Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hmmm, nobody seems to be reading. Maybe I should post something!

Started writing a piece last week about how nuclear power needs to be an integral part of our future energy production, especially if we are serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and ending our reliance on fossil fuels for energy production, but it felt like a bit more to shew than I care to take on. I may return to it, but for now let me give you the Cliff Notes: We need lots of it, sooner, rather than later, and Chernobyl is a bad excuse for not doing it. Feel free to tell me why I am nuts, and I will be happy to thoroughly invalidate your position. I promise to be nice about it, though.

Speaking of nuclear power, did you know that 2 billion years ago, there were natural nuclear fission reactors working in the Earth's crust?

Today is Eddie Van Halen's birthday! Yes, Holland's favorite son turns 56 today. I dunno what first turned you on to that special brand of insanity that is Van Halen, but for me it was listening to Dance The Night Away on Van Halen II. In keeping with the theme so far, I once heard their sound described as "Delta blues played through a nuclear reactor"!

Today, I also received news that Javier Bardem has been offered the role of Roland Deshcain in Ron Howard's adaptation of Stephen King's Dark Tower novels. I dunno how I feel about this. Bardem is a fine actor. I think he would make a great Khan Noonien Singh if that's the bad guy for the next Star Trek movie. But he doesn't have the right look to play Roland! If you look at Ned Dameron's illustrations in The Waste Lands, Roland is a cross between King and Clint Eastwood. For my money, Viggo Mortenson had the right look.

Friday, January 21, 2011

"Stuff I Think About" Is World Famous!

Just checked the stats on my blog, and while the vast majority of people who check in are from the
US, I have one hit from Norway (Hi, Astrid!) and one from India(??). I don't know anyone who lives in India, whoever you are, thanks for reading! I hope you come back!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fake Album Covers For My Made-Up Band!

In Tent City was our band's debut album. Our unique blending of Thrash Metal and Big Band captivated America. Within 6 months of its release, it was certified Platinum by the Fictional Recording Industry of America. We scored two hits on the Billboard Make-Believe Top 40: If This Tent's A Rockin', F&%k Off, I'm Busy! and Hawkeye Pierce: Swamp King.

Al Gore Rhythm is our most recent effort. The advance single, I Believe In Global Warming, went straight to #1! (Where, I'm not exactly sure!). This effort takes out signature sound, and adds influences of  Hawaiian folk music and Seattle Grunge Rock. This album also has our first ballad, I Should've Kept Your Heart In A Lockbox.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Fictional Album Names For My Made-Up Band **UPDATED!**

Like I said before, one of the reasons I remain Hubcap Dave is that it sounds like I'm the leader of a band, a la
Eddie And The Cruisers, or Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band. While I have yet to think up any actual songs to be played by my made up band (Hubcap Dave And The Rally Hats), I have running list of album names I've come up with, all of them plays on words. They are:

In Tent City
No Tar Republic
Miss Bee Haven
Aunty Social
Grapest Hips Vol. 1

I'd have more, but my fictional band is on make-believe hiatus. Our bassist is having delusions of god-hood, and we need some time to drag him back to reality. This is only supposed to happen to lead guitarists!

Update: After holding his Fender bass for ransom, our bassist saw the light and rejoined the band. Our next album will be titled: Al Gore Rhythm. Here is the artwork!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Facebook Axioms

Facebook Axiom #1: A relationship is not official until you change your relationship status.
Corollary: Changing you relationship status back to "single" will elicit multiple comments of sympathy and people wanting to know what happened. Be prepared to explain.
Facebook Axiom #2: The Cycle of Action on Facebook is as follows: Facebook designs a new interface. People complain en masse about it. Eventually, people figure out how the new interface works, and the compaints die down. Six months later, Facebooks redesigns the interface again.
Facebook Axiom #3: People will discuss with you during live conversation things which you post on Facebook.
Corollary: Only post those things you wish to discuss with people.
Facebook Axiom #4: People may have opinions about the pictures you post which are different than yours. Exercise caution!

More to come as I think of them!

Monday, January 10, 2011

24 Random Things About Me

This list comes from one of those viral statuses that used to make its way around Facebook. If you have wondered, "Who is Hubcap Dave?", this might give you a little insight.

1. I always tear up a little at the end of the national anthem
2. Star Wars is my all-time favorite movie
3. I have never had a girlfriend on Valentine’s Day
4. While I think I look good with a shaved head, I would prefer to have a full head of hair
5. I have written poetry on and off since I was 19
6. When I graduated high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life
7. I have learned that when you lose someone close to you suddenly, it’s like a part of you goes missing
8. I love to sing even though my voice isn’t great
9. Guilty Pleasure: Beverly Hills 90210
10. While I have always been a fan of Chevy cars, I have yet to own one. Ironically, I have owned 4 Fords!
11. I love the rain, but hate drizzle. Give me a thunderstorm, and I am in heaven!
12. I love seeing snow-capped mountains
13. My left eye sits a little higher than my right
14. Both of my index fingers are crooked
15. Worst job I ever had was washing dishes at Café Noir
16. Second worst job I ever had was making shakes and desserts at Carozzi’s Drive-In (after 15 and 16, I never worked in a restaurant again!)
17. When I was younger, my father and I sounded alike on the phone. This got me into big trouble once! (And some of you ladies may remember having conversations with him, thinking it was me!)
18. After the first time I made out with a girl, I didn’t eat for almost 2 days
19. I do not own a game console of any kind because I am afraid I would spend ALL my time playing it.
20. I like to crack my toes
21. I owned my own business for 6 years. My second day in business for myself was 9/11
22. I once moved into an apartment complex because it had a swimming pool. I lived there for 7 years and used the pool exactly once!
23. I love falling asleep to the sound of rain falling
24. I think that being able to help someone is one of the greatest pleasures in life

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My "First" Poem

I put quotes around the first, because in reality I had been writing for a few months when I penned this particular poem. This one, however, was the first poem I wrote that I actually thought was good.

It was May 1989. Three months prior, I had had my heart broken. I decided to try dealing with it by writing poetry about it. Looking at the relationship through 20 years of distance, I see now that the relationship wasn't much more than a paper fire. Back then, though I felt like someone had ripped an appendage from my body. Anyway, if nothing else, I'm thankful for that relationship if for nothing else than it got me in touch with a creativity I didn't know I had. Here it is:

"I love you, Dave" whispered the voice
But I turned to find no one there
I love you too, I have no choice
I've lost my heart somewhere

I see her face in a crowd
But it vanishes when I draw near
I can't have it' so I cry out loud
I lost my love right here

I see the person in a dream
But I wake when I touch her hand
I feel so hurt, I want to scream
I'm lost and I don't understand

I see the body walking around
But it's not the lady I once knew
I want to yell, but I don't make a sound
I've lost my reason to love you

"I love you, Dave" whispered the voice
But it was only an echo in my mind
I don't love you, I have a choice
The wound has healed with time

D. Heagney Jr 5/21/1989

Friday, January 7, 2011

My first exposure to the philosophy of Objectivism, or "Nobody puts Ayn Rand in a corner!"

My roommate recently let me borrow a copy of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand. A name I had heard revered by conservative talk show hosts for her philosophy of self-reliance and individualism, and equally derided by liberals as a mediocre novelist with delusions of being a philosopher. I have been rather interested in reading her works to see what the hullabaloo is all about. And now that I have been exposed, I have many thoughts I wish to share, the foremost of them being:

Whoever wrote the movie Dirty Dancing never actually read The Fountainhead.

Thanks to the wonder of cable TV, Dirty Dancing became a guilty pleasure of mine in the late 80s. After all, the success of the movie has always been attributed to multiple viewings by pubescent females, something I could never be accused of being. There is a scene in the movie when Baby goes to Robbie Gould to persuade him to help Penny, the dancer he got pregnant, get an abortion. Robbie refuses, saying, "Some people count, some don't.", and proceeds to persuade Baby to his way of thinking by trying to loan his old, dog-eared copy of The Fountainhead.

Now, the book takes place in the world of architecture, and centers around four characters. This book is the first expression of Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. In a nutshell, Objectivism puts forth the idea that acts of creativity and industry are individual efforts, and that the only people whose motives are strictly based on self are truly ethical. This is opposed to Collectivism, where the acts of people should be entirely selfless and altruistic. It is essentially Free Market Capitalism vs. Communism, at least in their ideal expressions. This philosophy often gets shortened by Rand's detractors to, "No one should help anyone else". This could not be further from the truth, yet it is obviously what Eleanor Bergstein had in mind when she had Robbie pull that particular book out of his back pocket.

The protagonist of the book is a young architect named Howard Roark. He has a vision and philosophy regarding how buildings should be made, and is uncompromising in his beliefs, to the point of putting his livelihood in jeopardy on several occasions. His modernistic designs run counter to the architectural artistry practiced at the time (the novel takes place in the 20s and 30s). While Roark's motives are portrayed as "selfish", it is not selfish in the sense that he thinks of his desires in exclusion of any benefit to others. Rather, his character is indifferent to whatever benefits his actions may have. He builds his buildings his way because that's what he wants to do. At no point in the novel does he ever use anybody, and only once does he ever ask anyone for help.

Contrast this with the Robbie Gould character in Dirty Dancing. All he ever does throughout the entire movie is use people. He uses them for sex, for money, and for social advancement. He is the antithesis of Rand's "ideal man". If anything, Robbie is more reminiscent of Peter Keating, a rival of Roark's who uses manipulation to achieve his goals.

I don't completely agree with Rand's philosophy. While I agree that creativity is mostly an individual expression, I think that a person can have motives that satsify both self AND society; it's not a dichotomy of one vs. the other. But, considering Rand had first hand knowledge of how fun it was to live in a Communist society, I think I can forgive her this.

But to those who mischaracterize her without reading her in the first place, I cannot.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wisdom I would pass on to my children (If I ever have them) Part 1

  • A wise man once said, "Trust, but verify"
  • An ever wiser one said, "What is true for you is that which you have observed for yourself to be true."
  • Always make sure to think for yourself.
  • When somebody uses the phrase "everybody knows....", ask them if they surveyed all 7 billion people on the planet to find that out.
  • When somebody uses the phrase, "They say...", make sure to find out who "they" is.
  • Duct tape fixes everything
  • If you are ever traveling in a car with your grandfather, and he points at the floorboard and say, "Hey, what's that down there?" DON'T lean down to look closer! It's his version of "pull my finger"!
  • When someone says they "know all about" something, they don't.
  • The Dodgers Suck!

Why Hubcap Dave?

Short answer: Why not?

But seriously, most people who've known me know the answer, but for those of you who don't, here's the real answer: for thirteen years of my life, I supported myself by selling hubcaps, wheel covers (there's a difference!), and other wheel accessories. Out of all the various jobs I have held, it is still the one I feel the most defined by. My store was something of a local landmark; it had been there for decades. When people used to ask me what I did for a living, I'd say, "You know that hub cap store on El Camino?" "Yeah?" " I own it!" It made for interesting conversations.

It was a fascinating place. I always likened it to a cross between a junkyard and a history museum. I used to get people who would come in and do nothing but walk around and look at all the different hub caps I had in stock. Had I been a shrewder business man, I would have thought to charge admission! Alas, the business was not as lucrative as it once was (that's a story for another time), and I had to close it down.

As for the moniker, when I started signing up on message boards and other fun stuff on the interwebs, it was the coolest screen name I could think of. To me, it's evocative of a 50s doo-wop band name; I could be the lead singer of Hubcap Dave and the Rally Hats. Speaking of doo-wop bands, did you know that the man who sung about Holy Divers, The man On The Silver Mountain, and about being The Last In Line, none other than Ronnie James Dio, started his singing career out as a singer in a doo-wop band? I give you Ronnie Dio And The Prophets!

This is even better than seeing the old video of Black Sabbath (back when they were still called Earth) singing Johnny B. Goode! But, I digress.

So, even though I no longer have anything to do with hub caps, or the industry, I still use the Hubcap Dave moniker online. Nothing else I've done for a living would make as cool a screen name (Shoeman Dave? Dave the Door Guy?), and I like it. So, as a dear friend once said to me, no matter what, I'll always be Hubcap Dave!

As for the blog, this is actually my second attempt at blogging. I started one over a year ago, promptly neglected it, and lost the link to it when my 'puter crashed last year! By then, I had forgot which free blogging site I used, so I figured I would start fresh. Besides, people blog about all kinds of stupid crap; why not add my two bits to the flotsam? You never know, someone might think I make sense (or at least find me entertaining)!