Life, Minutiae, Toys, Irrational Phobias, Peeves, Fiber

Winter Is Coming Like A Football To The Face

Posted on | June 20, 2011 at 11:07 am | 1 Comment

Warning! Spoilers for Game of Thrones!!

The theme to HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the best instrumental TV themes ever, especially when paired with the stunning interactive ever-changing map of Westeros in the beginning credits sequence. The theme was constantly going through my head last night after the season finale, making for some very weird dreams.

But my half-asleep brain got to thinking – could the theme be improved? Most classic TV themes have words. GoT might’ve been served better by a theme based on the Brady Bunch theme:

Here’s the story of a ruthless lady
Who was bringing up three very twisted kids.
All of them had hair of gold, like their uncle,
The oldest one’s a shit.

Here’s the story, of a man named Eddard,
Who was busy with six kids of his own,
They were stout folk, up north in Winterfell,
Far from the Iron Throne.

Till the one day when the lady met this fellow
And she knew that her lies would fall apart,
So this man must be declared a traitor
That’s the way they all became the Headless Starks
The Headless Starks, The Headless Starks,
That’s the way they all became the Headless Starks.

Okay, maybe one should not trust one’s sleep-brain…


Sometimes It All Just Comes Together

Posted on | January 17, 2011 at 8:40 pm | 2 Comments

It’s been a long time. I stopped blogging around the same time that I realized most of my blog entries could be summed in Twitter-sized microbursts and were just as entertaining to me. All of the self amusement with only 1/20th of the time spent doing it. Win-win, especially for those who felt obligated to peruse whatever I blather about here.

But sometimes you just can’t get it all out in 140-word bytes. So I guess this space is still useful for those times when I want to elaborate on something. Like now.

I’ve gone on and on in these pages about my CD archiving project, which involves ripping my 4000+ CD collection. The collection has not really grown these past few years, since I’ve switched to downloads for new stuff. I’ve been ripping the discs to both FLAC image files and to MP3 track files, the later of which I import into iTunes. I’ve also been doing high rez cover scans and entering copious notes on the albums in Music Collector. I stopped the project for almost a year since I got tired of it and moved on to other temporary time wasters (video games, graphic novels, Kindle), but now I’m re-energized on that project and hitting it full force again. Got myself a new 2TB drive to store the FLAC files on, and they’re backed up to an older 1.5TB drive. I started off the project going in order, beginning with artists that started with numbers and then ones that started with the letter A. Once I got around to “Be” artists, I started skipping around more and hitting artists out of order, partly out of boredom and partly because I wanted to replace my previously-ripped inferior MP3s in iTunes with newer better ones.

The last week or so, I decided to archive and re-rip my entire Bill Nelson collection. Doesn’t sound like a huge task, but seeing as how the man is incredibly prolific and I own close to 50 of his albums, not even counting his records with Be-Bop Deluxe, it’s a daunting task. Especially since I think it’s the third time I’ve done it. Heck, I think there’s still some 20 albums or so of his that I don’t own!

So, anyway, I’ve been very Bill Nelson-focused these last few days. Today, since I had the day off for MLK day, I went and saw The Green Hornet (2D version), which was more entertaining than to be expected for that sort of thing, kind of a buddy-cop movie on deadpan steroids. Nice chemistry between the leads. After the movie, I waddled over to a local watering hole and ate dinner and drank beer while reading a recent issue of Denver’s alternative weekly Westword. The cover story, which I’m sure my font and typography-obsessed friends would enjoy, was all about local (but nationally famous) typography artist Rick Griffith. Excerpt:

Soon he discovered another way to give voice to his rebellion. While working at a record store in suburban Virginia, his boss showed him the album Sound on Sound, by the new-wave band Bill Nelson’s Red Noise.

Instead of the tidy, proper letterforms Griffith was used to seeing, the words on the cover were built from pieces of electronic music equipment — speaker cords and headphones and radio antennas. “The album was a knock-out punch,” he says. “From that point on, I found myself moving towards graphic design.”

Any illicit substances he was on at the time probably didn’t hurt.

Bill Nelson's Red Noise Sound-on-SoundI had to read that over and over again. Wow! Just two days earlier, I had been staring at that particular album cover, marveling at that very design technique. I especially like how the coiled-up guitar chord forms the “R”. But what especially got me was that here I had been obsessing over my Bill Nelson collection and marveling how this musician with one of the most prolific bodies of work in the rock (and related) field is virtually unknown to the general public, and then one of my favorite albums of his is name-checked in a local newspaper article. A warm glow filled me, and it wasn’t just the beer. Or maybe it was.

Rick Griffith turned his Revolt Into Style. Yeah.


Note: I have attempted to remove all double spaces between sentences in this post, but confess I might’ve missed a few.

A Microcosm Of Modern America In The Wendy’s Line

Posted on | January 30, 2010 at 11:44 pm | 2 Comments

Conversation overheard today at Wendy’s between two guys standing next to me in line (verbatim):

Guy 1: “Are you an actor?”
Guy 2: “Huh? No.”
Guy 1: “Because you look like that Snoop Dogg dude.”
Guy 2: [Who, actually, did not look to me like Snopp Dogg: Silence, shakes head slightly]
Guy 1: “He’s got a good act, that Snopp Dogg. Doesn’t he have a good act?”
Guy 2: [More silence, then:] “How tall are you?”
Guy 1: “6 foot 9″
Guy 2: “Wow.”
Guy 1: “You look like you’re about 6 foot 4″
Guy 2: [Who, in fact, looked to me considerably shorter than that, shakes head slightly:] “I have a 17-year old nephew who’s 6 foot 8.”
Guy 1: “Whew!”
Wendy’s counter guy to Guy 2: “Here’s your nuggets, sir!”
Guy 2: “Thanks!” [Walks away]
Guy 1: “Nice talking to you! Have a good one!”


Note: Guy 1 then went on to engage the Wendy’s counter guy and other diners in conversations I didn’t quite hear. I think there was something a little off about him. Or maybe he was just overly friendly.

Pet Peeve of the Day: The caps on the Safeway gallon milk jugs don’t work nearly as well as the ones on the King Soopers’ jugs. They are very hard to screw on and off.

Kink In America

Posted on | January 29, 2010 at 6:29 pm | 5 Comments

Life on Pandora

One of the positive benefits of digitally archiving all my CDs is that I get to hear a lot of things that I haven’t heard in (literally) decades. The iPod in my car is set up with a random playlist of things added to iTunes in the last year, so it’s mostly a mix of eMusic downloads and songs from bands that start with the letter “A”. Recently, I was driving around and was taken aback when an 80s-sounding song with a different type of lyrical message played. I was doubly surprised to see that it was from the one-”hit” wonder band Art In America (from their only album 1983’s Art In America, which produced their only “hit”, the song “Art In America”). I believe they are chiefly remembered for having a harp player as a fulltime member of the band. That’s a regular big old acoustic harp, not an electric or horizontal or altered one. Must’ve been fun to take on the road. In my mind, the whole harp thing gave the band an image that was squeaky clean. Which is why this song “Won’t It Be Strange” caused me to do a double take. Here’s the lyrics (as best I can make them out, incorporating bits from another website):

Won’t It Be Strange
Performed by Art In America
Words and Music by Chris Flynn

I needed to see you
I needed to fall
I need to feel all of you
I can’t wait for the Masters and Johnson’s call
Do you think will hear me?
Well you just might not heel
But darling I just need to know
Is it your love that I’d feel?

Won’t it be strange,
When the world brings us bondage and pain?
And if there is someday
Some laughter for a change
Won’t it be strange- won’t it be strange?

Do you think you will hear me
When my moment has come?
Do you think you will hear me
With your face mask and blindfold on? Yeah
Do you think you will hear me
Well you just might not heel
But darling I just need to know
Is it your love that I’d feel

Won’t it be strange,
When the world brings us bondage and pain?
And if there is someday
Some laughter for a change
Won’t it be strange- won’t it be strange?

And if you’re not for certain
Don’t take the box for what’s behind the curtain
When your sealcoat’s re-haired, find out….

Won’t it be strange
When the world brings us bondage and pain?
And if there is someday
Some laughter for a change
Won’t it be strange- won’t it be strange?

Okay, so basically they seem to be singing about an S&M relationship. How could I not have known that at the time the album came out (1983) or when the CD was finally issued (1996)? It sure seems like something I would’ve remembered. Of course, I’m sure the whole S&M theme is just a metaphor for something else… like how hard it is to play a harp or something…

Of course, things are always more complicated than you originally think. In the course of researching this blog entry, I ran across this incredibly detailed deconstruction of the album, courtesy of a familiar pen. However, there’s not much of a comment on this song, which bums me out.


Pet Peeve of the Day: The docking station for my laptop introduces noise into the audio channel.

Poignant Search Term Of The Day That Led To This Blog: “heathenism resort”.


Posted on | January 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm | 6 Comments

Yes, even though this blog is, for all intents and purposes, dead (or at least the approval rating has dropped like Leno’s ratings), I feel I must mark the anniversary anyway. Six years, woo hoo! Of course, there hasn’t been much going on here for the last year.

The thing is, I do have lots and lots to talk about, just no time or energy to do it. I don’t even have the time or energy to read other people’s blogs, assuming there are still such things. Are blogs dead? Did Facebook and Twitter kill the blogio star? Are we all just lame ducks waiting for the destructive palinization of civilization?

And does anyone remember MySpace? Oh, the hairstyles of three years ago make us so embarrassed, don’t they?

Everything we eat is bad for us, unless we nurtured it in the dirt ourselves.

Medical marijuana has come to Colorado and the Dispensary Wars threaten to tear the city apart. If only Hick can become governor and unite the state and find a decent defensive coordinator for the supremely defensive McDaniels. Jason Sheehan is leaving for Seattle and the last reason to read Westword goes with him.

We all wear masks, but why is it so hard for me to find one that fits?

I have a feeling iPhones are doomed sooner rather than later.

The cloud contains all our information and all our media, but what happens if we lose access to it?

Olympics. Olympix. Olympia. The gods look down from the control booth and try to get someone to care. But the only thing we worship is a gallon of milk or a gallon of gas under $2.

2010. The Year We Make Com-post.


And I Feel Fine

Posted on | November 16, 2009 at 7:41 pm | 4 Comments

This past weekend, I went out and saw the disaster-porn flick 2012. I know, I know… but I have some gift cards to use up, and it looked like pretty eye candy. Well, if you consider the end of the planet to be eye candy… which in the hands of Roland Emmerich and crew, it most certainly is. Plus, I was depressed about the Broncos losing their third game in a row, and wanted to see some massive destruction. It’s a long movie, almost three hours, but there are enough “character” moments in-between things collapsing and blowing up to allow for much-needed pee breaks.

Though the movie is over-the-top, and utterly preposterous in the way that John Cusack & family keep narrowly escaping getting turned into fossil fuels for the next species that arises to dominate the planet, the movie is not without its charms. At least it wasn’t boring (for the most part – see “pee breaks” above). So I was willing to go with it. It brought me back to those heady teenage days, watching flicks such as The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, though the scale of 2012 dwarfs any catastrophe Irwin Allen could splatter on the screen in the 70s.

However, there was one thing that I just could not forgive. Granted, the movie takes place over only a period of a day or two. But during that entire time, John Cusack’s character (I could never figure out if he was named Curtis Jackson or Jackson Curtis – even the movie seemed to be confused on that point*) never takes off his tie. He is subjected to all manner of potentially life-ending scenarios, almost literally clawing himself back up from hell at one point, and yet he keeps that dang thing on like it’s the only link that humanity’s survivors will have to their past great civilization. The world is going down in flames, but dammit, I’m going to look good! GQ may not survive the holocaust, but future societies will still know how important fashion is. There’s even an extended sequence near the end of the flick were Cusack spends a lot of time underwater trying to fix a particularly vexing problem, and he still has that damn tie on. I kept thinking it would get caught in the gears he was dealing with, causing him to get crushed to death, but I guess that would’ve been too ironic for the filmmakers.

I tried to rationalize it by saying maybe he just didn’t have time to take off the tie, but there were a few minutes here and there where he wasn’t running/driving/flying/swimming for his life, including some time on an airplane when I think he was sleeping. So maybe he was keeping it on for additional warmth. Or he thought he might need it for a sling or tourniquet or something. I don’t know… it’s just hard to take the End of Humanity seriously when your protagonist is not even flustered enough to remove his tie.

Although at least he did loosen it.


* – People kept calling him “Jackson”, and the cover of the book he wrote says “Jackson Curtis”, but at one point he shows his driver’s license to another character and it clearly says “Jackson, Curtis”.

Pet Peeve of the Day: Can Oliver Platt ever play a character who’s not full of himself?

Perplexing Search Term Of The Day That Led To This Blog: “pocket pool registration”.

Videogame(s) Played Since Last Blog Update: Still none.

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