Author Topic: 21C Weirdness in blog format.  (Read 321 times)

Doktor Howl

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21C Weirdness in blog format.
« on: October 07, 2018, 09:01:53 am »
(Note:  I am inviting Cain, Brother Mythos, Chaotic Neutral Observer, QG, and LMNO to add their own entries to this, on any subject related to 21C.  Vex and Cram, too, if they're around.  EDIT:  Also Hoops, even though he is a savage)

12:19AM, 10/7/18, Tucson, Arizona, American Empire
Music

I didn't meet any of you until the 21st Century.  My life has been divided between the two centuries, one foot in 32 years of the last century, the other foot being 18 in this one.  I was informed by David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, I am now listening to Imagine Dragons and Fun, which are already of course old hat.  Music doesn't stand still, and I don't move as fast or break as many things as I used to.

This makes a fun contrast, really.  I Want to Break Free vs NaturalZiggy Stardust vs Some Nights

I Want to Break Free is a song about finding yourself, finding love, then losing it, and all the fallout that goes alongside it.  Freddie is telling you how to survive having your heart broken.  Natural is about functioning at all times with a heart of stone...Even when Dan Reynold's voice has the exact opposite effect on you.  Reynolds isn't in the same league as Freddie Mercury, not really, but he has a good range and he's not afraid of it.   Reynolds is telling you to avoid heartbreak by not having a heart to break in the first place.  He's not pimping actual sociopathy, of course, he isn't describing good people and he wants you to know that.

Ziggy Stardust talks about alienation brought on by the title character being a genius that is a half-step out of phase with everyone around him, plus substance abuse.  Here is a man that isn't on the same wavelength as everyone else, but is trying to drag anyone along with who wishes to go.  Things get out of hand, the band breaks up, and his fans are left without their leader when the "Spiders from Mars" show up.  I'd say these spiders would be the horrors of everyday life, but with Bowie it's a little hard to tell.  Might have been actual spiders from actual Mars, for all I know. Some Nights, on the other hand, is about alienation brought on by disgust with the shitty deals and shitty compromises that the 21st century shovels down your throat until you can't remember what your values are.  At the end, he confronts his infant Nephew and realizes that not everything is awful.  Both are realistic takes on their own respective eras.

At the moment, though, I have a lot of time for Dan Reynolds.  He doesn't hold with the Cramulan notion that there are deeper things under the surface.  He will not tell you that there is freedom, if you can trick your mind into ignoring the conditioning that is drummed into you from birth.  He's here to tell you how things are, what things are going to happen to you, and sells you the idea that you can kick their asses if you're serious about having a good time.  Not that you'll win; instead, that you can make enough space to do you, but that this comes with a price tag.  Your ass-kicking also changes you, so by the time the party starts, you're not really the same person that accepted the invitation (With Bowie, you're not the same person when the party ends).

I dance to 1970s Abba and 2012 Neon Trees, I drive to 1970s Motorhead and 2010-ish Frost Heaves and maybe some of P!nk's more angry stuff.  I do not feel bound by genre, but the general feel of pop & rock informs the way I move my thing.

And given the horrible nature of the world today, moving your thing is a mental health tool.





« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 04:50:45 pm by Doktor Howl »
"Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the fact that you're at least putting effort into sincerely arguing your points. It's an argument I've enjoyed having. It's just that your points are wrong and your reasons for thinking they're right are stupid."
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Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 03:26:48 am »
I wonder, sometimes, if I had been born in a different time whether I would keep falling out of it like I do in this century.

The 21st Century has a spotty relationship with the passage of time, and everyone notices. Days are simultaneously too long and too short. Weeks go on for years and seasons pass in hours and years are such abstract concepts we can barely hold on to them with all of our invocations of election cycles and constant calendar visibility on the bottom of our screens. The whole thing is falling apart, and everyone knows it.

Rome is on fire.

We are circling the wagons, we are screaming, we are not sure where the enemy is but it sure as fuck is here and nobody is really sure we'll beat it this time. We are steeped in dystopia, in apocalypse lore. Every century has its nutbags on the corner screaming the end is nigh, but ours are environmental scientists and government whistleblowers and economic experts. Our children grow up on deep fried memes and casual suicidality, the only sensible reaction to impending global catastrophe. Doomsday prepping is so last century, we'll be dying on the barricades thank you very much.

I came of age as the 21st Century was born, I was the same age then that it is now, the cusp of legal adulthood, with all the insanity and uncertainty it entails. I didn't know who I was or where I wanted to be, I barely knew what I was good at and what I had enjoyed in the past. I was full of hormones and simultaneously too pretentious and too shy to get anywhere or do anything, and the baggage I carried with me from the 20th Century was literally eating me alive, until the night I decided I'd rather be dead than keep going the way I was.

If the 21st Century finds itself with a bottle of painkillers in the next couple months, maybe it can turn itself around, too.
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

Don't fucking judge me, I've got tentacles for a face.

Doktor Howl

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 09:08:02 pm »
12:48 PM, 10/8/18, Fat City
Surveillance Society

What most people never consider is that they like the surveillance society.  You'll never get them to admit it, but they are comforted by the fact that Big Brother is watching.  This is hardly surprising, as we are a pack-oriented species and right now there doesn't seem to be anyone driving the train.  Also, it helps people to remain calm; they know that any freak-outs will be recorded.  They also assume that those other people are also being monitored.  This is important because Chad and Dakota both understand, way back in their lizard brain, that centuries of oppression are still waiting for an accounting.

What's really strange is when you yourself are the surveillance society.  I have Alexa Dots all over my workplace, sending conversations to cloud.  Certain voices and keywords are also routed through my phone to my Bluetooth earpiece.  I am not particularly wild about it, but it is in fact part of my job.  The messed up part is how easy it is.  You buy the Dots, download the "training" you want, install it, enter your phone number, give them a sample of voices and keywords, then stick the Dots where you want them.  Call it 2 hours of work.  My life has become a series of NVR screens and other peoples' conversations.

And the reason for this is the elected board demanded it, on the insistence of their constituents...Partially because I automatically hear anyone saying things like "heart attack, "911", and "ambulance", but also because people are arrogant and think that all those OTHER no-good shits are being recorded, but somehow forget that THEY are being recorded.

One result of this is that I look deranged.  I will be strolling along and suddenly stop, stare into space, then walk away quickly in another direction.  I'm not deranged, though, I'm haunted.  By peoples' stupidity.  There is nowhere I can go now that I am not exposed to every Goddamn character flaw in the world, beamed by dark magic directly into my ear.  Can you even begin to imagine how much I hate people these days?  No, you can't.

My boss is talking about the new generation of smart glasses.  They were a commercial failure, as everyone knows, but industry loves them.  Now I will be afflicted by the sight of stupid people as well.

It occurs to me that I am a very scary man right now.
 
"Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the fact that you're at least putting effort into sincerely arguing your points. It's an argument I've enjoyed having. It's just that your points are wrong and your reasons for thinking they're right are stupid."
- Cainad

"NOTHING IS AS BAD AS IT SEEMS.  BUT YOU'RE STILL FUCKED."
- Dirty Old Uncle Roger

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 10:13:29 pm »
I entered the 21st century around the same time I graduated college.

My favorite professor said, more than once, "Computers are great.  They let you make mistakes millions of times faster than you could before."  He also said "My only vice," when I saw him smoking outside the old wing of the engineering building.  He's dead now.  Lung cancer.

Well, computers are a whole lot faster now than they were then, and we've connected them all together, and miniaturized them to the point where we can carry them around in our pockets.  That means our capacity for making mistakes, as a species, is now beyond our wildest imagination.  Technology is an amoral amplifier; it expands our intelligence, but also expands our stupidity.  And our apathy.

At the moment, we're using this increase in capacity to construct a large number of overlapping, volatile hive-minds, which coalesce into existence, scream at each other incoherently, and then (if we're lucky) evaporate.  Humans have always had a tendency to form mobs, but now it's faster.

---------

2018 Oct 6th, Sat.:  Decided to pick up a bag of apples from an orchard out in the country.  They were completely out, so I got some cider instead.  The lady said that it had been a bad year for apples, and that she had only gotten 2000 lbs, when she usually got 17,000.  She couldn't make up the shortfall from other orchards, since the whole province was affected.

She didn't say anything about climate change, nor did I.  You can't blame a single bad year on global warming; there have been bad years before, and will be again.  Climate change just means that there will be more bad years, and they'll be worse when they happen.  It doesn't tell you whose fault this bad year is, but one can't help but draw a connection.

My (limited, anecdotal) experience with hobby gardening is telling me that a warming climate isn't going to open up vast tracts of new agricultural land in northern Canada.  I don't think we're temperature limited, but rather daylight limited.  Unless climate change includes a free adjustment of the planetary axis, all we're likely to get is a bunch of plants that are confused by the change in weather patterns.

Apple trees not producing as many blossoms, for example.

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 04:16:18 pm »
My (limited, anecdotal) experience with hobby gardening is telling me that a warming climate isn't going to open up vast tracts of new agricultural land in northern Canada.  I don't think we're temperature limited, but rather daylight limited.  Unless climate change includes a free adjustment of the planetary axis, all we're likely to get is a bunch of plants that are confused by the change in weather patterns.

Apple trees not producing as many blossoms, for example.

Christ CNO, you're not supposed to say that out loud.



I think I got something for this blog, gotta ponder a bit.

Doktor Howl

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2018, 10:09:16 pm »
10/10/18, Tucson, AZ
Every Primate Counts

Three weeks from today, I turn 50.  I am okay with this, because based on my family's lifespan and recent ecological studies, I will live just long enough to see everything fall apart on you monkeys before I die.  And I will do so from Arizona, and not Florida or North Carolina, where hurricane Michael - now known to FEMA as "the beast" - is drenching waterways already at or above capacities from Hurricane Florence.  Add this to a 14 foot (!!!) sea surge and 155 MPH wind (modern hurricane-resistant construction is good for 120 MPH) and tornados in every direction for 200 miles, and you can see why Arizona is so attractive.  All WE have is as much UV radiation as you can eat.  I mean, there is a lot more atmosphere below us than above us.

Remember when we worried about the ozone layer?  HA. HAHA.  We FIXED that, by isolating the CFCs that were causing it and not using them anymore.  Then it was "we will run out of resources".  That's still a thing, but we are going to run out of habitable environment long before the oil runs out.  And it's fixable.  Not totally, but mostly.  But we aren't doing it, and we won't do it, because we as a species no longer think rationally.

This is the part where the cynics say we never thought rationally.  I say bullshit.  People in the middle ages were rational as hell, day to day, because if you weren't rational you died.  Now you can be as irrational as you like without dying, at least until your dumb ass gets everyone killed.  Yelling about this will only reinforce it.  You can draw a perfect picture of it, and the mob will scream that you are being paid by George Soros.  No amount of truth will change things.  Once you begin to debate with cargo cultists, they become absolutely impervious. 

So the trick is to get them on board before they express an opinion.  Assume that people you speak to are rational, and try to get them moving in that direction.  Make them think that acceptance is gained by thinking.  That the pack admires them more for looking at the problem.  It worked in the 1960s and 70s, and it can work now.

You won't get them all, but right now every rational primate counts. 
"Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the fact that you're at least putting effort into sincerely arguing your points. It's an argument I've enjoyed having. It's just that your points are wrong and your reasons for thinking they're right are stupid."
- Cainad

"NOTHING IS AS BAD AS IT SEEMS.  BUT YOU'RE STILL FUCKED."
- Dirty Old Uncle Roger

Doktor Howl

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2018, 06:29:37 pm »
10/13/18, 10:19 AM, Soggy Bottom, USA
This is All Normal

It's been raining for two weeks straight, off-season, in Tucson.  A string of endless hurricanes and tropical storms coming in over the Baja peninsula has kept us in constant drizzle.  The desert is a brilliant green...And this is a bad thing.  Once the rains stop, the entire desert will burst into flame, leaving the area more arid.  I mean, having full aquifers is a good thing, considering that Lake Mead is down low enough to expose the town that was submerged by the building of the dam, but it's not like Tucson having water will do us any good if nobody else in the Southwest has it.

I am told by very confident po'buckers that this is all normal, seasonal variation.  Sure, it varies more and more every year, but we don't cotton to people who admit something might be wrong, around here.  They are bad people.  "The Resistance" as even Mike Pence calls us, as if that were some sort of crime in and of itself.  As if opposing policy were some sort of crime.

Thing is, the universe opposes their policy.  I mean, they can still do it, but if you fly in the face of the facts long enough, you will be corrected.  This is often fatal.  Sometimes it means that Lake Mead goes dry and 20% of the US population all gets up and tries to move at the same time, which means there's enough fatality for everyone.  No economy in the world can survive that, and when we go down, everyone goes with us.

My friend John Shirley, a very smart man indeed, keeps saying that we won't have enough water soon.  He's wrong.  We're going to have more water than anyone really wanted, only not in the right place and none of it fit to drink.

A society with a future would be thinking of ways of dealing with that.  Which means "not us."
"Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the fact that you're at least putting effort into sincerely arguing your points. It's an argument I've enjoyed having. It's just that your points are wrong and your reasons for thinking they're right are stupid."
- Cainad

"NOTHING IS AS BAD AS IT SEEMS.  BUT YOU'RE STILL FUCKED."
- Dirty Old Uncle Roger

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2018, 09:14:40 pm »
2018 Oct. 12th, Friday.  0645.

My old credit card is about to expire, and I get a new one in the mail.  I need to activate it over the phone.

I know the pattern, now.  After the exchange of information, the nice woman will say "and while we're waiting for the activation to complete, would you be interested in blah blah blah missed payment insurance blah blah increased limit blah blah".  She'll keep going for a good while.

But this time, I know that she's going to do this in advance.

I can express concern that a system that should be able to handle thousands of transactions per second is taking minutes for what should be a simple update, and offer my services as a technical consultant.  I can tell her I'm already happy with my credit card setup, and suggest that we just chat while we're waiting.  Or maybe we can wait in silence.

I don't care if it's her job.  She tells me an obvious lie, I'm going to make the situation awkward.

I dial, and Voice Menu Man puts me on hold.  I wait.  He periodically interrupts the music to say, "Thank you for your patience.  Please continue to hold as your call is held in sequence for the next available specialist".  I keep waiting.  And waiting.  Because I am patient.

Voice Menu Man comes back, and asks me to enter my credit card number on the keypad.  And then my birthdate.  And my home phone number.  And then he tells me we're done.  It takes under a minute.

I just spent ten minutes on hold, waiting to be talked to by a recording, and I didn't even get my chance to make things awkward.

Now, what I think happened is that I got put into a queue, but my call timed out before a real human salesperson specialist got around to me, and the system failed-over into IVR mode.

Yet I'm okay with all of this.  Used to it, even.  I shouldn't be.

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 10:48:41 pm »
(Note:  I am inviting Cain, Brother Mythos, Chaotic Neutral Observer, QG, and LMNO to add their own entries to this, on any subject related to 21C.  Vex and Cram, too, if they're around.  EDIT:  Also Hoops, even though he is a savage)

Thanks for the invitation, Dok.

As I don't come here everyday, and don't read every thread, I didn't get around to reading this one until Monday. However, I have been gathering my thoughts, and I will be posting to this blog in the near future.

I am probably not the oldest member of this forum, but I suspect I am the oldest currently active member. That being said, my views on “21C Weirdness” may seem quite odd to most of the people here. But, so be it.

Doktor Howl

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 11:13:03 pm »
(Note:  I am inviting Cain, Brother Mythos, Chaotic Neutral Observer, QG, and LMNO to add their own entries to this, on any subject related to 21C.  Vex and Cram, too, if they're around.  EDIT:  Also Hoops, even though he is a savage)

Thanks for the invitation, Dok.

As I don't come here everyday, and don't read every thread, I didn't get around to reading this one until Monday. However, I have been gathering my thoughts, and I will be posting to this blog in the near future.

I am probably not the oldest member of this forum, but I suspect I am the oldest currently active member. That being said, my views on “21C Weirdness” may seem quite odd to most of the people here. But, so be it.

I would expect no less.  Also, it's nice not to be THE crusty old bastard anymore.
"Don't get me wrong, I greatly appreciate the fact that you're at least putting effort into sincerely arguing your points. It's an argument I've enjoyed having. It's just that your points are wrong and your reasons for thinking they're right are stupid."
- Cainad

"NOTHING IS AS BAD AS IT SEEMS.  BUT YOU'RE STILL FUCKED."
- Dirty Old Uncle Roger

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Re: 21C Weirdness in blog format.
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 09:28:20 pm »
MUSIC

As Dok started off this “blog” by writing about music, I will do the same.

Overall, my taste in music hasn't changed much over the years. I pay little attention to 21C music. I still mostly listen to the same stuff I listened to in my 20th C youth. I'm uncertain as to whether or not this is normal, as many old, former “rock 'n' rollers” have abandon the genre for Country & Western music. But to me, C&W is just white noise. And, as I've worked/lived in very noisy environments, I learned a long time ago how to simply “tune out” most noisy distractions.   

I consider myself fortunate to have been born a few years before the birth/recognition of Rock 'n' Roll. Otherwise, because of where I was born and raised, I would have had to listen to nothing but polka music. (It makes my skin crawl just thinking about such an adverse fate!)

I clearly remember hearing "Rock Around the Clock," by Bill Haley and the Comets, on my dad's car radio, back in the day. (However, when I looked it up, to verify the date the song first hit the airwaves, I was surprised to learn that Bill and his band were white. We didn't get a TV until a year or two later, and Bill didn't get much, if any, TV time anyway. So, based on the sound alone, I had always assumed Bill and his band were black.)

I also clearly remember watching Rebel Without a Cause from the backseat of my dad's Ford at the local drive-in theater. (Much to my surprise, that drive-in theater is still in operation today!)

And, I clearly remember watching Elvis's first appearance on TV. That was such a big deal that many people who didn't own televisions yet went somewhere where there was one just to watch him. Influential as Elvis was however, I was never a big fan of his.

When cheap Japanese transistor radios flooded the market (I don't remember exactly, but I think I was given my first one around 1957.), I and my fellow would-be rockers would stay up late to tune into the Joey Reynolds Show on WKBW, Buffalo, New York. On a good night, we could receive WOWO, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Wonderful WO WO, was the best because they often played “The Double Dozen Plus One,” or twenty-five songs in a row without commercials. From where I lived we could also easily receive the old, powerful New York City radio stations at night. The only problem was that they rarely played anything other than “Motown.” Now, I don't dislike Motown music, but I really didn't want to listen to Diana Ross and The Supremes the whole gawdamn night!

It may seem obvious now, but rock 'n' roll was so new that there were no “oldies,” or “classic rock” radio stations back in the day. If an artist, or group, didn't continually crank out new hits, they completely disappeared from the airwaves. That didn't change until sometime in the late 60s, early 70s. I mention this because Buddy Holly disappeared from the radio shortly after his untimely death, and I didn't hear him on the radio again for well over a decade.

The disappearance of “cold” artists and groups may, however, not be a new phenomena. These days I seem to see an endless stream of pop artists that come, make a big splash for a couple of months, and are never seen again. Most of the time I barely notice their comings and goings.

Big money made its impact on music fairly early. Even the local radio stations were playing paided-to-play garbage. We would-be rockers barraged them with complaints about it, but the corporate money was too good to pass up, and they simply ignored us.

I don't watch much TV, and most of what I do watch I record on TiVo, as I have no patience for commercials. So, my exposure to 21C music is, pretty much, limited to whatever new artist or group appears on Saturday Night Live. In truth, I am generally underwhelmed by what I see and hear. I don't remember a particular artist's name from last year, but she sang something completely forgettable, struck poses in a skintight bodysuit, and rolled around on a dais. I guessed that that was supposed to be “performance art.” But, the girls down at the local nudie bar (BYO) roll around, take off their bodysuits, and do it to much, much better music. The only new artist I've seen/heard recently that made a favorable impression on me is Ed Sheeran. I'm sure there are a few others out there, but again, I pay little attention to 21C music.

I don't think Pop music has changed much over the years. There are new performers, of course, but it's mostly the same old bland stuff. Occasionally the Pop music people do come out with something really good, but I think it's more by accident than by design. The only real difference I've noted in Pop music is that the women now prance around in skimpier outfits. But, once again, the girls down at the local nudie bar do that to much, much better music.

I do not like Rap “music.” There, I said it. Yes, I know, it's the music of a different generation, and the music of a different subculture. And, that generation and subculture is welcome to keep it all to themselves, as far as I'm concerned. Seriously, to me it's boringly simplistic, and repetitive. And, it's so obtrusive that I find it difficult to “tune it out.” (Perhaps not being able to “tune it out” is part of it's attraction to this different generation/subculture?) Anyway, at least those C&W twangers have the decency to be ignorable.

Still, as with the old “rock 'n' rollers” who abandon the genre for C&W, I can't help but wonder if a lot of young people listen to Rap out of subtle peer pressure, and don't really care for it all that much in the first place. Thinking back on it, I'm certain a lot of those old “rock 'n' rollers” would have been listening to C&W, if “the cool kids” weren't listening to something else.

And so, I who once thought Rock 'N' Roll Will Never Die is not so sure anymore. But, I intend to buy a license plate frame for my old hot rod that proclaims it, now that I'm retired, and have time to work on “The Roach” once again.

If you were to look at my collection of old records and CDs, you would see the following:

A lot of stuff by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and others of that era.

A lot of The Moody Blues.

However, I rarely listen to them anymore.

A lot of The Rolling Stones.

“Far Away Eyes” is my favorite C&W song. Even though the hired band didn't know the song, my old gang and I sang it at my wedding reception in 1979.

A lot of The Who.

They produced an absolutely amazing body of work.

A lot of The Doors.

Jim Morrison was A True Rock 'N' Roll God™.

So many of my friends had asked me about it over the years, that I finally made the pilgrimage to his grave. But, it wasn't at all what I expected. First of all, the internal, painted maps in the cemetery were worst than useless. And, the cemetery lies in really rugged terrain. After wandering around for nearly an hour, and ready to give up, I finally noticed the graffiti carved into one of the many mausoleums. Then, following the long, blazed trail of graffiti, I spotted a French policewoman, standing beside a bicycle, on the next steep hill. Upon climbing the hill I found the simplest of graves. And, around the grave were a bunch of pimply-faced pre-teenages with many thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment dangling from their necks. (I mean, did those asswipes really need three Nikons each, just to take pictures of a grave?) Those dweebs were so uncool I don't doubt Jim would have been rolling over in that simple grave, if he's really even in there.     

A lot of Meatloaf.

It doesn't get much better than “Bat Out of Hell” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.”

A lot of George Thorogood.

His stuff never gets old for me. Plus he covered a lot of the old R&B men, who never got any “Top 40” air time.

A lot of Dire Straits.

I love that bluesy sound.

A lot of Bob Dylan.

I listen to Bob a lot while I'm driving, but I often just turn him off. After all, I know the songs by heart, my tempo is often better than his, and my singing is much, much better.

A lot of Bob Seger.

Or, as I call him, “Bob the Younger.”

A lot of The Grateful Dead.

I listen to them a lot while I'm driving too. They, “Far Away Eyes,” and some old R&B type stuff from Hank Williams Sr. is about as close as I get to C&W music.

Then there's an odd mixture of other stuff, like Steppenwolf, The Hollies, Ray Charles, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and many long forgotten bands.

But, that's just me. Listen to what you like.