Archive

Archive for January, 2007

AmandABCongdon

January 30, 2007 No comments

Apparently, I've been sleeping on this. I clicked on the RocketBoom link on my blog, then decided to play Where's Amanda? with Google, and found her at ABC. This is good for the tubes. I'm speaking Ted Stevens-ese.

Amanda Congdon at ABC News. Is that the best title they could come up with? And frankly, what's a title worth anyway? Without a raise it's just a bunch of words attached to more work that you don't necessarily want, especially since you're not getting the extra money to do it.

Hey, I thought I deleted my Rocketboom link. I guess all is forgiven.

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8-Bit Kraftwerk

January 26, 2007 No comments

The music of Kraftwerk performed on 8-bit video games. Sounds like a perfect fit.

8-Bit Operators compilation at myspace.

I'm sure Kraftwerk influenced a lot of early video game music, as well as Afrika Bambaataa.

Categories: Main Page, music Tags:

Illustrotter

I keep a little bit more than a score of links on the right hand side of my blog. I try not to keep more than I frequent. And I also try to edit when my mouse moves elsewhere.

Daytrotter is not one of those links. But perhaps it could be. The pulse of the mp3 blogosphere is often as interesting as a pulse. Not like the pulse of some tribal house music that locks a dancefloor in unison. But like the repetitiveness that plagues mainstream radio. What's so indie about a hive mind? Drop the “in-” prefix and your're left with “die”, which is what would happen to the whole scene if the “die” translates back into its unabbreviated form. That would be “dependent”, for you home gamers out there.

Daytrotter goes beyond the rest of the mp3 blog scene by providing live music sets of artists to the masses. Or really, the anti-masses. Just today I downloaded the set of laptop superstar Jason Forrest, who I had the good fortune of seeing perform a few years back. But other somewhat familiar culprits like Of Montreal, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Cold War Kids (former mp3 blog faves).

Why Daytrotter? Why here? Why now?

Why the fuck not?

In case you hadn't noticed there's a fuckload of web sites on the Internet, and if you have any type of personal activities that you combine along with gainful/ungainful employment, top off with what most refer to as family, and sprinkle it with some necessities of modern life, as well as making the fruits of that gainful/ungainful employment stretch from a berrylike stature to a girth resembling a rather large melon, then you probably tend to forget a lot of the great web sites you find. Your bookmarks have become as unwieldy as the Yellow Pages, del.icio.us is just another thing to log into, and although it should have been mentioned in sentence one of this paragraph, the information overload that can't be stopped, and that some of us (present company (which is right now me by myself) included) like to try to manage like a seasick amateur bullrider.

So I should thank the injured junior high gymnast who sold me my Wired subscription for indirectly placing Daytrotter before my eyes once again. (Wired had a piece on Daytrotter, just found it.) And I'm glad, because it contains the lovely illustrations of Shannon Palmer (among others), whose What Noisy Cats Are We blog resides somewhere to the right of this column (we're talking browser page location, not political affiliation).

All this from a guy who recently included fucking Night Ranger mp3s in a post, who'd a thunk that?

Categories: Main Page, music Tags:

It Boggles my Mind.

January 22, 2007 No comments

It really does. And provides a wonderful excuse for a lame pun. And a wonderful excuse to post something here. Sometimes I start writing and it surprises me that sometimes others are willing to pay for something that comes out of these fingers. (The thoughts don't stay in my mind too long. If I don't type, I may not think. Yet somehow I write in a conversational tone. Strange. especially since I don't know sign language.) (Another reason is my occasionally stream-of-consciousness posting, that I refuse to edit when it appears, somehow I figure there's that 1/1000th of a percent of my miniscule audience that actually follows/gets it/chooses to decipher or ignores it and reads anyway. Here's to you, Mr. Stream-of-Consciousness decipherer reading guy who gets it or doesn't and reads anyway.)

Ok…there was a reason I began this besides jumpstarting the grey matter, I think.

Oh yeah, Boggle. Never played it as a kid. My wife introduced me to it during our dating days. It was fun, yes. But it never seemed to particularly grab me.

Yet today I find this game highly addicting. Yeah, I freakin' love it. On the way to the bus stop. While waiting for pizza. In traffic jams. While blogging. (Sorry.) I've read numerous articles on the topic of casual gaming, and its current growth and popularity. (Yet I haven't linked to one.) So I should not be totally surprised by this new found joy. But it also reminds me about what made so many classic arcade games so great. Simplicity of gameplay.

I love my PS2 and all the highly narrative action-adventure titles with storytelling beyond much of what Hollywood may offer, and all the intricate tasks these games ask me to complete. I've button mashed my way through some early Tony Hawk games and Tekken titles. (Wait a minute…I knew exactly what I was doing. I just could not articulate to you the button combo, it was just something my fingers did.)

But after all that, sometimes it's quite cathartic to boil it all down to something simple and pure. Remove some buttons from my controller. Give me a simple goal to concentrate on, and a score (even if it's just my own) to best. Pac-Man had one joystick. That's all. One or two player buttons don't count. Eat dots. Eat more dots. Eat. That's all.

The purpose of Boggle. Make words. Lots of 'em. Clever words. Stupid words. Even plural words. Just make words. (Maybe that's why I like blogging so much.)

3 minutes. High score of 56. I can hit 60. I know it.

I'm glad to see the resurgence of classic gaming, whether it be through Xbox Live, Free games online, wireless phone gaming, classic compendiums for the console and PC market, the spirit of the homebrew and emulation community.

It's very possible that superbly designed “simple” game will be played more than the best action-adventure or RPG title. No matter how lush the scenery, or how fluid the animation. Despite truly cinematic cut scenes with the cleverest of dialog. It doesn't matter. Classic games have that “quick fix” quality, with none of the exhaustiveness of more complex games. You don't turn these games on and know that you'll need to devote at least an hour to accomplish anything. And no matter how beautiful some of today's games are, there;s always the possibility you'll finish them and never look back. Mission's been accomplished. Move forward.

The classic game can be quite like crack then, can't it? Quick game. Damn, I can do better. Ugh. One more game.

And so on.

Sure you may play just as long. But you never intended to.

And I never intended to ramble this long. But it's too late. Read or don't read. That's what's nice about the Internet.

Categories: Main Page, video games Tags:

Tossing Life Preservers to the Drowned

January 16, 2007 No comments

Today the web staffing agency where I had continuous employment for at the same location for approximately 8 years sent an e-mail to check-in to see if I was still looking for work. This would seem to be appropriate protocol, except for the one year plus two week lapse of any billable hours. Perhaps it's only because it's W-2 time and look-ee look-ee, ol' Larz had a slow 2006 with us. The super-sized COBRA checks should have been a dead giveaway to my status. My beloved Garden State surely must have had some fabled clockwatcher make telephone contact with my former employer, before I could cash my first unemployment check.

I could have been upset by this, but I found themn to be a bit on the useless side whenever I asked for more money, or as to why I shouldn't have cheaper medical coverage with all the time I had put in. I could have called them for placement, but I wanted them to show me that they could do something as well.

You'd think that they'd notice that one of their revenue streams had gone dark. I'd worked nearly every week for eight years. My absence should have been felt like a disturbance in the Force, or should have at least made the heart grow fonder.Charge the employer a hefty hourly rate, skim a nice chunk off the top to cover the requisite paper-shuffling, and give the rest to the loyal worker bee.

This bee hasn't buzzed around their hive for about 54 weeks and now I get the, “Hey, haven't seen you around the water cooler in a while. What's shakin'?”

Maybe I just wanted to be missed. Admit it, if someone says they missed you, and meant it, it feels pretty damn good. Well…let's think about that…if someone missed you that much, there's a good chance that you missed them equally, and things didn't feel so good during that time, and you're really happy to be together again. The alternative scenario would be the other person still missing you that much, but you thinking, “Oh fuck, I thought I'd finally rid myself of that fucktard.” In neither scenario, does it really feel great to be missed, but the former is a bit better, because it reall is nice to know that when you missed someone they felt the same way.

Fucktard. I see this word thrown about occasionally and never pepper my speech with it. But tonight, I pepper this post with it. Or at least garnished this post with it like a particularly foul sprig of parsley.

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Extra Virgin Orchestra Orchestra

January 13, 2007 No comments

I just totally deleted a post about Rachael Ray, and the whole EVOO thing. Like totally. Yes, it's the 80's and I'm in junior high and live on the East Coast, but have just seen Valley Girl on cable again. that kind of totally.

And you know what. I totally did it on purpose. It was a combination of me thinking the post sucked, and then realizing I no longer gave a crap. Please tell me where I can get back the time I just wasted on this.

One reason why you shouldn't read my blog is a title such as the one above. Often they are really obscure references, possibly so obscure that they only make sense to me. But I really don't need to tell anyone why they shouldn't read this blog, since they're already not reading it.

I even considered a post title “10 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Read This Blog”. In fact, I'm still considering it. It makes a nice paradox with the belief that any type of Top 10 list will automatically make more people click on a link to your blog.

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Where does it Hold the Green M&Ms?

January 8, 2007 No comments

I can't find a container, caddy, or a cup to contain those candy-coated chocolate morsels. Can you?

Interesting post over at the spraygraphic blog, at least I thought so. Some may have chosen the word obscure over interesting, but I find many obscure things interesting, and this was one. Celebrity patents will never be a Jeopardy category, but why shouldn't celebrities have patents? They might make a great living, but their real dream may be some sort of invention, and who better to be able to combine a little bit of influence and the necessary coin? A good idea would help as well.

Found while perusing t-shirts at spraygraphic. Here's how it went down.

“Oh look, they have a blog. I have a blog, too. Wow! Aren't blogs grand?”

click

“Oh look, they posted about a bizarre Eddie Van Halen-esque doodle. I posted about…something else. Hey, why don't I post about this?”

And here we are.

The Eddie Van Halen sketch sucked me in. Humorous, no? It actually looks like he's playing it like a piano. Was he trying to patent this technique? Because if memory serves me correctly (and this time it does), Jeff Watson (formerly of Night Ranger) had a patented 8-finger technique (at approximately the 2:36 mark), not so unlike what Sketchy Van Halen may be doing in this picture. (Couldn't find a patent of the 8-finger technique, but Watson's own site did not call the technique patented, instead “invented” and “popularized” were used to describe the technique.) I think EVH's technique was different, and he may be using a thumb in the picture, and really who cares. I'm typing this after finishing this post, and by now I'm over it and probably destroying any flow this post once had. I don't care, and I mean that in multiple ways.

I'm going to throw some mp3s here, because I can. I mean I have the ability to do that. Legally, well that's up to a jury of my peers, I suppose. They'll appear soon. I'm kind of on a roll here, and I don't want to stop yet. This was not the post I was looking for tonight. But sometimes any post is a good post, and this is as good as any.

Back to Jeff Watson, I used to read guitar magazines in my youth, and recall reading about his technical skill, and listening to it, too, including his performance on a Tony MacAlpine cassette that was in my collection. But while constructing this post I just discovered I've heard Jeff Watson's work on another album in my collection, Chris Isaak's Forever Blue.

I'm not done. Further digging revealed that Watson also inspired an alternate guitar tuning that Isaak used on arguably his greatest hit, “Wicked Game”. (Actually I don't think even Isaak himself would argue otherwise. But I'm not deleting the 'arguably' there. Mainly because I don't feel like arguing with someone who wants to try and reason that “Somebody's Crying” was a bigger hit. (Yes, I know it was on a Party of Five episode. I once watched television semi-regularly.)

I like Wicked Game a lot, so much that I've dropped the quotation marks. As much as I love parentheses, I am not enthralled with quotation marks. They are an (un)Necessary evil, but that's just me.

This is around the time I lose all interest in posting. I found the above somewhat interesting to write, and perhaps even a bit obscure at times. Now I have to go make sure the links appear where I deem necessary, and then proceed to post with all typos, sentence fragments, and other unproofed grammatical error and inconsistencies intact.

Chris Isaak – Wicked Game

Night Ranger – Don't Tell Me You Love Me, (You Can Still) Rock in America

Tony MacAlpine – The King's Cup

Categories: Main Page, mp3, music Tags:

Looking Back, Moving Forward

January 3, 2007 No comments

What to do in the New Year? How 'bout make good on old blog promises? No one's holding me to them, since no one is reading anyway. So I will hold myself accountable and assume full responsibility like the fine upstanding individual I am.

In a post dated Sept 2, 2006, I listed a few thoughts for blog postings that were floating around my brain. One of which involved Joe Franklin. I had just been in New York for an IRS seminar, and during a 3 hour lunch break, (yeah, 3 hours, so don't call them between 12 and 3 during tax season, I guess) I ventured over to the nearby Museum of Television & Radio. I headed to the library and requested a few videos to watch. The selection room is quite nice. The professional staff looked quite professional and after selecting I moved to the viewing area. the viewing area was a more dingier place, with different sitting areas with smaller screen than the selection computers and some headsets, so as not to disturb the neighbors.

My choices were a Picasso documentary that had originally aired in the late 60's or early 70's on either CBS or NBC, (this is a few months ago people, please.) and the Ramones appearance on the Joe Franklin Show. I found both interesting, but will admit that sitting in a small desk area not unlike my computer setup at home staring at a screen was not how I really intended to spend my bit of spare time in New York City, when I was convinced that I could find the Ramones bit on YouTube (guess what? I can't. Can you? I can't. Can you? I can't.) I was more than a bit antsy, but both pieces of archival footage were interesting.

The Picasso documentary actually featured Pablo creating in real time in both paint and sculpture. I can't imagine a major television network ever doing something like this again. Art only seems to have a home these days on public television. And that is not a dis to public television, it's just unfortunate, because not everybody ventures to that realm of the remote.

The Joe Franklin clip is quite humorous, although Franklin was not familiar with the Ramones' body of work (or the pronunciation, must be seen, actually heard, for any effect, I refuse to phonetically try to recreate, I have faith that the Tubemasters of the Internets will find this footage, and we'll all share someday). But Joey and Marky, the two Ramones in attendance, were familiar with Joe Franklin's Memory Lane (the Joe Franklin link is above, one's enough).

Making good on old promises. I am so proactive in 2007, I even baked cookies already this year.

Categories: Main Page, music, photo Tags:

Head Start with Art

January 2, 2007 No comments

Fart rhymes with art, too. And that title is so corny that it has a similar aroma. This was meant to be a somewhat cultured post that has quickly degraded into the toilet.

I worked with my son on doing some drawing today. A lot of times we focus on letters, phonics, and a little math. But drawing is just as important, and it's been around longer than the rest as a form of communication. I probably would not talk about such personal things, but when I found a child's interpretation of Starry Night, I knew I was going to post. And that leads to the here and now.

2007 is the year the boys go to the museum, at least the older one.

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This is not the Footage I'm Looking For

Missed the earlier coverage of the Tournament of Roses parade. Haven't yet found real good footage of the Star Wars floats and the 501st Legion marching in the parade. This will do for now. Why the Star Wars thing in Pasadena, must have something to do with the Grand Marshal, and 2007 marking the 30th anniversary of Star Wars.

And I'll take this opportunity to post a link to my favorites televised live musical performance by a pop act donning Star Wars garb for 2006. Yep…Gnarls Barkley.

Categories: Main Page, movies, music Tags: