MUTEMATH posted an update on 4-4-2011 at their site that was full of bittersweet, mixed emotions.

Here is the good news:

The NEW ALBUM IS DONE. We flew out a few weeks ago to LA to play it for everyone we work with in it’s entirety for the first time. The reaction was more overwhelming than we could’ve hoped for. So if everything stays on course, the album should be out by September… but I’m hopeful you’ll start hearing things sooner than that.

Sorry, this is not good news, it is great news! I know they had been working hard on it and that they flew out and showed it to Warner Bros. on 2/2 and I glad to hear that it is done.

Now for some sad news:

Also, another bit of news is that back in October, our guitarist, Greg decided to leave the band. It might be a complete surprise to some, I know to others it’s not, but there were a lot of reasons that have been building up to this. However, it just came down to… a change of scenery was overdue. And it seemed best to happen before we went into making another record. The last record took more of a toll on us than we ever really let on, and once it came time to do it again, it became obvious that we couldn’t. Some kind of change had to happen. The split was certainly amicable and there are no hard feelings. We’re grateful for all the years Greg spent with us and wish him all the best.

 Greg Hill is going to be missed. He is/was a major part of the sound that is/was MUTEMATH. What are the reasons that have built up to this? Creative indifferences? Perhaps, but I hope they are creative differences that will only push MUTEMATH forward and also do the same for Greg Hill where ever he winds up. So, who has been taking care of the guitar on the “completed” album?

However, the task at hand was still staring at us. How would we make this new album. We decided it would be refreshing to go about it completely different than the last one… which amounted to… we wanted to be left alone. The idea of complete isolation was the only thing that appealed to us. No camera guys, no producers, no engineers, no record label people, no management… NO ONE would hear or comment on what we were doing until we were done. The three of us would share the new found guitar duties, lock down in my house in New Orleans and not come out until we had something we thought was great. No matter how long that took. Thankfully, it only took about 6 months. Now as a consequence to working like this, there were of course no vlogs or things like that posted, and for that I apologize. But we really set to make this album with as little distraction as possible. So I hope you’ll forgive us once you hear the results.

Wow! The three remaining artists will share the guitar duties. We have seen Paul Meany play guitar live on “Clockwork” and now we have proof that Roy Mitchell-Cardenas is playing on the album. I don’t doubt that Darren King is playing guitar but I have yet to see it. With all the duties each performs live, who will be playing their live shows?

Soon enough we’ll be getting to work on a new show. We HAVE recently found a new guitarist and when we get back on the road, we’re looking forward to introducing you to this new era for our band. But first we’re heading into the studio this week to start on final mixes.

I can confirm that there is in fact a new guitarist. I was sworn to secrecy and cannot say who he is or where I learned of the information, that is not my duty nor is it fair to the band, but I do know he has been learning the songs that are in the live show, that he is a relatively unknown, and that he has big shoes to fill. Greg did much more than play guitar. He played keys, used the pedal board as a hand-held instrument, sang back-up vocals, played drums in “Pins and Needles”, and played the Xylophone in “Burden” among other things. Greg was also very selfless in his style of play, never having any major solos and being a major complementary sound rather than the forefront sound that most guitarists demand, even though he has the skill to do that.

Will all the changes morph the sound of MUTEMATH into something totally different? Possibly, but the Drums and Bass are the backing sounds that fuel them, in my humble opinion, and those sounds will remain prominent. What I do hope for is a guitar that complements the elements of MUTEMATH the way Greg Hill did, and I have little doubt it will since it is the members of MUTEMATH sharing guitar duties. I also hope that the guitar parts fuel a desire for a little more jazz influence like what we hear in “Obsolete”.

Only time will tell what the new album and the new MUTEMATH sound like. And while Greg Hill will be sorely missed we are left with the promise of a record that has been the sole focus of 3 amazing artists for the past 6 months. That cannot possibly be a bad thing.

We ate at El Siboney this past weekend on our vacation and it was very good.  There was no appetizer menu but they give you buttered cuban bread to start and it was delicious!  We devoured it in no time. My friend and I ordered the Skirt Steak, my wife the Ropa Vieja, and my friend’s wife the Roast Pork.

They brought out a salad that was a waste of my time.  Iceberg, two tomato slices, and some red onion with a squeeze bottle of dressing.

Then the main course came.  My skirt steak was very good.  It was cooked medium rare without any spice on it.  It was topped with a mixture of onion, cilantro, and lime.  The cut stood up for itself and had plenty of natural flavor and the toppings went well with it but a little seasoning would’ve improved it a bit.  The Ropa Vieja was very moist and is making my mouth water thinking about it.  The Roast Pork was moist and incredibly tender.  The plaintains were too soft and didn’t caramelize enough on the outside.

Overall the meal was a winner but I have had better Cuban in Tampa and Key West is less than 100 miles from Cuba.

Another stop we made was at Paradise Cafe. It’s a small cafe/diner near Old Town. It was too hot to try any coffee so I went with the Monster Paradise Club. The regular comes with 6 ounces of meat and the Monster with 12 opunces of meat. Both are served on an 8 inch hoagie.

The sandwich was HUGE! It had turkey, ham, and bacon, with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard. I could only eat half because it was so big. Paradise Cafe was a good value stop for lunch.

It has been a while since I blogged here and at my 3guys site. I finally got to post my Spring Training notes to 3guys but I have neglected this site. So, here is a post for you, my site!

I don’t mind balls being called strikes or strikes being called balls as long as it goes both ways.  That’s not the case for the 2009 World Series.  It seems that the Phillies have gotten each close call go their way and now they are getting strikes called balls.  It is way beyond ridiculous.

Not only is the strike zone way off but balks aren’t getting called, guys who are tagged within 10 feet of a base are now called safe, no infield fly rules, and check swings that are actually checked don’t matter.

I feel like the umps are part of what went on in 1919 with the Black Sox.  SCANDAL!  This has gotten so bad that wether you are a Rays fan or not you have to feel sick watching these umps “work”.

MLB has to do something about this.  They have to make sure the best umps are in the World Series.  The stupid deal that umps can’t work back-to-back World Series is utterly ridiculous.  An investigation has to be performed because this is just beyond belief.

I am done… for now.

This is a deep league.  10 teams, head-to-head, and a 25 man roster.  The roster breakdown looks like this and my selections:

QB – Carson Palmer
QB – Donovan McNabb
RB – Brian Westbrook
RB – Ernest Graham
WR – Andre Johnson
WR – Lee Evans
WR – Kevin Curtis
TE – Chris Cooley
W/R – Edgerrin James
W/R – Rudi Johnson
DEF – Pittsburgh
K – Matt Bryant
DB – Sean Jones
DB – Champ Bailey
DL – Barrett Ruud
DL – Shawn Merriman
D – Bob Sanders
D – Will Witherspoon
BN – LaRon Landry (DB, D)
BN – Santana Moss (WR)
BN – Lorenzo Booker (RB)
BN – Matt Leinart (QB)
BN – Ray Rice (RB)
BN – Maurice Stovall (WR)
BN – Bobby Engram (WR)

Here is the scoring system:

Stat Categories: Passing Yards (15 yards per point)
Passing Touchdowns 8
Interceptions (-2)
Rushing Yards (6 yards per point)
Rushing Touchdowns (6)
Receptions (2)
Reception Yards (10 yards per point)
Reception Touchdowns 8
Return Touchdowns (6)
2-Point Conversions (2)
Fumbles Lost (-2)
Offensive Fumble Return TD (6)
Field Goals 0-19 Yards (3)
Field Goals 20-29 Yards (3)
Field Goals 30-39 Yards (3)
Field Goals 40-49 Yards (4)
Field Goals 50+ Yards (5)
Point After Attempt Made (1)
Sack (1)
Interception (2)
Fumble Recovery (2)
Touchdown (6)
Safety (2)
Block Kick (2)
Points Allowed 0 points (12)
Points Allowed 1-6 points (9)
Points Allowed 7-13 points (6)
Points Allowed 14-20 points (3)
Points Allowed 21-27 points (0)
Points Allowed 28-34 points (-3)
Points Allowed 35+ points (-6)
Tackle Solo (2)
Tackle Assist (1)
Sack (2)
Interception (2)
Fumble Force (1)
Fumble Recovery (1)
Touchdown (6)
Safety (2)
Fractional Points: Yes
Negative Points: Yes

I am very happy with this team. I got a lot of backs, two good QBs, great individual defenders, and a top TE. My bench needs some help but so does everybody else in our league since it is so deep.

Tune into 1470 AM if you are in the Tampa Bay area or go to espn1470. com and watch the show if you can’t get the station. I’ll be on for about 5-10 min starting around 6:40 pm talking about the Rays.

We have teachers sleeping with students, teachers bringing guns to school, teachers allowing students to cheat, and teachers humiliating their students. This is a case that went way too far.

From paretndish.com:

It sounds like somebody has been watching too many reality shows. Namely, Wendy Portillo, a teacher at Morningside Elementary in Port St. Lucie, Florida. She turned her kindergarten classroom into a cruel version of Survivor by allowing her students to vote a fellow student out of the class.

The banished child is 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning type of autism. Not uncommon to his condition, Alex has had some behavioral issues and as a result, spends a lot of time in the principal’s office.

After returning to Ms. Portillo’s classroom after a recent visit with the principal, his teacher decided to punish him with humiliation. She had Alex stand at the front of the class while his fellow students listed off what they didn’t like about him. After informing him that they found him “disgusting” and “annoying”, the class was instructed to vote on whether or not Alex should be allowed to stay in the class. By a 14 to 2 margin, they voted him out.

Alex hasn’t been back to school since then, but his mother, Melissa Barton, says he is still reliving the incident. The night after it happened, she says she overheard him saying “I’m not special” over and over.

Incredibly, an investigation by the state attorney’s office concluded that Alex’s treatment did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse and no charges have been filed. I don’t know what the criteria for emotional abuse is, but if this doesn’t meet it, what does? My heart breaks for all the children involved in this incident.

This teacher needs to lose their job right now. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. To do this to any kid let alone one that suffers from autism is the exact definition of the word inhuman (lacking pity, kindness, or mercy).

The state attorney’s office is obviously inhuman as well if they can’t see that this is abusive behavior.

On a brighter thought, I would love to know who the two kids who voted for Alex to stay are. They obvioulsy have more heart and are more human than an adult that is over them and teaching them. Those two kids probably have great parents and I hope they are blessed for doing the right thing.