Sunday, January 21, 2018

Week in Review, One Year Since Inauguration, The Art of The Deal, The Negotiator in Chief, Government Shut Down & Trump's Economic Scorecard: One Year Since Inauguration, plus, NFC Championship, Oteil & Friends, Spafford, Chameleon Club, Kickboxing, Boxing, TKO Fitness, Sunset Recordings, Drew Aguilar, UFC Gym, Yoga, LA Fitness, Pine Forest Overnight Camp, Chiro, Umphrey's McGee New Rules, Phish is Playing so well, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Abused at Camp Rockhill...

This was a crazy week. 

I have done a lot this week and that is setting aside my two root canal procedures, my Boxing Classes (3 X this week), Kickboxing (2 X's this week) and I only got to do Yoga three times this week now that I think of it, I still managed to have some great breakthrough finally at work. And, notably, with my one division and one of my company that has been the problem since day one. I finally see some peace and ability to surge ahead with a great basis. 

I am still not in a groove with regard to my new Yoga schedule (at LA Fitness) and I must say that it is hard to do Boxing or Kickboxing on the same days as Yoga and the Gym. 

I do like two instructors a lot so far at LA Fitness. 

Both are the best of lots of world. It is hard but not over the top hard. I guess challenging could be the word so i am psyched about them. 

But that's only three to potentially four classes a week if I remember correct. I have to find at least one more Yoga class. 

And, then I will never go back to the Mount Laurel facility. He was not bad but the facility is horrible and he is not worth coming back to making that effort. I am pretty sure that whirlpool almost gave me a cold sore. It was gross and I could not even remotely stay in there for more than 18 seconds. It is shame because the whirlpool in Somerdale is sick. It is totally clean and the jets are great. There is none at the Marlton place which is my favorite one for seeing women (although I have not been to the Cherry Hill one yet which also or evidently has a whirlpool).  

The problem is that I love Kickboxing and Boxing Class. 

I base my day around them and then I work outward. My instructors are hardcore. One of them (Drew Aguilar) is fighting on some MMA card in mid to late February. I have to support that I am thinking and then one of my other instructors that kicks my ass so hard when it comes to strength training and doing all of the crap I hate doing, is emceeing another event. He may even be the promoter. They have a decent thing building. One of the events uses Evander Holyfield's name. I wonder if Frank Gelb if he is still alive has his hand that. 

Regardless, what I do every day is great, however my body aches like crazy. I am seeing a chiro finally now too as of three days ago. That is a not helping with regard to the pain. Which I am fine with because 53 years of doing what the hell I have done to my body. whatever gets tweaked is gonna feel odd. I have hope there is gold at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

But for me, it is the best of every world and besides me getting nailed in the head and slapped two times back in 2002 (you can read about it in my first book, 'Three Weeks in June'), I had never hit anything or had to defend myself if you will, since maybe the 80's (I did hit someone in their face when I was in Israel back in 1986) and in reality, I have not hit anything since elementary school. Which again, in sixth grade I got beat up. So I doubt i hit anyone and then, any fight where we would call each other out were basically draws. 

I also went to this summer camp for a half of a summer that by today's standard would in no way shape or form be opened. They would set up lopsided boxing matches so one kid gets the shit kicked out of them. 

Camp Rockhill. Even by standards back then, we were abused like crazy. We were tormented. They would make us run on rocks in bear feet in the middle of the night. They would strip us down to our underwear while they placed us outside in the middle of the night. They faked a kidnapping of a brother of some kid in my bunk as a way to scare him I suppose was the rationale. They would shoot at us when we would raid the girls bunk. I mean with blanks of course but when they caught us, they would try to scare the daylights out of us using guns and like I said above, they would stand us out there in our underwear. They would line us up and this long haired dude with a shotgun would walk up and down pointing the gun at us while yelling in our faces. They would lock me up in the room where they keep sports equipment. It was in this dark storage place with a pad lock. 

Then one time, me and my friend (Jody) snuck into the head of the company's office and used his phone to call our parents to tell them to get us out of there. That was the other thing. They would intercept letters. They would read everyone. They would never allow any bad ones out. And, they would only let certain ones in. When the head of the company got calls from my mom and from my friends mom, the dude put his fist through the wall. Or he tried to I should say because he busted his arm or wrist upon impact. He was in a cast when we left. 

Then I went to the Pine Forest Overnight Camp for many years which was the polar opposite. I was a camper there for many years and then I became a counselor for a couple years, after I was a waiter.

I cannot even for the life of me figure out what in gods name I am talking about here but anyway, on Wednesday night this week, I went with a few friends to the Oteil Burbridge & Friends show at the TLA (Theatre of the Living Arts) in Philly. And, on South Street. It was so much fun. I thought it was the perfect blend of Dead related stuff even though I have to say that most songs they did minus Althea and Bertha and then minus the Jerry (Garcia) tunes like To Lay6 Me Down and Cats (Under The Stars), were covers that Jerry Band gave its own arrangement making them popular amongst dead heads growing up. 

I just had no clue what to expect and it exceeded anything plus again, the people I went with and the people that I saw at the show were great to be around. 

Here is the set list and some videos of the songs sung by the woman in the band. That is what I loved about it which I alluded to above and that is how the songs played were Dead based of course, but they blended many other styles and songs originally done by popular artists (i.e.: Jimmy Cliff, The Band, CCR, Bob Dylan which BTW, hearing that song of all songs he wrote and performed, that was great and it was a throwback to my childhood) with the Jerry and De3ad stuff.

Plus, this woman in the band with great vox sung a few songs too. She is great. The band is great. it was so much fun.
Oteil Burbridge Setlist The Theatre of Living Arts, Philadelphia, PA, USA 2018

I am almost so happy with regard to where the front line record label is at today but boy, man did it go for a wild ride to get to this basis. 
I love my artists today and I feel like we have a huge basis finally set in place today. 

The music is an array of solid material and you know what the best compliments are now, is that people want to do follow up albums which means that we are making money and most of all, it means everyone is sorta happy. We have NOT even scratched the surface. 

Every other division at SCA is rolling like a machine but the front line record label just never got going on all four cylinders. The new distro company is sick. They did in about 18 hours what one company could not do in 7 months and what another company could not do in 5 weeks. It was astounding and honestly, it is shell shocking. I do NOT know what to do with myself. What people do not even think of when reflecting on how anyone can be music artist today and how anyone can get their material at any key retail, however what this influx also has done over the last 15 to 20 years is that you have so many wannabees, newbies and out and out idiots that work in the music industry today.
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I also saw Spafford at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I got home at like 3AM and I woke up at like 730AM I think. My friend from Arizona is a big fan of that band. He has pushed them to me for years. And, I think they are good. They are NOT on the level yet with Umphrey's McGee and they are not even where Moe. is at. They do have a good thing going. I am curious to see how they do in larger environment like the Amphitheatre where they do the Peach Festival. If they can fill the air in a venue like that is how I would gauge it. 

Speaking of Umphrey's McGee, that guitar player is nuts and I cannot wait to see them this week at the Fillmore in Philadelphia. It is a unique guitar sound. It is soaring but not in any way like say Phish or how Trey's guitar sound soars at their shows. This Umphrey's McGee guy has these little licks that lead up to that high level if you will. He builds things very fast. Trey does but Trey is way more melodic and besides, Trey does anything now that is conducive to the music. 

The band (Phish) is so on these days. Think about 2017. The shows that I saw leading up to the Baker's Dozen in New York City were amazing. I still listen to them to this day. The Baker's Dozen shows were pretty much all off the charts. Dick's was perfect and then New Years was excpetional  from the first not of music until the last.

I mention summer camp where I first used to get that pit in the stomach when you leave at the end of the two months. I felt that way after New Years and after Dick's. I had that pit in my stomach upset that I was leaving everyone let alone the music which is the best. It is the best outlet on the planet. 

As for the Fillmore in Philly, I love that place. And, that show  is going to be sick but we must do a new rule with regard to Umphrey's McGee shows at the Fillmore in Philly. No guests please. Last year they were cruising through that second set like madd and they brought in this bass player that is not even from Philly I don't think, and it stopped things in it tracks. I don't think they rebounded to get that insane level they were at to start of that set but anyway, I also think it comes off as too gratuitous and most of all, it takes away from when a collaboration brings magic. 

I forget when I saw them last. I think it was last year. Maybe it was in the fall. 

Overall though, that was some serious music whenever they played the Fillmore the last times. I want to see three hours of non stop constant high level of play.

I am anxious to see them and then my two week music brigade ends after seeing Greensky Bluegrass on February 1 and again, at the Fillmore in Philly. Which after speaking to the Keyboardist in Spafford, he told me that the Greensky band has no drummers. I now understand that is pure bluegrass. He also said it was not like Leftover (Salmon) either. My phriends from Colorado love them. But I had no clue they had no drummers. I assumed it was bluegrass based but I also thought is was jam band'ish. 

So as far as Spafford, the real story is this Chameleon Club. What the hell is that place? It has the weirdest lay out I have seen in a club maybe even ever. The floor was a clusterfuck. They said it was NOT sold out whereas I thought they oversold the place. I then find out there is not only a second level, there is an unprecedented third level. And, it is one of those venues with a wall on one side and then a place where people can hang over the railing in the upper levels on the other side (i.e.: meaning the sound is going to be way off center). There is no bar or no alcohol on the upper floors. I am not sure what that is all about and then the stage has a gap in between in it with a barrier as if we are at a 22K seat venue. They waste about 5 rows of standing people multiplied by the amounts of people that can fit in the width of the venue on floor area. There is one bar. There were two bathrooms even though there were never lines for any bathroom I used last night. I used both.
But as far as unique and old school clubs go, this place be second to none. 

It's a cool old school venue but the sound is very much eh (they also put up plastic barriers under the post on the railing which cuts the sound down in many areas). There are also not too many places in the club where you can even get a glance at any of the band. 

The floor sounded great. The upper levels did not but again, it was not awful. I liked the venue more than I did not but I like those old school places that are down and dirty. 

Finding space was not good. That was ridiculous. The venue is cool though.

There were also some hotties. That I will give Lancaster, PA.

Lancaster is way different than I ever imagined. 

There are real building edifices and we passed by the Auntie Annies headquarters. I saw Trannys last night and I saw homeless people. I no doubt saw some tweakers. 

That was just from walking back a block from the venue to the car after stopping at one of those NASCAR Sunoco convenient markets.

Every time I had ever been in that area, we went to those antique places or I went to see music and b-lined it back to Jersey. I never knew there was a small city area.

I think I may finally see Star Wars: The Last Jedi today.
OK. It has been a year since the 'Women's March'; I mean since the inauguration. 

The administrations spin is over the top delusional. 

That is if take the Hogan Gidley's of the world and the Mark String's of the world literal. They say the same exact talking points. The GOP'ers are also taking a page right from Trump by using quick catch phrases. They have brand marketed the 'shut down' to their bases that has the intellect level of a sheep by using two words put together such as Schumer's Shut Down'. 

How in god's name can they even say that with a straight face when never in the history of the United States, has there been a government shut down when the entire party controls the Executive Branches and All parts of Congress. Now it is battle of one liners. 'Trumps shut down' which it is, compared to 'Schumer's shut down' which none of his base BTW, know what the hell a 'Chuck Schumer' is and as a matter of fact, the only politician his base knows is Trump. They all have no clue what Chuck Schumer does in real life. I would go so far to say that 94% of his 32% base had never even heard of the Schumer name, unless they are referring to Amy. Which most of them don't know either but still, you know what I mean. 

Have you read the Forbes article about Trump's real numbers with regard to the economy over the last year?

Overall, in that in real life and not in Trumpville USA, the economy will be a long term thing to come full circle and honestly, sames goes with the tax plan (setting aside how Corporations will see benefits right away). We will not even remotely know how the economy will sustain this newly added amount to the deficit. I feel like it will eventually do what it did when George Bush Jr. and Dick Cheney were in office. 

You know when the economy imploded. 

My friend that does work in the mortgage world says that he sees right away how the deregulation that is already taking place, allows people in that industry to take more advantage of people that want loan money.

Over the past year, the stock market has done well. He touts that by saying that sentence every day. Also, he can boast about how the GDP has grown and how the unemployment rate is at a 17 year low. 

However, job gains are lower than any of the past six years and wage growth was less this year than it was even last year, let alone in past years.

Besides, unemployment and the GDP were trending this exact way for 8 years. This POTUS saw from day one an economy that was on the rise and not only that, job growth and low unemployment were also trends that this POTUS walked into having this year.
The Trump stock market rally remains strong
Stock market hit many new highs it his year. The tax bill, the global economic growth and higher corporate earnings are what is creating these highs.

Obama’s first-year stock market numbers were also strong. Trump’s Dow 30 increase of 25.1% beat Obama’s 18.8%, but when looking at the broader S&P 500, Obama’s 23.5% bested Trump’s 19.4%.
GDP growth helped by higher inventories and trade
GDP growth was 3.0% and 3.1% on an annualized basis for the June and September quarters, respectively, but an increase in inventory and better trade helped. When viewed on a year-to-year basis for the past four quarters, growth was 2.3%.
Unemployment rate continued its downward trend
The unemployment rate peaked at 10.0% in October 2009 and has been on a downward trajectory since then. 2017 was the eighth year in a row that it has fallen.
2017 job gains were less than any of Obama’s last six years
There were 2.06 million jobs created last year, which was lower than any of Obama’s last six years. Prior to then, the economy was either in or at the initial stages of recovering from the Great Recession.
Hourly wages
The 2.5% hourly wage rate growth was a bit less than 2016’s 2.9% and mirrored 2015’s. While a good number of companies are handing out bonuses due to the tax reform bill passing (or maybe having to pay up to keep employees from leaving), the key test to the package’s impact will be in wage growth over a few years time frame.
Manufacturing jobs
Manufacturing job growth bounced back to the levels seen in 2011 and 2014. However, if wages rise too much companies could invest in automation, which would keep large increases in check.
Coal jobs
There were 800 coal jobs added in 2017. If natural gas prices remain low and the alternative energy industry continues to grow (and it employs more people than the coal industry), a significant rebound in coal jobs is not in the cards. This remains a very small industry when you consider that there are only 50,500 coal miners.
Federal deficit
Similar to the unemployment rate, the federal deficit reached a peak in 2009 and started a downward trend until 2015. However, it increased in 2016 and is expected to continue to grow due to the tax bill passing.
Trade deficit
The trade deficit rose to a level that it hasn’t been at since 2008. One probable explanation is the United States' continued economic growth, which allows consumers to buy more overseas goods. This could put more pressure on Trump to fulfill at least some of his tougher campaign trade promises. Images Designs by Nick DeSantis, Forbes Staff. Stats by Chuck Jones, Forbes Staff.

OK. Today we have the New England Patriots vs the Jacksonville Jaguars and then the Philadelphia Eagles are playing the Minnesota Vikings. I like the game times a lot. 240PM is the early game our time here on the East Coast and then 640PM is the game I do want to pay attention to watch. 

I hope the Patriots win the early game. I want either the Vikings or the Eagles to play the Patriots in the Super Bowl. 

Then, I want the Patriots to win which is who I picked from day one and in my pool. I did think the Rams would have won the Atlanta game but we are not talking about the Rams season for a few more weeks. 

Have a good week. 

I have another busy week that culminates with two Umphrey's McGee shows although they are also playing at this place next Sunday called Penn's Peak in the Poconos which sounds so appealing but I am not at the point where I will travel by myself to see that band. Seeing them at the Fillmore again will be great.

Have Phun. Stay in touch!

"Proud Mary" Oteil Burbridge & Friends 1-17-17 TLA Philadelphia, PA (Mel...

"Piece Of My Heart" Oteil Burbridge & Friends 1-17-17 TLA Philadelphia, ...

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Sea by Richtaste, Mercy by Vicki Kiely, Weekly update from #TheCove, Dolphin Outlook, 6 Blue Cove Days, Sustainable Action Network (SAN), Sunset TV & Cycle from being Captured to being forced for Human Entertainment!

Weekly update from #TheCove: A wild pod of Risso’s dolphins irrevocably decimated in Week #20 of Taiji’s hunts. Take Action:
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Banger boats leave the harbor at the Cove off Taiji, Japan and the they go out every morning during the seasons to hunt for dolphins.
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 Banger boats set up in formation, driving a pod of dolphins in towards the Cove.
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Dolphins fight for their lives as the banger boats drive them closer to the Cove.
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Some dolphins get slaughtered in the Cove.
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The rest get placed into these sea pens right in the Cove
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And this week, 6 bottlenose dolphins who were transferred into crates last night and shipped off to unknown locations, presumably marine parks or aquariums. 
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And, then they get forced to live in these pools so they can perform (jump through a hoop, jump on dock and back in water, etc.) for idiots that watch this kind of stuff.
Helen, Pacific white-sided dolphin, Vancouver Aquarium
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Or, when people swim with Dolphins at resorts.
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Find something else to do is my point. 

Pledge NOT to buy a ticket to a dolphin show: