Monday, April 30, 2012

Top 10 Mitt Romney protest signs + exclusive bone-us sign

To properly honor the Republican 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney...

and his fundraising appearance at the White Palace in Wheeling, West Virginia...

on Thursday, May 3, 2012...

and in conjunction with the process of positive visualization...

and all that is divines...

I give you these signs



Definition of Mitt Romney:
Severely of or relating to robots

Save the car elevators!

Mitt, let me outta this crazy thing!


Mitt Romney:
the 1% of the 1%

The only "Willard" I know of

Mitt Romney:
Drum roll please....
The first ever nonhuman man of the people!

Mitt Romney:
Do your part to keep him unemployed.

Mormonic and proud of it!

and finally...  the #11 Mitt Romney protest sign...

Mitt, so what is it?
Boxers, briefs or magic underwear?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Boy Scouts of Bridgeport, Ohio

The burgeoning community of Bridgeport, Ohio made national news a week ago.  Was it...

A.  Urban decay?  Mammoth sinkhole devours cash-advance/state lottery facility. 
B.  Elderly woman has car towed for meter violation outside Martins Ferry church bingo? 
C.  Notorious paint-huffer is arrested during ribbon-cutting ceremony at brand new Burger King?   
D.  None of the above.

As you may have surmised, the correct answer is D.  Bridgeport, Ohio achieved notoriety when the local boy scouts chapter arbitrarily kicked out a lesbian den mother.  Apparently, a disgruntled parent "outed" the woman.  Even though her sexual preference had previously never been an issue.  Judging from the article, it appears that when she had the audacity to question some financial decisions (in her position as Treasurer), someone made it an issue.  What a shining example of bravery!

The Boy Scouts of America have a rich history, a proud tradition if you will, of discrimination against gays, atheists and even agnostics.  Yes, I understand that it's a private group and the Supreme Court ruled unequivocally in 2000 that they're entitled to establish their own admission standards.  Despite the prevailing atmosphere of intolerance, I could accept this IF they had absolutely no ties to the federal or state government.  Of course, this is not the case. 

I watched this unfold on the local news and was left truly disgusted.  The children seemed confused.  They had no idea why they were being abandoned by their leader.  The mom, Jennifer Tyrrell was equally distraught.  A bunch of them even held a somewhat disjointed protest on route 40.  A friend of mine thought the group was protesting the next door Napa Auto Parts store.

But what really surprised me was a comment from a friend of mine.  He claimed that the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints is responsible for roughly "80%" of their funding.  Although I can't verify that percentage, I take him at his word.  He holds a position of active prominence within the organization.  This does help better explain their steadfast, almost cult-like devotion to small-town "family values."  Considering that the Mormonic organization which promotes bigamy and "magic underwear" is at the root of all this, I thought it would be wise to check out the Boy Scout motto.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

Scout Oath    Scout Law
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

A Scout is:


And you've got to love how Bob Drury, Executive Scout Leader for the Ohio River Valley, justifies the dismissal of Tyrrell.  "We cannot allow for anything that causes a distraction.  The "mission" of the scouts is our top priority.  The rules are very clear on this."   I don't know the guy personally, but what a fucking coward!  I would propose some new characteristics under "scout law."  Here's a list off the top of my head...

Lacking in moral conviction

This whole episode made me revisit my own experiences as a child.  Back in 1st or 2nd grade, a group of local Jew-dads formed their own "boy scouts knock-off" group.  I am not shitting you.  To the best of my recollection, it was called Indian River Trail Guide.  About 10 of us would gather in a family basement once every few weeks.  We would learn all the Jewquivalent skills.  Coupon clipping, jewelry fencing, dradel spinning, kosher processing...  just kidding.  Actually, we did similar scouting activities.  I vaguely remember learning how to read a compass and properly identify certain trees.  I think we tried to plant some seedlings and grow vegetables.  If this did happen, I imagine it was an abysmal failure.  I do remember my father desperately trying to show us how to tie a difficult knot.  All of the fathers (or Jewish river trail leaders or whatever we called them) tried to unravel the technical knotted mystery, but none of them could figure it out.  And on a few occasions, we would naturally build fires (indoors, of course).  The fate of the Indian River Trail Guide was short-lived.  I think it lasted about 4-5 meetings.

While I'm not 100% positive, I think this group was formed out of a prevailing sense of anti-semitism in the area.  Remember, this was the late 1970's in Wheeling, West Virginia and I have a hunch that most Jews felt unwelcome in the Boy Scouts of America.  One of my most vivid recollections was when someone painted a giant swastika on the exterior of Temple Shalom (the only Jewish temple in an hour radius - fortunately, if you need your Hebrew-fix, Pittsburgh has about 73 synagogues in Squirrel Hill alone).  This had nothing to do with the scouts,  but I also remember how Jews felt discouraged from joining the local country club.  Although my friend's parents on Wyngate Court did have a family membership.  Perhaps my parents just thought their dining facility was poor (which it was) and their yearly fees were outrageous (which they were).  Plus, nobody in my family golfed.  We all played tennis.

And as usual, my point is this.  I'm disgusted by the notion that this pervasive level of intolerance and discrimination still exists in 2012.  Even worse, the fatalistic sheeple of this area are so willing to just accept it.  Well, there's nothing we can do.  Mr. Drury says it would create a distraction.  The noble mission of the Boy Scouts of America would inevitably be compromised.  This is how it all will unfold... because he said, "that's the way it is."

Well... I say fuck them.  I will never support these organizations until they change their ways.   But Saf, how is it that you currently support them?  Well... I dunno.  I suppose I do not.  I guess I'll never be a cub-brother-eagle-scouting-trail guiding-knot tying exemplary citizen.  Other than purchasing about $20 worth of girl scout cookies whenever someone reaches out to me, I just don't have much input here.  This sucks.  No more Tag-a-Longs and no more Samoas.  From this day forward, if I want a Samoa, this will have to suffice...

Afa and Sika demonstrated some real integrity here.  Mr. Drury could learn a thing or two from these proud Samoans.  At the very least, he should admire their silent resolve and take a hint.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

jane, get me off this crazy thing

The presumed Republican presidential nominee, Mitt "the shit" Romney is coming to Pittsburgh on Monday.  If a Southpointe visit isn't sufficiently titillating, do not fret.  He's also coming to Wheeling!  Yes, Mitt Romney will be embracing the Wheeling Feeling.  Romney will be appearing at the White Palace for a $1,000 a plate fundraiser on May 3, 2012.  Huzzah.

I find it peculiar that a man who recently installed a car-elevator in his La Jolla estate would go spare changing in the same building where I used to dee-jay.  Yep,  I used to spin records at the park dances back in the summer of 1986.  If you wish to take a stroll down memory lane, it's well documented in the Sonofsaf: odd, oh biography.

Anyway, back to Mitt.  I thought of a humorous political television ad designed to mock him and destroy his credibility.  Basically, you just do a spin off of the Jetson's theme song similar to this...

I was never a big fan of the cartoon, but just about everybody knows that intro music.  Meet Mitt Romney, Ann his wife, Dog Seamus!  Every part would be dedicated to making him appear aloof and out-of-touch with the middle class.  Trust me, I could throw it together during the Pens game tomorrow afternoon.  But the blip with the dog would be the defining moment of the campaign.  Pundits would compare it to the Willie Horton ad and the picture of Michael Dukakis riding around in that tank.

Instead of "Jane!  Get me off this crazy thing!"

how about... "Mitt!  Let me outta this crazy thing!"

An obvious reference to him stowing away his dog on top of the family car in that ventilated cargo container.  Hey, it really wasn't that big of a deal.  Just an 8 hour drive to the Grand Canyon.  Every doggie loves to go for a ride in the bye-bye car.  "In" being the operative word.  Although he has since passed, I'm sure Tippy Saferstein would agree.

important dates #2

An update on my progress of trying to heighten awareness regarding a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States.  My second round of letters concerning the prospect of the artificially generated stampede were sent via the U.S. postal service.

On April 20, 2012, I sent a follow-up letter with the following content:

In a letter dated March 1, 2012, I informed you and your peers of the potential for artificially generated stampedes in NCAA Division I football stadiums.  I would like to thank the presidents, chancellors, legal counsel and police departments that responded.  I specifically appreciate those who had the courage to respond in writing.*  I'm well aware of potential liability concerns and the difficulty in assessing risk management for a hypothetical national security issue. 

I received a letter dated April 12, 2012, from David A. Bergeron, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Planning and Innovation from the Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of Education.  I will furnish you a copy of this letter upon request.  Currently, I have received no response from the Department of Homeland Security or the Federal Communications Commission. 

All those who responded expressed a deep concern for general campus safety.  "We take these matters very seriously," was a common theme.  Many claimed confidence in their campus alert systems.  Some pointed to stadium evacuation plans in the event of emergency situations or inclement weather.  But only a few attempted to address the unique problems associated with the artificially generated stampede.

    •      The potential for hacking or intentional misuse of any existing campus text alert system.  Due to their wider accessibility, socially driven media platforms such as Twitter represent another area of concern.

    •      The acquisition of cloned cell phone lists linked to students, university employees and/or season ticket holders.  A spoofed (disguised) message could easily be configured to appear as though it was sent from a campus emergency alert system.

    •      A message originating from a wireless carrier.  You may recall the December 12, 2011, "Civil Emergency: Take Shelter Now" alert sent to Verizon customers in central New Jersey.  Termed a "malicious hoax" by Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, the event remains unexplained. Although an apology was issued, there has been no admission of negligence or responsibility.

While you may have sufficient confidence in your own campus alert system, your security could be compromised by mere association with the wider NCAA Division I community.  We live in an era of breaking news and instant, personalized communication.  Because many college football games overlap, revelations of a stampede at one or more stadiums could trigger additional stampedes, creating a domino or cascade effect.

Furthermore, most stadium emergency evacuation protocols hinge upon a single, outdated assumption - that your incident commander has ultimate control over the content, timing and delivery of the evacuation order.

Due to this profoundly changed dynamic in stadium security, I would encourage you to consider these recommendations:

    •    Acknowledge and prepare for an unpleasant reality.  In the event of an artificially generated stampede, any emergency evacuation protocol would most certainly be rendered useless.

    •     Request written confirmation from your emergency alert provider stating their systems are incapable of being hacked or manipulated.  There is no margin for error.    

    •     Assess the security of any cell phone lists associated with students, employees and season ticket holders.        

    •    Be cognizant of the timing and context of official university social media updates.

    •     Employ a looped message via the public address system warning fans of the possibility of an artificially generated stampede.          
    •     Include an assumption of risk disclaimer on the ticket stub similar to a foul ball or broken bat warning: Cellular communication devices can be used to create artificially generated stampedes.  If you receive a message demanding an immediate evacuation, wait for official confirmation from the public address system.

    •     Conduct general awareness campaigns as a matter of policy.  A simple slogan such as "Think before you run" could prove very effective in thwarting a text-induced stampede. 

An event of this nature would likely not be a hoax or accident.  It would be executed with malicious intent.  Crowded college football stadiums provide one of the most easily recognizable targets.  As the leaders of the universities who put people into these crowded and therefore potentially dangerous environments, you have a moral obligation to warn people about the dangers of panic-laden text messages.  We need to raise awareness before a catastrophe transpires.  There will be no dress rehearsal. 

I believe that the federal government will not address this issue until after a disaster has occurred.  Therefore, I would implore university leadership to work with each other and exercise their considerable influence with state and local governments.  It is imperative to devise a time-sensitive game plan.  I am willing to meet with you personally to review this matter.  Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns. 

This potential tragedy can be averted.


Eric Saferstein
contact information omitted

cc: NCAA Division I leadership

*  Clemson University
    Duke University
    Eastern Michigan University
    Rutgers University
    San Jose State University
    The Ohio State University
    United States Air Force Academy
    United States Military Academy
    University of Cincinnati
    University of Georgia
    University of Missouri
    University of Nebraska
    University of New Mexico
    University of Oregon
    University of Southern California
    University of Virginia
    University of Washington
    Virginia Tech
    West Virginia University

It was sent to the following 118 individuals:

President Barbara Couture, New Mexico State University
President M.R.C. Greenwood, University of Hawaii
President William P. Leahy, Boston College
President V. Lane Rawlins, University of North Texas
Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr., Texas Christian University
President Eugene G. Sander, University of Arizona
President Robert M. Berdahl, University of Oregon
President Nathan O. Hatch, Wake Forest University
President Rodney A. Erickson, Penn State
President Bernie Machen, University of Florida
President Kirk H. Shulz, Kansas State University
President Eric J. Barron, Florida State University
President G.P. "Bud" Peterson, University of Georgia Tech
President Burns Hargis, Oklahoma State University
President John G. Peters, University of Northern Illinois
President John C. Hitt, University of Central Florida
President Bob Kustra, Boise State University
President Robert E. Witt, University of Alabama
President John D. Welty, Fresno State University
President Wallace D. Loh, University of Maryland
President Joseph Savoie, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau, University of California, Berkeley
Chancellor David Ward, University of Wisconsin
Chancellor Nancy Cantor, Syracuse University
Chancellor Randy Woodson, North Carolina State University
President Eli Capilouto, University of Kentucky
President William Powers, Jr., University of Texas
President Mark E. Keenum, Mississippi State University
President Lester A. Lefton, Kent State University
Chancellor Steve Ballard, East Carolina University
President Mary Ellen Mazey, Bowling Green State University
Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michael C. Gould, U.S. Air Force Academy
President Mary Jane Saunders, Florida Atlantic University
Chancellor Brady J. Deaton, University of Missouri
President Mark B. Rosenberg, Florida International University
President Ken Starr, Baylor University
Chancellor Philip DiStefano, University of Colorado
President David L. Boren, University of Oklahoma
President R. Gerald Turner, Southern Methodist University
President Lloyd A. Jacobs, University of Toledo
Provost Patrica E. Beeson, University of Pittsburgh
President Gary A. Randsell, Western Kentucky University
President Michael Young, University of Washington
President Gregory Geoffroy, Iowa State University
President Stephen J. Kopp, Marshall University
President Daniel D. Reneau, Louisiana Tech University
President Sidney A. McPhee, Middle Tennessee State University
President Guy Bailey, Texas Tech University
President Jay Gogue, Auburn University
President George E. Ross, Central Michigan University
Chancellor Holden Thorp, University of North Carolina
President M. Duane Nellis, University of Idaho
President Sally Mason, University of Iowa
President R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M University
President Charles Steger, Virginia Tech
President Cecil O. Samuelson, Brigham Young University
President Carol Garrison, University of Alabama Birmingham
President Shirley C. Raines, The University of Memphis
President Amy Weaver Hart, Temple University
President C.L. Max Nikias, University of Southern California
President Scott S. Cowen, Tulane University
President Marc Johnson, University of Nevada, Reno
President Nick J. Bruno, The University of Louisiana at Monroe
President Elson S. Floyd, Washington State University
President James F. Barker, Clemson University
President Michael J Hogan, University of Illinois
President Michael A. McRobbie, Indiana University
Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, University of Kansas
Chancellor Harvey Perlman, University of Nebraska
Superintendent LTG David H. Huntoon, Jr., United States Military Academy
President May Sue Coleman, University of Michigan
President James P. Clements, West Virginia University
Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael H. Miller, United States Naval Academy
Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek, University of Tennessee
President Gregory H. Williams, University of Cincinnati
President John I. Jenkins, University of Notre Dame
President E. Gordon Gee, The Ohio State University
President James Ramsey, University of Louisville
President Roderick J. McDavis, Ohio University
President Elliot Hirshman, San Diego State University
President Judy Genshaft, University of South Florida
Chancellor Dave Gearhart, University of Arkansas
President Susan Herbst, University of Connecticut
President Edward J. Ray, Oregon State University
President David W. Leebron, Rice University
President A. Lorris Betz, University of Utah
President Martha D. Saunders, Univeristy of Southern Mississippi
President Renu Khator, University of Houston
President Stan L. Albrecht, Utah State University
Chancellor Gene D. Block, University of California, Los Angeles
President France A. Cordova, Purdue University
President Richard L. McCormick, Rutgers University
President Morton Schapiro, Northwestern University
President Susan Martin, Eastern Michigan University
President Neal Smatresk, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
President Michael F. Adams, University of Georgia
President Jo Ann M. Gora, Ball State University
President Teresa Sullivan, University of Virginia
President Steadman Upman, University of Tulsa
President Anthony A. Frank, Colorado State University
President Lou Anna K. Simon, Michigan State University
President Mohammad Qayoumi, San Jose State University
President John Hennessy, Stanford University
President Luis Proenza, University of Akron
President Diana Natalicio, University of Texas at El Paso
President Michael M. Crow, Arizona State University
President Donna E. Shalala, University of Miami
President Eric W. Kaler, University of Minnesota
Chancellor Mike Martin, Louisiana State University
President David J. Schimdly, University of New Mexico
President Satish K. Tripathi, University at Buffalo
Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos, Vanderbilt University
Chancellor Daniel W. Jones, University of Mississippi
Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., Troy University
President John M. Dunn, Western Michigan University
President Richard H. Brodhead, Duke University
President Tom Buchanan, University of Wyoming
President Harris Pastides, University of South Carolina
President David C. Hodge, Miami University

Arkansas State University Chancellor G. Daniel Howard was purposely omitted because my previous attempt to notify him was unsuccessful.

The content of my first letter can be viewed here.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Steelers to add 3,000 seats at Heinz Field

 NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  That was my immediate reaction when I heard about the Steelers petitioning the NFL to add 3,000 extra seats in 2013.  This would completely sucketh.  Now, you're probably thinking - "Jesus Christ, Saf!  Why would you have a problem with this?"  Wouldn't more seats translate into a better chance of scoring a freebie ticket?   Yes, I will concede this point.  But hear me out...

When I saw the article, I immediately knew they'd be serving up a can of "eminent domain whoop-ass" on the South end zone.  Seriously, where else you gonna construct 3,000 new seats?  Those Rooney bastards (whom I have the utmost respect for) are going to eviscerate the standing room area underneath the scoreboard.  This is my home.  This is where my heart is.

Commonly referred to as the Steel Pit, I've always preferred the general admission area at Heinz Field.  It's a place where the disaffected drunks and transient fans (if they're morbidly obese, I refer to them as Steelers trans-fats) tend to gather.  The stench of cigar smoke, a used condom on a bed of discarded nachos, an errant belch from a Zelienople dirtbag, a terrible towel someone secretly used to wipe their ass... these are the sights, sounds and smells of the southern end zone.  Steelers' management wants to take this away?  Heartless bastards.

I've been in every inch of that stadium.  From front row on the 50 yard line to the PP seats in the 500 level.  Row PP stands for Piss seats in Peanut heaven.  I've been in the swanky, luxury boxes and I've freely roamed the sacred 200 level.  All these areas have one thing in common.  They don't hold a candle to the pit.

I know what the Rooneys are thinking.  They see these large swaths of empty yellow seats during the regular season.  Then they surmise... well, if we get rid of the general admission area, fans will eventually head back to their actual seats.   Bad assumption.  The real problem is that from time to time, thousands of fans just don't show up.  Does anyone remember that Rams game from last year right before the playoffs?  Yep, over 5,000 no-shows.  Truth be told, there's almost always about 1,200 "fans" that bail (except when we play the Ravens).  And when the weather is bad, the Steelers "faithful" grows particularly disinterested.  It's all these old-school Allegheny types.  They reason... I basked in the 70's, got Bubbied in the 80's and was Cowhered in the 90's.  I've paid my dues.  If it's a torrential downpour in the freezing cold, I'll just watch the game on my 69" Samsung high def.   Either it's them or the millionaire yuppies from Upper St. Clair who simply could give a fuck.  They'd rather eat the tickets than inconvenience their friends with adjacent PSLs.

My point is this.  Fan enthusiasm levels are going to take a hit.  That area feeds off the energy of the whole stadium.  The coolest part of the experience is watching the game unfold on the widescreen.  When newly signed Leonard Pope catches a touchdown pass, you turn your head and hear the roar of 64,380.  Yeah, you heard it here.  I'm a Leonard Pope fan.  I had him on my fantasy team ages ago when he was an Arizona Cardinal.  I usually picked players with contradictory existences to my own.  Jabar Gaffney, Mushhead Mohammad,  Tim Tebow...  As an atheist Jew, I was always gunning for this hostile ethnic mix of Muslims and Christians.  Maybe throw in a Samoan or two (never underestimate Afa and/or Sika).  Keeps the players engaged and the team energized!

And you know what's really sad?  All these extra seats will make the Pitt Panthers games look even worse.  They usually draw about 20 thousand something.   Last year, I was driving by the stadium on a Saturday afternoon.  I exited the tunnel, stared off to my left and saw the Goodyear blimp.  I looked below and saw a virtually empty stadium on a spectacular day.  Their opponent may have been Rutgers (whose President I'm a huge fan of - Richard L. McCormick recently sent me a personalized letter postmarked March 12, 2012).  But regardless of who they were playing, Heinz Field looked abysmal.  Proportionately worse than a Wheeling Nailers game at the Webanco Arena.  Now that is bad.  The university really needs to figure out a way to put fans in the seats.  Maybe they could parlay all the recent bomb threats.  Shoot for the sympathy angle.  Much like Giants Stadium getting the Superbowl this year because of the decade 9/11 anniversary.  Pitt fans unite.  Maybe I'll write a blog about how to increase attendance for Pitt Panther games.  There must be a way.

And the worst part... in the event of a stampede, I was always within 100 feet of the exit.  Now I'll be forced against my will into the 500 level.  I'll likely be trampled or crush asphyxiated with all the other yinzers.   Not cool.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Queensryche shakes up Wheeling Island (3-31-12)

Pulled off a rare back-to-back rock concert weekend.  Van Halen was last night. It ranked somewhere between annoyingly mediocre and barely amusing.  Last night was the Queensryche 30th Anniversary tour in the utterly bizarre location of the Wheeling Island Casino ballroom.  The contrast was pretty severe.  The individual members of Van Halen regurgitated all their greatest hits with this carefully choreographed zaniness.  But Queensryche reminded me of what an actual rock band sounds like.  Although Geoffery Tate (lead singer) is obviously the stand out with his distinct vocals, the band plays with each other.  Unlike Van Halen where they try to outperform each other.  It's difficult to put into words.  Queensryche is like dining at Ruth Chris Steakhouse.  Van Halen is more like microwaving a 2 day-old Whopper from Burger King.   

You may call it the newly refurbished Wheeling Island Casino, but for me, it'll always be the Wheeling Downs Syndrome.  When you enter this gambling auditorium, you're graced with the presence of a massive 6 foot waterfall.  The water cascades over "made in Indonesia" ferns and fake "crick rocks." The plastic foliage actually has expiration dates.  You immediately hear the cacophony of dinging noises, mesmerizing bells and aberrant beeping noises.  Suddenly, you're given 2 options.  Take the 4 second escalator ride or take the steps.  I chose the escalator.  On this special night, I wanted it all.

I ran into some friends in the food court and surveyed my options.  Paying to see any rock concert violates an oath I took long ago.  But paying any amount of money to go to an event on Wheeling Island seemed particularly unsettling.  To be honest, I figured I'd just find a ticket lying on the ground.  Or maybe some wheelchair bound old geezer hooked up to an oxygen tank while chain smoking Camels (non-filtered) would just hand me a ticket.  But everyone dashed into the ballroom just before 9pm and my options grew bleak.  Turns out I ended up bargaining with a frumpish, dirt-baguette woman and her teenage son (a hillbilly Eminem wannabe).  They wanted $30 but I told them all I had was 4 bucks (which was true).  I opened my wallet and showed them my stash.  They looked at each other and simultaneously blurbed, "We'll take it."  I justified the four dollars because:

A. I'm a huge Queesnryche fan.
B. I wanted a ticket stub for my wall.
C. The thought of missing this show just didn't seem right.

 So I briskly walked in and found a spot five rows back on the left hand side.   Queensryche put on a very strong performance.  Although I'm not familiar with the newer stuff, how can you not love the old material.  Back in the late 80's, these guys were way ahead of their time.  In many ways, they still are.  Or maybe they're just "doing something different" (much like ordering the fruit syrups in the now defunct Bears Against Drugs operation).

Whoever shot this video did a very credible job.  Geoff Tate is quite the showman.  I would have preferred more songs from Rage For Order or Operation Mindcrime, but these guys have so much material.  His stage presence is awesome.  He has this ethereal quality.  His mannerisms seem deliberate and meaningful.  After having been exposed to the David Lee Roth "super-zany-ultra-goof-a-thon" from the previous night, let's just say it was a refreshing change of pace.

Highlights for me were NM 156, Screaming in Digital, Walk in the Shadows, Jet City Woman and Eyes of a Stranger.  I sympathize with the plight of great rock'n'roll bands.  They've been demoted to the theater, casino junket while these atrocious emo-bands and pop-core pretend bad-ass bands like Nickleback and Creed are the new arena headliners.  Seriously, what the fuck is this?  Nonetheless, it is very cool to see real bands like Queensryche in an intimate setting.  The casino ballroom probably maxes out around 1,200.

Just for the record, I despise those couples who complain about their obstructed view when someone momentarily stands in the aisle.  Get a fucking life.  They have to go running to the usher because someone wants to take a picture or raise their fist in the air.  As if it saps the life out of them.  Newsflash: you're the ones sapping the life out of everyone.  It's a rock concert for Christ sake!  Maybe they go to all the shows at the Wheeling Island Casino and just can't make the transition.  I guess if someone hindered my viewing pleasure of Herman's Hermits or Richard Marx,  I'd be a little ticked.  Actually this ain't true.  I would encourage all to stand and embrace the warmth of Peter Cetera.

"We did it all for the glory of love."

Not that I'm complaining, but these performers are the true embodiment of what should come to Wheeling.  Even though I enjoyed the concert, it's the principle of the matter.  Wheeling Island Casino should be subjected to a peak level of rock and roll.  I think it should max out somewhere in the Foghat/Steppenwolf realm.  Just bring in a properly sanctioned "music inspector" twice a year.  I think the city of Wheeling would jump on board with this.

But I never did get the answers I seeked.  "Seeked" is coming up underline red-squiggly.  Maybe the correct past tense is "sucked."  One can only hope.  I never got the answers I sucked.

"Saf, what is it you needed to know?  What answers?"

Well, all I wanted to know is WHY.  Why did Queensryche launch this tour on Wheeling Island?  And why are there only five more dates sandwiched between some Geoffery Tate solo appearances.

Columbia, MD M3 Festival United States

Pryor, OK Pryor Creek Festival Grounds United States

West Valley City  USANA Amphitheatre United States

Royalton, MN Halfway Jam Festival United States

Roseburg, OR Douglas County Fair United States

If anyone can solve the "Queensryche/Wheeling Island" mystery, I'd be deeply appreciative.  I rarely make an appeal for comments, but I need to get to the bottom of this.

One last thing, if you ever go to a concert at the Wheeling Island Casino, just do the 'ol ticket "hand-off."  They don't scan tickets.  They just rip em.  You don't need to over-think this venue.  The best mode of free entrance is the simplest one.  We call it... "Gimme the fuckin' stub, bee-otch."