Stone ran an article dated 12/22/2014 entitled “AC/DC’s Phil Rudd: I Want My Job Back” with an equally humorous quote:

Everyone listens to the wrong people.  They should listen to me.  I’m a good guy and a pretty good drummer, by the way.  Ask Angus, he’ll tell you.

Of course everyone wanted to hear Angus’ two cents both before and after that statement, and as such, he made a number of comments in response to the alleged incident, mostly implying that this won’t stop the band from carrying on.  Angus summed it up nicely and professionally:

He’s not the Phil we’ve known in the past.

In the midst of all this drama, the band released their 17th album, “Rock Or Bust”.  The compilation is true to AC/DC’s typical partying vibe, sticking to it’s tried-and-true theme of women, drinking, money, cars and rock-n-roll.  The amazing part is how good they still sound and how they can manage to breathe new life into a song base that is as mysteriously infinite as the numbers in Pi.   If the last time you bought an AC/DC album was “Back In Black”, it is time to update your collection with some substantial rocking tune-age.  “Stiff Upper Lip” released in 2000 and “Black Ice” released in 2008 are the two latest preceding albums.  They are as solid as the current release and feature plenty of great material including the hits “Black Ice”, “Rock N Roll Train”, “Safe In NYC”, and “Stiff Upper Lip” not to mention B-side notables like “Meltdown”, “House of Jazz” “Hold Me Back” “Can’t Stand Still”, “Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll”, “Satellite Blues”, “Damned”, “Come and Get It”, and “Give It Up”, “Skies on Fire”, “Big Jack”, “Money Made”.  Let’s put it this way, there isn’t a bad song on either album.

The same can really be said for their latest production.  The eponymous (thank you, Jack White) song “Rock or Bust” starts off the album track and is currently the first song to get the most radio play.  The second number “Play Ball” is also getting plenty of air time and has a similar steady and familiar AC/DC beat to it.   “Dogs of War” is probably going to get picked up as a movie sound track, it has that feel to it.  “Rock The Blues Away”, “Miss Adventure”, “Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder” and “Hard Times” are decent too but “Baptism by Fire” towers over some other pieces on this production.  Finally, my personal favorite is “Rock this House”.  This is the stand-out single, it has the classic AC/DC sound, and the lyrics are on point.  “Sweet Candy” features some nice Brian Johnson vocals and “Emission Control” really rounds out this piece of work.  Visually, the CD cover is presented with a 3D effect, it’s done well and it looks good.  I might have to seek out the vinyl version of this to see if it is as impressive as the CD cover.  Their website has a nice attempt at a 3D visual as well.

So, you’ll need to click through to YouTube to watch the videos of the top two current radio songs, but this link will take you directly to the videos.

I should refrain, but the crowd was bit cheesy for me.  I’m not entirely sure these are real AC/DC fans.

If it’s true that there is no such thing as bad publicity, then the timing worked out ok for them.  With upcoming tour dates spanning 2015 into 2016, word is that Steve Young (uncle in the Young family) will fill in for Malcolm and Chris Slade will sit in for Phil. It’s likely the band will continue to fill arenas as older fans introduce their kids to the band’s live performances and rock catalog. They also nabbed the prestigious spot of headlining Coachella Festival which is rather remarkable and a fine salute to the old boys, and will definitely gain them some new followers as well.

There is little doubt that this is a big year for the band, in addition to everything else, they got to open up at the Grammy’s.  I was going to put a YouTube up of it, but there might be some copyright business going on with that.  Check it out on YouTube if you missed the performance or want to watch it again.

Came across this looking for some material to post here. This is just plain fun to watch.

If you haven’t caught a live performance of their’s for a long time, I highly suggest NOT MISSING the “Rock or Bust” tour if it comes to your town.  The band is down 2 and there’s only 3 original guys left so things are getting kinda sparse on originals here.  Should you find yourself going and haven’t seen them recently: If you think twice about the light up devil horns, they will sell out before the end of the show, so pick them up early.  Additionally, plan on ringing in your ears for 2-3 days afterwards.  These guys put on the LOUDEST show I’ve ever heard. Ever.  There’s always earplugs for those so inclined.

Here is a rather remarkable video of a personal favorite song, “Let There Be Rock”.  If you’ve never experienced AC/DC live, this will provide a very good idea of what a concert is like.  A big nod to Mal, the guy who stood in the shadows of Brian and Angus all these years.  We’ll all miss seeing you out there but we won’t forget you.  It’s sad to think he probably won’t be back again, but the guy who misses him out there the most has got to be his little bro.  And here’s hoping Phil can get it back together and that we see him around again next time.

As they say, the biggest guys are the most humble, and these guys fit that bill.  This is my personal 21 gun salute!

AC/DC’s tour kicks off May 5, 2015 in Holland.

The Distracted Brain


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The article on AC/DC is almost done, but it needs a little more polishing. In the meantime, this seems like news worth sharing. This will be required reading for spring break teenagers at my house with a quiz to follow. Hopefully someone out there will find this as fascinating as yours truly.

Hope you are enjoying the beginning of Spring!

The Satirical Frame, A Second Installment


Enough time has passed since my last post entitled “The Satirical Frame” to accumulate a sufficient number of images to do another installment in this series. If you missed the first in this edition, here is a link to it:

The AC/DC post is in rough draft form, so please stop back soon to check that out.  As always, thanks for stopping by.  I appreciate your visit!

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace and a Happy Birthday Wish


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Last August, on a beautiful warm summer day, the Jade Buddha for Universal Peace made a stop at The Watt Munisotaram Buddhist Temple in the sleepy little farm community of Hampton, Minnesota.  The Jade Buddha has been traveling the world to promote peace among all people and cultures.  To date, 7,496,938 people have seen the Buddha.


A visit to the Jade Buddha website offers the following additional information:

The Jade Buddha

The Jade Buddha for Universal Peace is the largest Buddha carved from gemstone quality jade in the world. The Jade Buddha is 2.7 metres high and weighs 4 tonne. It sits on an alabaster throne of 1.4 high. The size and beauty of the Jade Buddha make it a wonder of the world. It is considered to be priceless.

The Jade is from Canada and the statue was carved in Thailand. The Buddha inside the Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya (India) is the model for the Great Jade Buddha. This Buddha was chosen because it is universally recognised by all Buddhists.

The purpose of exhibiting the Jade Buddha around the world is for everyone, irrespective of their religion, to take a moment to reflect upon peace; peace for the world; peace in their relationships; peace for their families and friends; peace at work; peace in their mind. We hope that such positive inspiration will bring joy and motivation in the lives of those who are able to see the Jade Buddha.

Here is a short video clip from the procession of the monks that I made when I was attending the event. (Unfortunately, I cannot get the video to load here at WordPress.  Please visit my website at if you are interested in watching this.)

Watt Jade Buddha

On a different but equally important note, It’s that time of the year again to wish my favorite Vikings’ player a very Happy Birthday!




Speaking of AC/DC, it’s very possible that a few words paying a little overdue respect to this die-hard band will be found on this webpage in the near future.

Today I’d like to raise my glass, a wish for peace and a toast to #71.

2015: Resolve to Be Yourself


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One thing many human beings have in common are challenges to live up to other people’s expectations.  Sometimes we are willing participants in creating those expectations and sometimes we are not.  Consider celebrities or political figures or being born into a family, whether they are poor or royalty, or marrying into one, for better or worse.  Maybe it’s a job that appeared to be something it was not.  On the contrary, perhaps the employee appeared to be someone he or she was not.

Could it be that many of the world’s problems are caused by people not being able to be themselves?  When someone can’t be themselves or feels they need to behave a certain way to appease someone, it can lead to deceit and trickery, hiding and lying and contribute to copious amounts of unnecessary drama in the world.  It doesn’t have to be handled that way, but oftentimes it is.


If you don’t want to wear deer antlers, don’t do it!

I am wishing all of you a year of being comfortable in your own skin and being happy to be who you are!


A Holiday Gift of Jack White


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Last June I wrote a blog about Jack White and the Black Keys and in particular, I noted that Jack performed an Elvis Presley cover called “The Power of My Love” at his record-store day vinyl release party.

Here is a link to that post in case you missed it:

The vinyl that he released from his store is running about oh $200 on Ebay these days.  It’s an awesome performance and I remarked that the studio release of “Lazaretto” did not include the B-side Presley cover on it, like the special release live performance vinyl did.

There was a bootleg copy running around and we could only hope that it would be released to the masses someday.

I decided to check iTunes this week and there it was.  So in the spirit of the holiday season and to pay tribute to Jack’s homage to the number 3, I’m going to give a free download of this song to the first 3 people who ask for it.  I bought the downloads and was going to try to paste them here for you to take.  It didn’t work however so I’m waiting to hear back from iTunes as to how to do that.  Please feel free to shoot me an email at or put your email in a comment and I will forward the free download email to you.

If they go quickly, I’ll be sure to put up a post so you will know.  I’m also tweeting this so if you are interested, please do reply soon.

Wishing you all a peaceful, happy and wonderful time of the year!

Ode to the Marathon Candy Bar


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Has anyone ever asked what your favorite candy or candy bar was from your childhood?  Mine happened to be the Marathon Candy Bar.  Besides being a big fan of caramel, the sheer length of this candy bar made a kid feel like they were really getting their money’s worth.  I don’t have an old wrapper to prove it, but I think there used to be a ruler on the back measuring off the inches.  If memory serves correctly, it was about 10 inches long.  We didn’t think about the fact that it probably weighed the same as every other candy bar.  Visually it appeared 2 or 3 times the size as the standard bar.

The commercials focused on its biggest selling point: how long the candy bar was and presumably was going to last.  I was shocked and delighted that someone found and posted them on Youtube.

Mars Candy was the maker of this fine bar and since the company is still around today, one wonders why they don’t bring this classic bar back.  After checking their website, I can report  that Mars did start another Marathon-named product in their line, but it is an energy bar and not the candy bar of yore.

The closest thing around these days is the Curly Wurly made by Cadbury.  I picked one up recently at the World’s Biggest Candy store down on Highway 169 south of the cities.  It’s about the only place I’ve ever seen them.  Here’s what it looks like:


As you can see, it’s a bit shorter than the old Marathon.


Now, for a look at the inside:


It’s a fair enough substitute.  It’s braided and it’s caramel and it’s covered in chocolate, but still leaves a true fan longing for the original.  In the meantime, it will simply have to do.

As always, thank you for visiting this blog and I truly hope you are enjoying the festive holiday season.