Steve Morrison is not a douche

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I’m not a person to admire someone simply because what they do puts them in the public eye. I learned a long time ago that there is a distinct line that separates a celebrity’s public and private persona. You may like their TV show, writing, music, etc – but that doesn’t mean you will like the person. (In light of Michael Jackson’s death – it’s an important distinction to make). But it is nice when you meet a celebrity and you realize that their private face is as cool as their public one.  I am happy to say Steve Morrison, of Preston and Steve fame, is one of those people and as such is not an heir to the Massengale fortune.

A few weeks ago our cat Mulder was in the hospital, and on the day we picked him up we had the pleasure of running into Steve at the Hickory Veterinary Hospital in Plymouth Meeting. I knew I recognized his voice (and shaved head) and only needed the confirmation of hearing his name to say hello. Turns out Steve and his wife rescue cats from their neighborhood and bring them in to make sure they’re spayed, neutered and otherwise taken care of. If possible they attempt to find homes for the cats that can be adopted. For the feral cats, they take care of them too making sure they are fed and healthy and if they can capture them, spayed and neutered.

Either this man has a lot of bad karma to make up for, or he’s not a douche. I vote the latter. Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile because it seems that we tend to focus on the negative aspects of a celebrity’s life and never focus on the good some of them do. After Michael Jackson’s death – I felt it was a good time to focus on someone’s more positive attributes.

I personally feel that being a douche is about the worst thing a person can be. Being a douche goes beyond being a bad person; it basically means that your doucheness goes so far as to stink even without talking. Steve Morrison – I give you one of the biggest compliments I can give by saying: “Well done – you are not a douche.”

Keep it up.

Remembering Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was a person of a specific time and place. From little Michael to Billy Jean  billie-jean-jackson_lMichael – there is probably no one else that I associate with the late 70’s to the mid 80’s than Michael. Right now MTV is running Michael Jackson videos all night long as if to say “thank you, because without you, we don’t exist.” If he didn’t invent MTV, he certainly made it viable.

I grew up listening to the music of the Jackson 5 and then the music of Michael Jackson. I remember hearing “Ben” on the radio when I was a child. Off the Wall came out when I was in middle school, and nothing seemed bigger than that – until Thriller was released. When I hear people say they’re not fans – I don’t think they realize that in that day and age, there wasn’t a choice. I’m sure even the punks looked at him perform the moonwalk and wondered how. Some things you don’t love or hate – they simply are a part of the fabric. This was Michael Jackson.

I know that in recent years Michael grew more eccentric and the allegations of child molestation forever took the gloss off of his image, but that doesn’t take away from what he did as an entertainer. His contributions are just too great for that.

I’m still shocked at today’s news, but I’m not surprised it happened – if that makes sense. Michael old-michael-jacksonwas my generation’s Elvis, and as such we probably should have expected that we would leave too early. The decent into the Michael of the past few years only serves as to provide a stark comparison to what he once was. And just like Elvis, they will be playing his music for generations.

Thank you Michael for providing a soundtrack for my childhood.

Getting into shape

I’m trying to get into shape. Break out the Wii Fit, my Asics, and my iPhone. Today was a 4 mile walk. I mapped my walk using an iPhone app called MapMyWalk – it does runs and rides too. Pretty darn accurate too  – I used my pedometer just in case and the results were identical. You can track your walks/runs at their website and then share it with friends via the standard virtual networks.

Microsoft Ford Sync, iPhone 3.0 OS and bluetooth streaming (Sweet!)

I just accidentally found out that the new iPhone 3.0 OS has given me the ability to stream music from my iPhone to my car stereo. Quick review – if your car stereo and your phone is paired, then it should be easy.

  1. Give your sync the voice command “bluetooth audio”
  2. Press the play button on your iPhoe

That’s it. Of course if you haven’t paired your phone yet (why haven’t you), you’ll have to do that first.

The good: The sound quality is quite good.

The bad: There is no text support and you’ll have to switch songs, playlists, albums, etc through the iPhone itself.

The ugly: Your battery life after running your phone on 3G and streaming music wirelessly.

The two images below show you what the iPhone screen looks like while streaming.

More information about Ford Sync by Microsoft at

Cheap good music: Fanfarlo – “Reservoir”

Thanks to Kelly’s Alter Ego for this one. I downloaded  Fanfarlo’s Reservoir which can be had for the fan-friendly price of $1 through the Fanfarlo website or the link below. For a dollar, I’ll try anything (probably why my iPhone is is loaded with crappy 99 cent apps).  Anyway.

Upon one listen, this is a dollar very well spent. They sort of remind me of Andrew Bird (the voice) meets the Decemberists (friends, that’s a good thing). I love  artists that market themselves this way – I read a book recently about music marketing and it made the statement that “first you listen to music, then you like it, then you buy it; it can happen in no other sequence.” This is how it worked in the past with radio, but the new economy changed how you listen. And the lack of compelling radio meant that people found other often illegal means to listen. Giving people the opportunity to first listen  is crucial to artist success.

You can listen to some songs below and if you like, click the download button.