Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

My photo
Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Green Bay Packer GM: Mahmoud Ahmad-Thompson-inegihad! "I am in charge now, you stupid bastards! ARGGGG!!"

(Crowd applause.)
"That's right. I am the big boss and I'm one crazy motherfucker. So shut up! That is enough from you infidels! Don't you know I am all-knowing, all-seeing and all-wise, and I have taken over this team because it is time these Packers know the might, fury and insanity of a powerful NFL team owner?? You are ALL IDIOTS!
I call all shots from this point on. Remember...I was named NFL Executive of the Year last season. Sporting News thinks I am a genius! Former GM Ron Wolf was my mentor thinks of me fondly, yet I conspired to remove him from office. Screw that bastard! Do not question my authority! Do not counter with your ridiculous claims of honor and tradition and integrity. Fuck the history of this franchise! He, Holmgren, Harlan, Bart Star, Hornung, Taylor, Nitschke, Curly Lambeau (stupid first name), Davis, Reggie - all the greats, are nothing but dung on the bottom of my expensive Italian shoes. Ahmad-Thompson is now in the house! And I throw out ALL tradition. Your Lombardi can kiss brownish tan ass! Winning is NOT EVERYTHING anymore! If we win, we win. If we lose - who cares???? Furthermore, your Lombardi Trophy? I pissed in it last night. Yes, what you think about that, hotshot Packer fans. That's what I think of this little piss ant town. Green and gold - or yellow...whatever the fuck it is. Green like puke and yellow like my piss. That's what I think of your colors. You don't even have any decent cheerleaders with big tits - only fat pom pon girls who are as ugly as the pimples on my ass. I am GM and I have the power to do whatever I want! I will start as quarterback WHO I WANT - raising them as my own, like wolves in the desert; I will shower millions of my dollars on evil, future Hall of Famers in order to dissuade them from trying to take over my team with nothing to show but 16 years of loyalty and service to the utmost degree. I spit on loyalty and service!
NOTHING will make sense on the Green Bay Packers as long as I am Master; as long as I am the OMNIPOTENT ONE; as long as I tell you that I do things in the best interest of the team when in reality I could give to fucks what I do to RIPPPPPPP this franchise apart!
"I heard that! Hey - if you don't like it - fuck off! You fans are nothing to me! You suck - I don't care about you! It is about ME - Ahmad-Thompson-inegihad! Go away and let me to my devices! To the one true"

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Packer GM Ted Thompson and Gangster Al Capone. Kindred Spirits.

Al Capone. Head of Chicago mob, hails from the cold, Midwest. Control freak; willing to do anything for his own gain. Crook. Alleged mastermind of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Suffered from an advanced stage of syphilis, causing his behavior to become erratic and unstable.

Ted Thompson. Head of Green Bay Packers (GM) and also hails from the Midwest. Control freak; willing to do anything for his own gain, including massacring the reputation of one the most storied franchises in the NFL. Alleged mastermind of refusing to let Brett Favre start as the GB Packer quarterback in July 2008 after Brett had a change of heart upon retiring in March 2008. Crook - bribed Brett Favre with $20 million to stay retired. Also accused by Jeff Ircink, Jason Ircink and thousands of others of "throwing a football season" whereas Thompson has opted to not field the best team prior to the 2008 NFL football season by his choice to start his draft pick, Aaron Rogers, over Brett Favre - Favre being clearly the better of the two. Suffers from - well, we don't know yet. But it's something. Thompson's recent erratic and unstable behavior is helping to secure his legacy as "worst move by a GM in the history of professional sports".

Capone is dead. Ted Thompson lives, lurking like an NFL owner around Lambeau Field. Do not approach him as he is considered to be dangerously off-kilter these days. But if he offers you money for doing nothing - take it. Apparently he's got $20 million growing on a tree somewhere.

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"Step Brothers" Q & A with Director/Writer Adam McKay.

Ferrell and McKay (right).

I attended a screening of "Step Brothers" in Hollywood last night, followed by a talk-back with the director/co-writer of the movie, Adam McKay. Funny...see it.

McKay worked as a writer/head writer for Saturday Night Live for 12 years and in the process, developed a collaboratory relationship with Will Ferrell, directing and co-writing such movies as Anchorman and Talladega Nights.

McKay had some great stories about the films he's worked on - I'm really glad I didn't bolt after the movie. Now, if you're not familiar with the website Funny or Die, check out this link - it gives you some background on the site which was started by McKay and Ferrell AND it features the short cult flick, The Landlord - starring Will Ferrell, which premiered on Funny or Die. And here's the Funny Or Die website.

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"Hey's about $20 million to stay retired??"

To all you clowns who ever thought Favre was playing QB for the money - think again.

At the meeting yesterday in Mississippi between Green Bay Packer President/CEO Mike "Howdy Doody" Murphy, Brett and Brett's agent, Bus Cook, Murphy apparently floated the idea of paying the quarterback as much as $20 million over 10 years to stay retired, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette and WTMJ in Milwaukee.

That option apparently wasn't embraced.

Let's think about this. Why would a team offer $20 million (or $1 for that matter) to a player to STAY RETIRED????? Does anyone see ANY logic in that? Nice try, Thompson (and Murphy). Shame on you. A payoff? You guys are sinking lower and lower the longer you drag this out. Start Favre or release him. I'll hate you forever if you DO release him, but the man wants to play ball and since you no longer think he can start for YOUR team, let him go elsewhere.

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Now the Packers are insulting MY intelligence.

Regarding yesterday's meeting in Mississippi (see previous posts), Packer Pres/CEO Mark "Howdy Doody" Murphy later issued a statement that addressed no details and made clear he had engaged only in non-football discussions with Favre, apparently to dismiss the possibility that he had usurped the role of general manager Ted Thompson.

ONLY ENGAGED IN NON-FOOTBALL TALK?? What - you flew all the way down to Mississippi, did you, to talk to Brett and his agent about bow hunting and lawn mowers all day, you big dumb asshole. How stupid do you think we are? You had an 8-hour meeting with Bus Cook (2 1/2 hours with Brett) and you NEVER talked football?

So at what point did the alleged $20 million pay-off offer enter this tête-à-tête, Murphy? When Favre was telling you how he can magically trim the driveway edges with his Snapper rider mower?

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Looks like U.S. States Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will have to jump through a bunch of hoops... order to defend himself in light of his indictment for making false statements about receiving gifts. How much trouble can a U.S. senator get for taking gifts and lying about it??

Or maybe it's a series of tubes . Yeh...he has to jump through series of tubes. I like that better.

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Packer Pres/CEO "Howdy Doody Murphy" Skipped Down to Mississippi.

Well what do marionettes do? Hop? Jump? Marionette?

So, you know where our Green Bay Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy is today? The team sent him last night on a private plane to visit Brett Favre in Mississippi in an attempt to persuade the quarterback to stay home rather than report to training camp this week.

A source told the Press-Gazette that Murphy will this morning with Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, at Cook’s law office in Hattiesburg, Miss. “They’re asking him not to come up there,” the source said. “They don’t want him up there.”

Lying, two-face motherfuckers. I'm not making this shit up. Back up...upon hearing the news that Brett Favre had faxed his reinstatement letter to the NFL yesterday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy told ESPN that "He will be welcomed back into our locker room."

McCarthy repeated that comment today regarding Murphy's trip to Mississippi - while Murphy is (as we speak) begging Favre not to show up to training camp! As I believe McCarthy is only Thompson's mouthpiece in this whole ordeal, isn't it safe to assume McCarthy was speaking for Thompson and the Packer front office??? So, something like six hours after Favre faxes his reinstatement letter in to the league office, the Packers' president is on a plane for Mississippi to try and dissuade future Hall of Famer Brett Favre - who led the Pack to a 13-3 regular season record last season while smashing every last QB record there is - from showing up to training camp because the Packer higher ups took Brett at his word that he retired and have moved on with a QB who has never started a regular season game and only played in 3 games last season (correct me if I'm off on my number of games or length Rogers played in each game) - getting hurt in 2 of them??? NOW WHO'S WAFFLING???

Hey Brett - tell Mark "Clown Shoes (that's right, Scotty), Thompson's marionette/Howdy Doody/whipping boy" Murphy to kiss your Mississippi ass!

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SaveBrett petition growing!

10,000 Petition Signatures!

Today we surpassed the 10,000 petition signature mark! Signatures continue to stream in at a steady rate as support for Brett Favre grows nationwide. Since hitting the 10,000 signature mark we've added another 104 signatures bringing the total to 10,104 and climbing.

Add your voice to the growing roar of support for Brett Favre. For the good of the game help make sure that a genuine American hero is not mistreated by the Green Bay Packer management. Go to NOW!

I'm getting tired of writing the same bullshit - obviously Packer management have the heads so far up their own asses that they're not listening. Go to Gene's ESPN article here - it explains everything succintly - where we've been, where we're at and why the Packers are flip-flopping bastards.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Favre faxes reinstatement papers into league; Ted Thompson continues to be a douche bag; newly bar mitzvah'd Jew chosen over Jesus.

Now the ball's in the Packers' court. They have 24 hours to release Favre or add him to the roster. They've said they don't want to release him which would give Brett the option to go to any team he wants - including an NFC North team. They don't want him to be their starting QB because "they've moved on" and "Rogers is the QB now" (and that's the extent of their explanation on staying with Rogers).

They want to trade Brett to a team that he doesn't want to play with and are asking the sun and the moon for him, yet they don't think he's good enough the be the QB for the Packers anymore - because they took him at his word that he was retiring in March and they've "moved on".

Brett even told Thompson that he'd compete for the starting job in camp and TT said that's not an option (it was before) - "they've moved on". "History" will determine whether they've made the right decision.

General Robert E. Lee said that on the 2nd day of Gettysburg when General Longstreet told him he thought it best to pull the Rebs out of action and get out of there. "It's in God's hands now". Ok, Lee.

Thompson - what a douche bag. TT is a dumb, fucking douche bag. Sorry but he is. He's fucking with one of the most storied franchises in sports - and one of the most storied players - all for spite and control. Ted Thompson is acting more and more like an OWNER who wakes up one morning and decides to move his team to Bum Fuck Egypt than a GM who's supposed to be looking out for what's in the best interests of the TEAM...which is putting the best team you can on the field and the best QB which is Favre and not stupid mother fucker. To borrow an analogy from my college buddy, Todd Z.:

It's like Jesus returning for the Second Coming. Everyone knows it's Jesus but they say, "you know - we've moved on without you and we kinda like this new Jew who just got bar mitzvah'd last weekend and we're gonna see what he can do - even though he's never preached to the masses or performed a miracle or done jack shit - yes, even though you ARE Jesus".

(NOTE: Todd and I are not insinuating Brett Favre is Jesus or God, regardless what people say...that we think he's a god. Just making an analogy.) Can you tell I'm pissed? I make a point to not go berserk and use profanity on my blog, but this is not a good situation. I can only hope that cooler heads will prevail and the insanity will be flushed out of Lambeau Field.

TT can only win by having Favre start for the Pack. Brett does well = good. Brett does poorly = 'well what was i supposed to do?'.

But if he lets Favre go, whether Favre excels with another team or not, TT will be "the GM that traded or released Brett Favre". Pride is a terrible thing you stupid, dumb bastard. Long after Ted Thompson is gone as GM, the reverberation of letting Favre go to another team would be felt for decades. I don't wanna hear in your autobiography 20 years from now, "we were wrong about Brett and I take full responsibility for being a dumb ass", because we're telling you NOW that you're making a mistake, you ignoramus - YOU'RE WRONG! What a selfish son-of-a-bitch.

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We JUST had an earthquake here.

11:43 a.m. No shit. Our 3-story building just shook for 15 seconds. 5.8 on the Richtor scale. My stomach is a tad queasy right now. It's the longest tremor I've felt in 10+ years of living in SoCal.

It's the start of the Apocolypse - for the Packers screwing around and not making Brett Favre the starting QB. Told you. I wished it if it came to this.

Still do.

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Hated by many. Loved by few. Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Had a bottle of this on the Pacific Surfliner up to Santa Barbara Saturday. Pretty strong stuff. Check out their website, ya bastard.

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Jennifer Terran, The Barn & "Wonderment".

The Barn - off the beaten path somewhere in Santa Barbara. I saw this unique singer/songwriter Saturday night. Here's what the critics have said about her:

"Endowed with a voice or heartbreaking purity and melodic talent, Jennifer Terran will most likely rise rapidly to the level of the greats." TELARAMA (Paris, France)

"Breathtaking... timeless... pure... monumental.... Categorizing Jennifer Terran is impossible. Terran is a style of her own." OOR MAGAZINE (Netherlands)

"Jennifer Terran is an unusual, very unusual kind of artist and quite a woman! A truly magnificent Film Noire Diva and a world-class songwriter-singer. This woman is unique, captivating vocalist, pianist, tenderly rebellious songwriter, producer by raison d'etre and necessity, hip-hop dynamic instructor and dancer, story-teller, an existentialist philosopher, an emotionally and intellectually charged teaser and provocative presence and most certainly a daring-devil entrepreneur." HERALD TIMES PARADE (London, UK)

"...sounds a lot like, well, Jennifer Terran. Grade A." LA Times - Bill Locey

"Captivating...powerful voice and songwriting" Chris Douridas - KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic"

(WAIT! There's more...)

I took the Pacific Surfliner (Amtrak) from the 1929 art deco Union Station in downtown Los Angeles up to Santa Barbara, where I was met by my friend Val and her friend Cynthia. We had dinner at some outdoor Mexican cafe, then drove to a remote spot in Santa Barbara just north of the 101. The Barn is Jennifer's private music hall and recording, with the back opening up so that the crickets, the moon, and the air can all listen in to Jennifer's unique voice and music. The intimacy there was quite striking and added much to Jennifer's presence at the baby grand - her voice and her musicianship on the piano. Oh - and if you missed my photographic post on the piano just outside The Barn, you can see it here.

Torches lit up the path to the unisex privy (which was very nice for an outdoor bathroom) and off to the right of that is where Laura and her husband and two children live. Laura Mihalka accompanied Jennifer on cello and I gained a greater appreciation for the nuances the cello offers any bit of music. Candlelight, pillows, chocolates, wine - amazing ambiance. I would say 40-50 were there and we had a chance to chat with Jennifer afterwards.

I likened the entire experience of being in The Barn and watching her perform to that of seeing the Giant Sequoias with my brother in June. "Wonderment".

I could go on and on but why don't you read what others have said...

"She speaks of the unspeakable, with great touch and skill in production, the arrangements and the songs. Jennifer Terran did show her nakedness on the beautiful pictures of The Musician, on Full Moon In 3 she is naked in the head of the listener. In my mind I give her a kiss. 5 STARS for FULL MOON IN 3." HEAVEN MAGAZINE (NL)

"All of you wondering whether Kate Bush is going to release another album, or if Tori Amos will ever make another record as good as her debut, can stop bothering with such side issues. Here's the album you'v e been waiting for.... I don't think there's a duff track. Her voice is staggering. And you've got to love someone who can yell out a full-on, Springsteenesque '1-2-3-4!' to announce the arrival of a violin."Terran's." The Musician - #2 BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR THE TIMES (London)

" * * * * " (Four Stars for "The Musician") ROLLING STONE

"I'd gladly trade in all my Tori Amos CDs for Jennifer Terran's 'The Musician'...a magnificant album." ***** (five stars and #1 BEST POP ALBUM of 2001 HEAVEN MAGAZINE (Holland) - Eric Scipio

"The Musician is Terran's third album, but strangely enough it has the innocence of a debut. The compositions are fluent and playful, both rough and soft. Terran produced and mixed everything herself, but has succeeded in preventing that the spontaneity of her music was killed by perfectionism... At some point Tori Amos had that same gift, but in the meantime she has become a phenomena? Let's hope that Jennifer Terran will never become world famous." PLATOMANIA (HOLLAND)

"Listening to Cruel was an orgasmic auditory experience. Sometimes Terran sounds like a spiritual pop-folk goddess, and at other moment she comes off like a wide-eyed town freak always sounds beautiful. You've gotta listen to understand." The Fish Rap Live - Jenni Balsam

Poster from Jennifer's European tour in Belgium, France and The Netherlands.

"FULL MOON IN 3 is a remarkable, beautiful and haunting album, an original, sincere and moving musical masterpiece. It also marks Jennifer Terran out as one of the most creative and distinctive singer/songwriters around at the moment. I will be surprised if anything released in 2006 will match this for its emotional intensity and sheer beauty." THE MUSICIAN (#1 Best Album of the Year), SHAKINSTIR (UK)

"Not everybody can be both scary and vulnerable; Jennifer Terran (pronounced tearin') can. The scary part is her voice, which spirals into regions so high you fear sh e'll disappear or crash, and lately it has acquired a diamond-dust edge that can saw through a stack of hearts, first of all her own." LA WEEKLY (USA)

For more on Jennifer Terran's music, check out the following:

Dell Computer television commercial, The America Song on Youtube, Grand Canyon on Youtube, and her website.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

"One Day Like Rain" at the Dances with Films Festival.

I attended the Los Angeles premiere of the indie movie, "One Day Like Rain", Friday night in West Hollywood - the flick was an entrant at the Dances with Films Festival and my friend, Marisa Petroro (one of the girls on Deal of No Deal - #18 suitcase) was in it.

Marisa wasn't the lead. She should have been. Not to take away from the lead in the movie, but I just wanted to see more of Marisa on-screen. She's great to watch...and I'm referring to both her presence and her acting. That being said - oh, I went with my friend, New Yorker Michael Carrera - an acting buddy who I met while I was involved in the Coronet Theater Lab for two years here in LA (Marisa was a part of that group as were my friends in Tujunga, Donovan and Maria).

Above: My friend, Marisa.

Anyway, we didn't like the movie. Hey - I give props to anyone - be it an actor, writer, producer, director of photography - for working at their craft and bringing a dream to life on screen. And I appreciated some of the ethereal aspects of the film - the far-out notions and fantasy. It was a "pretty" film. But I had way too many questions after it was over. Were the people in the woods the same creatures depicted in the animation portion of the film? Was as the lead a human or an alien? What happened to everyone at the end of the movie? It was if the goal of the film maker/writer was to keep the audience in total suspense and purposefully make us ask, "what did I just watch?". And the director/write even admitted during the Q & A afterwards that it's an "out there" film (paraphrasing).

If that was his goal, it worked. Because when the movie was over, I asked myself, "what did I just watch?".

But Michael and I went out to this Irish pub in Santa Monica later and caught up on life, acting, cars, women, Favre and the Yankees and all was good.

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Goin' out to eat - "Up North-style".

From Tommy K. during his family vacation up in Minoqua, Wisconsin - the "Lake Geneva" of Up North. Tom took his youngest son, Joseph, on a tour of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, home of the Green Bay Packers. You've heard of them, I'm sure.

It's was 2-for-1 day...tour the facility AND see the circus (sans animals but plenty of clowns) outside training camp.

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Piano In the Key of Mute.

Taken outside at Jennifer Terran's studio in Santa Barbara. Check a couple posts above for a review of Jennifer's concert at The Barn.

Which do you prefer - the color shot (1) or the sepia shot (2)?

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Charlie Brown, Lucy and Schroeder meet Favre, Thompson and McCarthy.

Go to PackerPalace and watch the video. And if you're a Packer fan, you should bookmark this site. The creators are from Wisconsin but live here in Venice Beach, Cali.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

"su [go] i"

"su [go] i"

adj. (soo goi) - Japanese: wow, great, amazing, sweee,nn.

Example: "Su goi! Brett Favre is showing up to Packer training camp!"

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I'll tell you what's going on, Coach - movement on the Favre/Packer front.

It's being reported that Favre will apply today for reinstatement in the NFL (following his retirement in March) and will report to Green Bay Packer training camp next week.

All this means is that it looks as if some progress is being made in the stand-off. Brett can still approve a trade or be released or veto a trade and not be released and sit on the bench while making $12 million and holding a clipboard. OR Packer management can take its collective heads out of their asses and make Brett the starting QB as it should be.

A trade could very well be already negotiated but Favre and the Pack have to go through the motions of reinstating him, then Favre showing up to training camp - makes for good PR. We shall see. Any finality will come at the start of the season when the Vikings come to Lambeau on the first Monday Night game and we see which QB runs outta the tunnel - Favre or Rogers.

Your move, Teddy-boy.

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Heard on ESPN radio..."you know?".

I was driving home from work you know and listening to Dameshek Denholm and Long on ESPN radio (LA feature) and they were, you know, interviewing an Arizona Wildcat football player as part of the PAC 10 media week, you know? Might have been QB Willie Tuitama.

You know, I've never heard an athlete say, "you know" more than this kid, you know? In one ...maybe 45 second reply to a question....he said "you know" 11 times, you know? 11. I wanted to, you know, rip my radio out of the car but I couldn't flip the station because it was as if this collegiate player was saying "you know" purposefully, you know?

Gotta love our student-athletes. You know?

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The Journey IS the Destination #16: Fire in Big Sur!

Tuesday, June 24 - Big Sur, California. - After having visited Monterey and Carmel, Jas and I headed south to Big Sur. We were on a quest to get a couple tee shirts we picked up there two years ago. Oddly enough, the tee shirts have a hiker on the front with BIG SUR scrawled across it and on the back the words, "The Journey is the Destination" - which was the inspiration for this 16-part blog series. Heading into Big Sur from the north, I snapped this picture. Little did we know that this fire would turn into a behemoth that closed down the PCH five miles south of Big Sur, forcing us to head north back to Monterey and cut over to the 101 in order to head back to LA.

The blaze started in the Los Padres National Forest and was only 3 percent contained when we were there, burning nearly 37 square miles near the coast about a mile south of Big Sur. As I'm writing this today, the fire is still burning but is 72% contained, after burning 142,617 acres. 26 residences and 32 other structures have been destroyed, with the cost of suppressing the fire reaching $70.4 million.

We stopped at this eclectic, hippie store and found out they have this stage in the back where they do music and readings on the weekends. Nice - do I see a Big Sur production of "Pass the Salt, Please." in my not-so-distant future?

Oh - that's my shirt I was telling you about...the old one. We never did get those tees. The store owner closed her shop to go check on her home - to see if she needed to evacuate. Well, I guess acquiring the shirt was only second to the week-long journey that got us there, right?

Well, that's the end of "The Journey IS the Destination" blog series. All 16 parts. Feel free to scroll down and catch-up if you'd like. There are some really sweet pictures of the Sequoia National Park, Solstice in Santa Barbara and the rest of the Ircink brothers' travels. As singer/songwriter Russ Ballard said to me in an email the other day (that's another blog post), "Life's good - Dig it!".

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thumps Up for Ebert & Favre, Thumps Down for Disney & Thompson.

Did you know that Roger Ebert is the copyright holder on the signature "thumbs up/thumbs down" judgement that he and Gene Siskel made part of each of their film reviews?

Now Ebert is taking his thumbs with him, as he's cutting ties with Disney and the nationally syndicated television show after his critic partner, Richard Roeper quit the show.

So in homage to Siskel and Ebert and Roeper and "At the Movies with Siskel/Roeper and Ebert", I'm giving a big THUMBS UP to Brett Favre and a big THUMB right up the ass of Ted Thompson. Packer and sports fans know what I'm talking about.

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"Jo Bob" is still Walking Tall - and he gave me a buck.

So I was having a conversation with our head of acquisitions outside our offices Tuesday when I noticed this very tall, "heap of a man" with his dog across the street near Winchell's Donuts talking on his cell. He looks our way; I look his way and I immediately yell out, "Hey - you're the actor...Bo...Hopkins. No - Svenson. Bo Svenson!"

Yep. It's Bo. He comes over and we shoot the shit and I tell him that when I lived in Bel Air, singer/actor Mac Davis was my neighbor (he still lives there) and Mac and Bo starred with Nick Nolte in the classic football flick, North Dallas Forty, in 1979. People forget about actors as the years go by. Not me - it's an obsession of mine to scour the Internet to find out where a certain actor disappeared to, what they look like now and if they're still in the business. Bo still acts - apparently Quentin Tarantino remembered him and found him relevant enough to cast him in Kill Bill 2.

Very congenial, pleasant man to talk to. Great stories. I did some research on Svenson's career (Wikipedia stuff mostly) - if you're interested.

(WAIT! There's more on Bo.)

Above: Bo's business card I snagged from my co-worker.

Why did Bo give me a buck? That's between Bo and I.

Anyway, Svenson was born in Sweden - his father was a personal driver, athlete, and bodyguard for the King of Sweden. He emigrated to the United States in 1958, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, then pursued a Ph.D. in metaphysics and attended UCLA.

Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1976" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 28, Bo is considered among the tallest leading men of all time, at 6' 5" being an inch taller than John Wayne and two inches shorter than 6' 7" fellow soldier-turned-actor James Arness.

Svenson's most memorable roles are The Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Walking Tall Part II (1975), Final Chapter: Walking Tall (1977), North Dallas Forty (1979), The Delta Force (1986) and Solitude Point (1998) and has appeared in several films with his friend Fred Williamson. Svenson is an accomplished athlete and has competed in world championships, Olympic selections and international competition in judo, yachting, track, ice hockey and auto racing (NASCAR, PRO-SCCA and F1A). He was television's highest-paid actor for his reprisal of Buford Pusser in the television series "Walking Tall" (1981) - Johnny Carson being the personality who made more.

Check out this recent Variety article about the DVD release of the WWII cult classic "Inglorious Bastards" with Fred Williamson and Bo. It's a "spaghetti WWII" flick and Quentin Tarantino is involved in writing and directing something of a remake. Watch a trailer for the original movie with brief commentary by Quentin. It's reminiscent of "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Great Escape".

Above: Bo with David Carradine at the Kill Bill 2 premier.

Although he's best known as an actor, Bo's also an accomplished writer, director and producer. He hosts PBS Television's "The Di Palma Forum at UNLV" (1999) and is a sought-after speaker and seminarian. Chairman of the Board and CEO of Motion Picture Group of America from 1984-1995, Bo is president of MagicQuest, a Hollywood-based international motion picture and television development, production, distribution and branded advertainment company.

While he has received numerous awards and nominations for his body of work, he especially values the Italian Institute of Art Award of Merit, the American Culture Foundation Man of the Year Award, Italy's Legione Garibaldina Ruole D'Onore, the NAACP Image Award, the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy Golden Scroll Award, and the Hollywood Women's Press Club Golden Apple.

If you're curious to learn more about Bo, go to his website:

One last thing about Bo I don't think he'd mind me sharing with you - he's been married to the same woman for 41 years. Imagine that - in Hollywood no less.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Got an email from a Zombie this morning.

Chris White, original bassist for The Zombies, emailed me this morning.

I got ahold of an email address from a website he's associated with and contacted him yesterday as I was trying to find the lyrics to the song, "I Love You" - a song he wrote as a B-side tune while with The Zombies, but was a #1 hit for the group People! in 1968.

You can hear the song here. First, go to the right panel and MUTE my IMEEM music box.

I LOVE YOU - People

Back to Chris White. I was tickled how quickly he emailed me (or that he emailed me period). I mean, it's Chris White of The Zombies - one of the original British Invasion groups. Come on! According to Chris, there have been discussions of the remaining original Zombies (guitarist Paul Atkinson passed away in 2002) touring some U.S. cities next year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of their album Odessey and Oracle, ranked by Rolling Stone in 2003 in 80th place on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. After seeing The Zombies Saturday, believe me - you want this tour to happen.

Chris and Zombie keyboardist Rod Argent wrote all the songs appearing on Odessey - an album that Foo Fighter Dave Grohl said was extremely influential to him as a musician. It IS an excellent listen - recorded at Abbey Road with many of the techs used on the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

If you're a Zombie fan, scroll down a few posts and check out a brief history of the band as well as my review of their show that I saw Saturday night.

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It's Wednesday and I was mentioned in "Tuesdays" on Friday.

(reprinted from Tuesdays)

don't i know you?
interesting when two friends meet...i went to waterford union high school with blogger jeff ircink (passion=truth) who now lives in LA and works as an actor, playwright, and...what else is it you do jeff? jeff's a published playwright (and a good one) who in his spare time fishes, smokes cigars, and has a major man-crush on brett favre. (yes, straight men can have crushes on other straight men without thinking about penis.)

i've worked in milwaukee theater with blogger jonathan west (artsy schmartsy) many, many times, and i actually just saw him in a wonderful production of tally's folly at milwaukee chamber theater. over the years, jon's been an actor, a director, a writer, run a theater company of his own...and i'm sure there's more. these days, he's also a devoted father and spouse.

two days ago, jeff and i had a delightful phone conversation about the recent brett favre "i'm retired -- no i'm not!" debacle, easily summed up in two lines:

tony: "it makes that weepy news conference seem like bullshit."
jeff: "he changed his mind, it happens all the time."

this morning, i realized these two (jeff and jonathan) "old" friends were
already having this conversation...

Posted by tony at 10:20 AM 1 comments

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Quantum of Solace".

This has to be one of the best Bond titles I've ever heard.

The 22nd Bond film is due out in theaters in November. I liked Daniel Craig is his first Bond film and I will not wait this time but see it in the theater.

Oops...and don't forget the latest Bond girl - Ukraine model Olga Kurylenko.

Oh - she's an actress, too. But don't let her good looks fool you, boys. She may have a nasty disposition - she's been married and divorced twice. And she's only 29.

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"Cry-baby of the day" - Gina D. in Chicago.

On today's MSN homepage, there's an article on, "The Thing That Drives Me Nuts About My Co-Worker". Readers were asked to submit examples of annoying co-workers' habits (does that apostrophe go outside the "s" or inside - i never know).

The very first email response was this:

"I have an employee who is a Packers fan; I am a Bears fan. Every once in a while, I receive an e-mail that varies from photos of Brett Favre or just plain text that says, 'PACK.' It drives me nuts and I have to pretend it doesn't bother me one bit." - Gini D., Chicago

Here's my note back to Gina:

"Waa, waa, waa. Shut up, Gina - you whiny little bitch. No one cares about your dilemma with your co-worker. I'm also a Packer/Favre fan and native Wisconsinite and the Bears suck whether Brett's playing or not or whether the Packers are playing well or not. THE BEARS ALWAYS SUCK. Packer fans hate the Bears and vice versa. Give it a rest. In LA, I have to listen to more people cheering for more teams than you'll ever have to deal with. Grow a 'nad. Just ignore the emails and get back to work. Write your complaining, hostile emails on your own time." -
Jeff I., Los Angeles

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"Still sporting the mung fish beard! I like it..."

That's coming from my musician-buddy Nick Perkins in Cedar Rapids.

If you're confused, he's referring to my beard choice. I blogged about it in the beginning of June. How many times do I have to say - it's called a, "Klingap". And I've received a lot of looks - positive looks.

I suppose I could get some hair dye so you can see it better...

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Derek Smalls is Jim Rodford.

Could bass player Jim Rodford of Argent fame (right) have been the inspiration for Harry Shearer's bass playing Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap (left)?

There's a similarity. I saw Rodford Saturday as he's on tour with The Zombies - Rodford and Zombie keyboardist Rod Argent went on to form Argent in the late 60's.

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Yesterday's VARIETY headline

In case you're not aware, the latest Batman flick, The Dark Knight, was released over the weekend and grossed over $150 million.

Variety has a tradition of writing witty, clever headlines for their front page. Over the years, The Hollywood Reporter has followed suit - but the tradition began with Variety.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Turn your volume up. Hear that song? "Time of the Season" by The Zombies. And I saw them Saturday night.

"Eclectic – jazz, classical, blues, rock and roll. That was a big strength of The Zombies. We couldn't be pigeon-holed and our music came from a wide range of influences."Colin Blunstone

"Drop dead gorgeous melodies and slinky hooks"Mojo

Above: Original Zombie members Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent.

The British press said, "One of the finest bands of the sixties, The Zombies paired Rod Argent's songwriting and dazzling keyboards with Colin Blunstone's distinctive high-ranging vocals. Famous in the UK for the pop classic "She's Not There", "Tell Her Now" and "The Time of the Season". Always something of a cult band, they fared better in the USA. Rod later secured chart success with "Hold Your Head Up" with his own band, Argent, whilst Blunstone forged a solo career with songs like "Say You Don't Mind" and "I Don't Believe in Miracles" as well as his eighties hit "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" with Dave Stewart."

Agora Hills, Cali - I saw The Zombies last night and it was undoubtedly one of the finest concert experiences of my life. My friend Val and I tooled up the 101 in her Mini Cooper (get it...British car/Zombies - British Invasion??) and had dinner and drinks before the show.

The Canyon Club is an outstanding venue, holding around 1200 people. It's outstanding because our table was maybe 30 yards from the stage, the food was great (though expensive but large portions - our lemon chicken w/capers was a half a chicken) and obviously held in high regard by a number of top bands who've played there and will play there this year - Berlin, Air Supply, Gordon Lightfoot, America, Blue Oyster Cult, Hootie and the Blowfish, Toad the Wet Sprockets, Pat Benator, Johnny Winter, Eddie Money, and Heart, just to name a few (as well as comedy acts like Don Rickles and The Smothers Brothers).

(WAIT! Learn more about The Zombies...there's more!)

The only photo I snapped. A bit blurry, but psychedelic nonetheless. You're really not supposed to take photos, you know - professional courtesy. So I was content with the memories the show left in my head. And I swear The Zombies sounded EXACTLY as they did back in 1968 - we were totally sucked in.

If you'd like to see what I saw, watch here. And, if you're a Zombie fan, check out this interview with Colin and Rod from somewhere in Europe. And, here's some vintage Zombies with "She's Not There".

The Zombies' "Time of the Season" is a favorite with some of the guys I fish and hunt with. One of the first things we do when we grab stools at a bar is plug the jukebox with dollar bills - Elvis, Lightfoot, Eagles, Stones, Sinatra, The Beach Boys...and "Time of the Season". As a matter of fact, we'll be fishing in a boat - I'll be in one boat and my Uncle Fran and Gary Schmidt are in another...or we're just standing around the fire on shore having a beer - and one guy will break out into, "What's your name?" and someone else will answer, "What's your name?". Then "Who's your daddy?" "Who's your daddy? - Be rich". "Is he rich like me?". Back and forth. Awesome.

Washington Post, Friday, July 18, 2008 - "It's hard to imagine a more gracious band than The Zombies. Several times during their thrilling, inspired performance Tuesday night at the Birchmere, they stopped the show to thank the audience not for the applause and the several standing ovations but just for being there in the first place."

The Zombies formed in 1961 in St Albans, England, while all five members were attending school and gained their initial reputation playing the Old Verulamians Rugby Club in that City. The Original Zombies, above: Rod Argent (2nd from right, organ, vocals and songwriting), Paul Atkinson - (guitar, vocals - passed away April 2004), Colin Blunstone (2nd from left, lead vocals), Chris White (middle, bass, vocals and songwriting) and Hugh Grundy - (drums) .

After winning a beat-group competition sponsored by the London Evening News, The Zombies signed to Decca and recorded their first hit, "She's Not There" (Rod's second song, written specifically for this session), which was released in mid-1964 and peaked at number 12 in the UK, where it was their only UK Top 40 hit. This minor-key, jazz-tinged number, distinguished by its musicianship and Blunstone's breathy vocal, was unlike anything previously heard in British rock and would become a bona fide classic. It was first aired in the United States in early August, eventually climbing to #2.

Like many other British Invasion groups, The Zombies were sent to America to tour behind their new hit single. In early 1965, Rod Argent's "Tell Her No" became another big seller in the United States but had failed to make the Top 40 in the band's native UK. Although subsequent recordings such as "I Love You" (you know the song - it became a hit for People! in 1968), "Indication", "Whenever You're Ready", and "Is This the Dream" were of uniformly high quality but didn't achieve the success of the previous two singles. The Zombies disbanded in 1967.

The band anticipated the progressive rock trends of the early 70s but split before they could capitalize on it. (Progressive rock is a mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility in the late 60's and early 70's, often incorporating elements drawn from classical, jazz, and world music. Instrumental songs are common, while songs with lyrics are sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy; use of concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme; applied to the music of bands such as King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, The Moody Blues, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.)

On November 25, 1997, all five Zombies reunited at the Jazz Cafe in London's Camden Town as part of a solo show by Blunstone. Blunstone and Argent reunited for an album and tour together in 2001 under the Blunstone & Argent monicker and continued playing live shows together into 2004 when they began going out under The Zombies name again. An album of new material released in 2004, As Far as I Can See, received mixed reviews. A 120-track compilation of the original band's work, Zombie Heaven, was much better regarded. In 2005 Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent released a DVD and 2-CD album, Live At The Bloomsbury Theatre, which received excellent reviews in the Times, Mojo, The Sun and other publications. Their U.S. tour of 2007 garnered stellar reviews.

"The Zombies, still led by original keyboard wizard Rod Argent and featuring the smoked-silk vocals of Colin Blunstone, is the finest British-invasion-era band still touring that doesn't have Mick Jagger as a frontman" - The Washington Times.

To mark the 40th anniversary of their album, Odessey & Oracle, the four surviving original members of The Zombies (above) participated in a three-night series of concerts at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire Theatre between 7th and 9th March 2008, playing the album in its entirety.

The current Zombie line-up: Keith Airey - lead guitar, Colin, Rod and the father-son bassist-drummer duo of Jim (one of the original members of Argent) and Steve Rodford.

"You could hardly credit it had taken 40 years to reach this seminal moment, which deserves to be ranked beside Brian Wilson's remarkable comeback for its impeccable artistry and uplifting power" - The Scotsman

"As their voices soar in the middle of "Hung Up On A Dream", it's real shivers -down-the-spine stuff.......timeless" - The Independent

"I feel privileged tonight having witnessed this faultless performance of a classic record" - Music-News

"Odessey and Oracle sounds fantastic. Some of it even gains in translation. Live the surging harmonies of Care Of Cell 44 knock you sideways..........As Time Of The Season draws to a close, they get a standing ovation. It is the triumphant reception Odessey And Oracle always deserved, 40 years after the event." - The Guardian

The Zombies kicked off a North American tour on July 3, 2008, with an outdoor festival performance at the Comerica Cityfest in Detroit, Michigan - my brother caught them at Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 5 and I saw them last night in Agora Hills last night.

EXTRA!! History of Odessey and Oracle:
"Just when I thought I'd heard the greatest songs ever written...any album I had ever listened to...I heard The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle." - Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters.

Odessey and Oracle was recorded in 1967 after The Zombies signed to the CBS label, and was only the second album they had released since 1965. It was never a big hit at the time - but it was a critical hit. The success of the album wasn't felt until years after its release. As their first LP, Begin Here, was a collection of singles, Odessey can be regarded as the only true Zombies album. While their first album included several cover versions, Odessey consisted entirely of original compositions by the group's two main songwriters, Rod Argent and Chris White.

The group began work on the album in June 1967. Some songs were recorded at EMI's Abbey Road Studios, where earlier in the year the Beatles had recorded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Pink Floyd recorded The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. This was the first time Abbey Road would be used for an independently produced (non-EMI) release. By the time the recording was finished, in late 1967, The Zombies were effectively disbanded, due to lack of financial success. Odessey and Oracle was released in the UK in April 1968 and in the United States in June. The single "Time of the Season" became a surprise hit in early 1969, and Columbia Records (in the United States) re-released Odessey in February. The first song on the album, "Care of Cell 44" has been covered by a number of artists including Elliott Smith and Of Montreal .

In 2003, Rolling Stone placed Odessey in 80th place on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. In addition it has appeared on a number of greatest albums lists. The Guardian placed it 77th on their Top 100 Albums That Don’t Appear In All The Other Top 100 Albums Of All Time, and Mojo named it the 97th greatest album ever made. It placed 32nd on NME's list of the greatest British albums ever Odessey consistently ranks in the top 40 on the constantly changing Rate Your Music greatest ever albums list. The famous misspelling of "odyssey" in the title was the result of a mistake by the designer of the LP cover, Terry Quirk (who was the flatmate of bass player Chris White). The band tried to cover this up at the time of release by claiming the misspelling was intentional.

The Zombies are one of only 3 or 4 bands all-time who had broken up BEFORE their eventual #1 hit song; therefore, The Zombies NEVER performed "Time of the Season" or any songs from Odessey and Oracle while in their hey-dey. With a smile on his face, Colin stated in an interview, "Hold on - the band is finished. The album (Odessey and Oracle) isn't even released yet - wouldn't it have been wise to wait for the release of the album?...The thought intriques me what might we have done next - had we not broken up."

As they say, it's never too late - and The Zombies are making up for it. I beg you to go see them if they ever visit your city. You won't regret it.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Check out my new Rincon pendant!

I mentioned that I found this stone at Rincon Beach (on the way up to Santa Barbara) in my "The Journey IS the Destination" blog series. Finally got the cord and here's the end result of Jeff's Arts & Crafts hour - cool, huh?

Notice the detail on the lacing around the stone and at the clasp. You know, I should set up a little stand at one of the local craft fairs. Think how good I could be if I REALLY worked at it. I debuted it at The Zombies concert in Agora Hills last night (watch for my review - kick-ass show!).

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