Monday, January 30, 2012

A G N' R Music Monday

For 2012, one thing I wanted to do on Music Mondays is play videos from bands that didn't appear on this blog in 2011. I also wanted to provide a real variety of music, and today is no different as I feature one of the '80s most popular hard rock bands - Gun N' Roses.

Gun N' Roses was known for their hard driving lifestyle and music, and when I mentioned at the end of last week's Music Monday that "it might time to crank the volume back up" this week, they were one of the first bands to come to mind. However, the music video I picked for today is not of one of their hard rockers but rather their ballad "November Rain" from their 1991 album Use Your Illusion I. The music video is more of a mini-movie because it tells a story and is one of the longest ever made, running just over 9 minutes. In addition to being long, it was also expensive costing an estimated $1.5 Million to produce.

Gun N' Roses is backed by an orchestra in the song which features some great solos by lead guitarist Slash. Some have argued that they are some of the best in rock n' roll history. The video or mini-movie, depending on how you look at, is embedded in this blog post or you can watch it by clicking here. Enjoy. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Politicians and NASCAR Drivers

A friend of mine shared the picture below on Facebook a few days ago, and I've noticed it's starting to make the rounds on the Internet. I decided it was so good that I just had to "borrow" it and share it. However, I may need to offer NASCAR drivers an apology for doing so.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 23, 2012

Music Monday with Building 429

The Sheepdog's gonna mix it up again with this week's Music Monday. I started the year with hard rock and metal. Then, last week, I toned it down just a bit with The Rolling Stones. Now, I change it up again, and do so with another "newbie" - a Christian band that has not appeared on my Music Mondays before.

Today's featured artist is Building 429. They've became one of Christian music's most popular bands in only about five short years. These guys began playing together in the late '90s, but their big shot came about around 2003 when they signed on with Word Records. The Word deal led to almost instant success when Building 429 released the album Glory Defined in 2004, and their single of the same name went straight to #1 on the Christian charts. Next thing you know, they've won the Gospel Music Association's (GMA) 2005 Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, and the rest is history.

The featured song and video today is of the band's single "Listen to the Sound" from their 2011 album of the same name. The video is embedded in this blog post or can be watched by clicking here. I hope everyone enjoys it. We'll do this again next Monday, but by then, it might be time to crank the volume back up (wink, wink).
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 19, 2012


speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...
Image via Wikipedia
I'm a big fan of mobster / gangster movies. A few of my favorites are Goodfellas, Casino, and The Untouchables. There's also the classics - Scarface and The Godfather I, II, and III. One reason is the action and the shooting, of course, but another is because these movies always have some great, memorable one liners and quotes. Many of us use some of them at one time or another.

Recently, I've been thinking about some of those one liners. Most of the time it's after I hear a news report about the 2012 race for the White House, or if I see an image of Mitt Romney or hear him speak. Next time the dude's on TV, take a good look at him with his slicked-back hair and slick, shiny suits. Can't you just imagine him using some of the gangster-movie-classic one-liners ? For instance, imagine the following fictional interview :

Interviewer - "So, Governor Romney, when did you first think about getting into politics ?"
Romney - "Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster." (Goodfellas, 1990)

Interviewer - "If it's alright, I'd like to ask you some questions about your relationship with some of your fellow GOP candidates. First, let's talk about Ron Paul. How would you characterize your relationship with him ?"
Romney - "Say hello to my little friend." (Scarface, 1983)

Interviewer - "O.k. What about Speaker Gingrich ? If the GOP race was to come down to you and him, what will be your strategy ?"
Romney - "I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse." (The Godfather, 1972)

Interviewer - "Let's move on to Governor Perry. He made an initial strong surge in the polls but has since dropped way back. He's attacked your record. Any words of wisdom for Perry in regards to his attacks ?"
Romney - "Leave the gun. Take the cannolis." (The Godfather, 1972)

Interviewer - "Lastly, what about Sen. Santorum ? What's your take on him ?"
Romney - "You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like, you'd say to somebody - 'you're gonna like this guy ... he's alright. He's a goodfella. He's one of us'." (Goodfellas, 1990)

Interviewer - "Now, let me ask you a bit of a personal question, governor. You've been through a couple of these presidential races. In just a few words, how would you sum up your experiences, and what is it like working with the powers that be in the GOP ?"
Romney - "When they send for you, you go in alive, you come out dead, and its your best friend that does it." (Donnie Brasco, 1997)

Interviewer - "Last question - if you win the Republican nomination, do you really believe you can beat Mr. Obama ?"
Romney - "FUHGEDDABOUDIT !!!!!"

Capisce ??

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Stoned" on Music Monday

First of all, let to apologize to my readers and e-mail recipients for the fact that today's Music Monday didn't post early this morning. The Sheepdog had some technical difficulties. I'll do better next Monday. That being said, let's get to today's music.

After starting off 2012's Music Mondays with metal bands, I decided to mix it up a bit today with a different genre and by featuring a band that has not appeared on my Music Mondays before. At times, this band has been a little controversial, but they have continued to make good music since they formed back in 1962. Sometimes, they are referred to as "The Kings of Rock N Roll" due to their longevity in the business and the influence they've had on so many other musical artists. They are none other than The Rolling Stones.

April will mark 50 years The Stones have been making music together. As their career stretched into the '70s, then the '80s, and on into the '90s and beyond, there were subtle changes to their sound each decade. Their music was always flexible in adapting to the times as their talent continued to grow. Those two things together may be the secret to their five decades of success.

The song and video feature today is "Between A Rock and A Hard Place" from their 1989 album Steel Wheels. The video is embedded in this post for your convenience, or you can watch it by clicking here. Enjoy but be warned - your feet may get a little happy during this tune.

P.S. Let me add a bit of humor here - as I was testing this post, my wife was listening and said, "That's a perfect description of this election year." You know what ? She's absolutely right, and that's kinda sad.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 13, 2012

20 Million in 2012

There are a number of campaigns going on in 2012. However, none of them is as important as the newest one from Donate Life America. Their new "20 Million in 2012" Campaign has the potential to make a significant, lasting difference in the lives of Americans all over the country.

The campaign's mission is simple - drastically increase the number of registered organ and tissue donors across the country. One way Donate Life America will accomplish this is through four (4) special nationwide events, including a Donate Life Flash Mob in March, the Donate Life Blue and Green Virtual Fashion show in April, Donate Life Champions in the fall, and Donate Life Linking Hands throughout 2012.

Help make Donate Life America's "20 Million in 2012" Campaign a success by visiting the Donate Life America website (just click on their banner above) for more information, but more importantly to learn how to register as an organ and tissue donor in the state where you live. The 112,000+ Americans on the national transplant waiting list are counting on you.

Read more in "Donate Life America Launches Campaign to Register 20 Million More Organ Donors in 2012" on (The Sacramento Bee)

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chris Matthews Compares Politics to Transplants

I am not a fan of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, nor I am a Mitt Romney supporter. Furthermore, I have not followed the Republican 2012 Presidential Candidates with as much interest as I have in previous elections, either. I think the entire current crop is poor, to say the least. I doubt I'll vote for any of them, but that's another story for another day.

Usually, my only beef with Matthews is his Liberal, lefty viewpoints which border on Socialist ideology. While I don't agree with or like them, I can live with them because Matthews has a right to voice his opinion just as I have a right to voice, and do frequently, my own conservative viewpoint. However, when recently reporting and commenting on the results of the Republican Iowa Caucus, Matthews stepped over the line. He went on record as comparing Mitt Romney's failure to connect to the conservative base of the GOP to the human body rejecting an organ transplant. I know it's hard to believe that someone would stoop to that level, but he did. You can see it for yourself by watching the video below or you can click here.

I'm not really surprised Matthews would do something like this. If you watch MSNBC much, you've seen and heard his knuckleheaded comments before, but with these recent statements, he has stooped to a new low. For him to compare politics, which is full of corruption and scummy candidates, to the life-saving and life-improving miracle of organ and tissue transplantation, either shows his complete ignorance or is more proof that he is a complete scumbag. I'll let you make that determination for yourself. However, as a heart transplant recipient, I am pissed and highly offended. In my opinion, his comments diminish the priceless, life-saving gifts that donors and their families freely give to thousands of Americans every year. Both he and MSNBC should be ashamed.

Matthews and the network need to offer an immediate apology to the organ donation community. In addition, Matthews needs to be fired. If that doesn't happen, then perhaps the organ donation community should consider boycotting both MSNBC and its parent company NBC.

The wolves are among us.

Source : article "Chris Matthews Mitt Romney to Failed Organ Transplant"
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Today, I wanted to share a quick housekeeping item. As many of you know, in addition to this blog, I have had a website,, since May 31, 2010. GoDaddy begin hosting the site last June, and both the blog and website became GoDaddy affiliates. A few weeks ago, I took down the GoDaddy affiliate links from the blog, and yesterday, I took the website down after being unable to satisfactorily resolve an issue with GoDaddy.

When GoDaddy became the hosting provider last summer, they gave me the impression that I could host as many websites as I wanted with my Website Tonight account. The only stipulation was that I had to stay within my disk space and bandwidth allotment. However, when I contacted them a few weeks ago about hosting the website for my new "project" within that same account, they told me I couldn't. I was informed that each WebSite Tonight account could only host one website. I feel as if GoDaddy lied to / misled me back in June. So, after the latest discussion with them yesterday, I decided to cancel the WebSite Tonight account, take down the website, and request a refund of the purchase price of my unused term. I will give them credit for one thing, though - they refunded my money within 24 hours. Nice.

I still own the website's domain names but have redirected them to the blog. Now, in addition to, you can use one of the following to get here. They are :
Either way, you'll get to this blog, and I am gonna add some of the content that was on the website to this blog. Furthermore, I want to say "Thank You" to everyone who regularly reads and follows my blog. I want you to know how much I appreciate it. The deal with GoDaddy was unfortunate, but it is what it is. They have good deals on the purchase of domain names, but I doubt I will use them for hosting services again.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kickin' Off "Metal Mondays"

Last year, Vixen kicked off my Music Monday series. Today, they kick off my 2nd-Monday-of-the-month "Double Shots" of music. Both of today's videos are from songs off the band's second album, 1990's Rev It Up. The first video is of their song "How Much Love" (click here to watch) and the second is of "Not A Minute Too Soon" (click here to watch).

Many of the songs on the band's 1988 premiere album, Vixen, were written by other artists. However, the band decided to write most of it's own music and lyrics on the Rev It Up album. In my opinion, Rev It Up was the better record, and I believe the band's original lineup had a bright career in front of it had internal "issues" not split it up.

Vixen was the premiere female heavy metal band of the '80s and one of my favorite bands. I hope everyone enjoys this "double shot" of music on Metal Monday.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Sheepdog picks the NFL Playoffs

As promised last week, today I'm picking the NFL Playoffs from start to finish. It seems like only yesterday that we were talking about the lockout and wondering whether there would be a 2011 season. Now, the regular season is over and it's time to crown another Super Bowl Champion.

The 2011 NFL season was interesting, to say the least, and held several surprises for us. The so-called "Dream Team" Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to be the class of the league. They fell flat on their beaks. The Buffalo Bills' fast start was a surprise as was the Detroit Lions success, and who would have thought the Indianapolis Colts would have a 0-13 start ?

Now that the regular season is over, the main question is, "Will the Packers repeat ?" If they do, they
Logo of the National Football League Playoffs,...
Image via Wikipedia
will be the first team in seven years to do so (New England won Super Bowl XXXVIII and XXXIX). Another question might be, "Which of the NFL divisions is the worst ?" There's two contenders for that title -  the AFC West and the NFC East. I'll give my opinion on that later in this article. Now, it's time to pick 'em, from the first Wild-Card Game to Super Bowl XLVI. Hang on.

NFC Playoffs

NFC Wild-Card Games
  • #6 seed Detroit Lions @ #3 seed New Orleans Saints - Detroit has had a surprisingly great year. However, these young lion cubs must travel to face Drew Brees and the Saints #1 ranked offense, which is undefeated at home this year. New Orleans wins this game easily. Sorry "cubbies" but your season ends Saturday.
  • #5 seed Atlanta Falcons @ #4 seed N.Y. Giants - Of all the playoff games this year, this is the toughest one to pick. I could almost flip a coin and say "pick 'em," because I'm not real sure about this one. The Giants reached the playoffs by winning the sorry NFC East, which I would rank as "The NFL's Worst Division" but for one thing -  "The Dream Team" Eagles won their last four games convincingly beating their opponents by at least two touchdowns each time. So, there's hope for this division yet. However, in regards to the Giants, they were swept this year by the division's worst team - the 5-11 Washington "Deadskins." Oops, did I really say that ? Sorry ... I meant Redskins. Both of those losses were by two touchdowns !! Due to those two debacles, I can't pick the Giants. The "Dirty Birds" will be out in force in the Big Apple, and the Giants are one and done. Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin will likely be looking for a new job come Monday, because the Giants have gone to the Birds. I'll take the Falcons.
NFC Divisional Playoffs
  • Atlanta Falcons @ #1 seed Green Bay Packers - Two words - Lambeau Field. No visiting team wants to play in Lambeau Field against the Packers during the playoffs, particularly not dome teams. This pick's easy. The Falcons will get plucked by the CheeseHeads. I'll take Green Bay.
  • New Orleans Saints @ #2 seed San Francisco 49ers - San Francisco surprisingly won the NFC West. However, 2 of their 3 losses were at home to St. Louis and Dallas - teams they should have beaten easily. Furthermore, the Saints ain't St. Louis or Dallas. Heck, they've won three more games this year than Dallas and St. Louis combined !! The 49ers are young and haven't been to the Super Bowl since winning the franchise's 5th Super Bowl title almost 17 years ago. The Steelers won't have to worry about the 49ers tying their record of six this year, because the 49ers are also one and done. I'm sticking with Drew Brees and the Saints.
NFC Championship - New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers

These two teams met to open the NFL season back in September with Green Bay winning a high-scoring contest by a touchdown. Both Green Bay and New Orleans were ranked in the top 5 in total offense in 2011. However, both were sorry on defense with New Orleans ranking 24th and Green Bay 32nd (dead last.) With high-powered offenses going against poor defenses, this game could be another high-scoring affair. The only thing that might change that could be the weather at Lambeau Field. However, like I said earlier, visiting teams don't want to play at Lambeau during the playoffs, particularly a dome team. The weather at Lambeau will be much cooler than it was in September favoring the Packers. The weather may be different, but the game's outcome will be the same. I've went with the Saints until now, and they've made a good run, but now I'm sticking with the Packers. Green Bay will repeat as NFC Champion. The only question left is, who will stand between them and a second straight Lombardi Trophy when they get to Indy ? I'll tell ya ... next.

AFC Playoffs

AFC Wild-Card Games
  • #6 seed Cincinnati Bengals @ #3 seed Houston Texans - On December 11, Houston beat Cincinnati in Cincinnati 20-19, and it was the last game Houston won this year. They've lost three in a row. Houston has lost multiple starting quarterbacks to injury this year and is a young football team. They will not snap out of their slump in losing their fourth game in a row and the Bengals avenge that 12/11 loss. Go ahead and stick a fork in the Texans - they're good and done like good Texas barbeque.
  • #5 seed Pittsburgh Steelers @ #4 seed Denver Broncos - Tebow, Tebow, Tebow -welcome to the NFL playoffs - you better get prayed up, dude. Tim Tebow gets his first NFL Playoff start against the #1 defense in the NFL - not a spot a young quarterback wants to be in. Steelers' Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is a defensive mastermind who is sure to throw multiple defensive schemes at Tebow to confuse him. the Broncos backed into the playoffs and won the AFC West only because the Raiders lost their last game, too. The Broncos finished the year on a three-game losing streak and would be home watching the playoffs on TV if they were in any other division in the NFL. Instead, they are in as the Champ of "The Worst Division in the NFL" simply because the Raiders, Chargers, and Chiefs suck worse than they do. Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, and gang will give Tebow a rather rude welcome to the playoffs and show him exactly how defense is played in the NFL. The Steelers defense will even score in this game giving the Steelers the win by at least a couple of touchdowns. The game has the potential to be the worst of Tebow's young career.
AFC Divisional Playoffs
  • Pittsburgh Steelers @ #2 seed Baltimore Ravens - As a Steelers fan, this is not a game I want to see since Baltimore swept the Steelers during the regular season. Plus, the Ravens are undefeated at home. Both teams have played inconsistent football this year, and in my opinion, the Steelers only played well in four games - wins over Seattle, Tennessee, New England, and Cincinnati. All of those were at Heinz Field. I felt like the Steelers had to have a bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs in order to make a run at the Super Bowl this year. They need the rest and the time to heal some nagging injuries. They missed an opportunity to secure homefield with their sorry performance against the 49ers a few weeks ago. It's hard for one team to beat another three times in one season even though the Steelers did it to Baltimore on their way to the Super Bowl XLIII title. I also know that my fellow Steelers fans aren't gonna like me for this, but I'm gonna have to take Baltimore in this one. I'll be pulling for the Steelers, though, and if there's one game I pick wrong, I hope it's this one. The problem is that the Steelers just haven't been playing good, consistent football. I may be a Steelers fan, but I'm a realist, too. Maybe next year. The Ravens are going to the AFC Championship.
  • Cincinnati Bengals @ #1 seed New England Patriots - Just like teams don't like playing the Packers at Lambeau during the playoffs, neither do they like playing the Patriots in Foxboro, either. There's no reason to spend much time analyzing this one. I'll take New England. It could be a blow-out.
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

If there was someway both of these teams could lose in this game, I'd be all for it. I hate both of them. The Ravens define the word "Thug," and the Patriots, especially Tom Brady, define "arrogance." That being said, winning Championships is about one thing - defense. The Ravens ranked #3 in total defense during the regular season while the Patriots were 31st. The only team ranked worse defensively than the Patriots - the Green Bay Packers.

In the last few years, other teams have showed that the way to beat the Patriots is to constantly harass Brady - hit him, knock him down, sack him, and just thoroughly beat him up. If you do, he gets upset and reacts like a spoiled brat that doesn't get his way. The "thuggish" Ravens should have no problem doing that. Since weather could also be a factor in this game, I'll take Baltimore. I also think there's the potential for Brady to get knocked out of the game. If that happens, the game gets ugly and the "Black Birds" go on a rout.

Super Bowl XLVI - 
Baltimore Ravens vs. Green Bay Packers

Image via Wikipedia
Green Bay comes into the Super Bowl with the NFL's worst defense and 3rd ranked offense hoping to repeat as Super Bowl Champ. A victory would give them their 5th Lombardi Trophy tying them with Dallas and San Francisco behind only Pittsburgh with six. The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, had the 3rd ranked defense and 15th ranked offense and won their only Super Bowl title in 2001 (Super Bowl XXXV).

A few weeks ago, I predicted on Facebook that, "... Green Bay will reach the Super Bowl but NOT repeat. Super Bowl Champ will be the AFC North division champ." In addition, since "defense wins championships," I'm sticking with that prediction. Green Bay has not seen a defense as tenacious as the Ravens' this year, and Ray Lewis is hungry for another ring since he's getting close to the end of his career. If there's anybody who is a master at getting his comrades on defense fired up, it's Lewis.

So, I'm picking the Baltimore Ravens to win Super Bowl XLVI. For a Steelers fan, that's an extremely hard thing to do because we don't like the Ravens at all. However, we share something in common - a love for good defense and winning championships.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Guest Column - Dale Flowers

While I was away on sabbatical, my buddy, and fellow heart transplant recipient, Dale was hard at work. He just kept on "ruminating." Today, I share one of his latest articles containing his thoughts on New Years' Resolutions. Enjoy.


We welcome in the New Year with a prayer that it will be better than the past year. This is the year we will determine the direction our nation is going. Therefore, we need to make some serious resolutions.

Why bother making resolutions we will just break ? The problem is not making resolutions but the type of resolutions. A long list of resolutions is pointless. Instead, narrow it down to one resolution. Look at that long list and more often than not, there will be one resolution that will cover the others. Write it on an index card and tape it to the mirror you look at every morning. In short, make the one resolution a goal of excellence. Keep it before you all year. Concentrate on it.

In addition, put first things first. If an activity or project does not help in meeting the goal of excellence, then that activity or project is not all that important. Each morning make a list of goals for the day, in the order of importance. If only the first daily goal is met that day, the most important task was completed.

Furthermore, put aside all things that will interfere with the resolution. Don’t get side tracked. When a moment is gone, it is gone forever. Don’t shoot opportunity full of holes by killing time. Stay focused.

Pray constantly about your resolution. Keep God in the equation. God will help open doors. If a person wants to get help from the influential, the influential will probably put their own needs first. But when we seek help from God with a reasonable goal that is in accordance with God’s Word, He will help meet that goal. God will open doors if the person has sense enough to walk through them.

Do not allow fear of failure to get in the way. Those who have God working for them will succeed. Being confident and expressing confidence is not a character flaw. It is the mark of a successful person.

Now comes the hard part. The successful person will work every day as if it were the last day of their life toward their goal. Success is a two tandem road. God will do His part, but mankind must do their part. Mankind must work in tandem with God. Only then will the resolution meet with success.

Dale C. Flowers
P.O. Box 904
Hendersonville, TN 37077

"Whoever lives under the shelter of the Most High will remain in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. "  (Psalm 91:1-2)

"We will fight if we must when our cause is just, for this is our motto, in God is our trust." 4th stanza of  the STAR SPANGLED BANNER.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Sheepdog's "Back in Black"

As I mentioned in a post last week, I'm back - the sabbatical is over. I also decided to have some fun with my return. You'll notice that the blog has a new background (black with flames), so I decided that the perfect song, and video, for my Music Monday return would be AC/DC's "Back in Black" (click here to watch).

AC/DC has been one of rock's most popular bands since they came on the scene in the '70s. They've sold over 200 million records worldwide, and that includes over 49 million copies of the band's 1980 album Back in Black which contains today's featured song. Back in Black is the 2nd highest selling album in history trailing only Michael Jackson's Thriller. And before you even ask, the answer is no - The Sheepdog will not be featuring any of Jackson's music. I was not a fan.

So, crank it up, and enjoy the AC/DC !!  I'm back ... and the blog's wearing black.

P.S. Later in the week, I'm picking the NFL Playoffs starting with this coming weekend's wild-card games all the way through the Super Bowl. I'll pick all 11 games before they even start. This could be interesting.
Enhanced by Zemanta