Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cup crazy

Out in Detroit, cup fever is starting to take hold again. It is different when you don't live there. I remember back when Yzerman and crew won their first cup. People were partying in the streets. As soon as they won, people started heading downtown. Out here, people like hockey but there is no NHL franchise and no mania for the cup. Too bad. Milwaukee would be a great city for hockey. I'm sure they would love a classic club. Something like how it used to be...

Classic! I love those old expansion teams from the 60s. Wouldn't that be great to move a useless franchise like the LA Kings to Milwaukee?

Maybe it would look something like this:

Or this


Tee off

This looks like a great place to drink

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Everyone's favorite: Nintendo tattoos

This is why I don't have a tattoo:

I love how it doesn't even have a straight line. Classy.

Since when is Mario cross eyed? And why is the Koopa Troopa walking on thin air?

...All the more reason to grow a beard!

Mr. Toad meet Mr. Choad!

It's So Bad! You got that right buddy!

In summary, I'd like to thank Illogical Contraption for this idea. Good times!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You forgot the phone

As you may know, I have been waiting for an iphone for 2 years. I was waiting for my Verizon contract to expire. I was also hoping that a solid competitor would arise. Some challengers emerged, but nothing as good as the real thing. The touch screen, the GPS, the Wi-Fi, the interface, etc. etc.

Microsoft has announced a new Zune that has an iphone-like form factor. It has everything that is needed to go toe to toe with the iphone except for one thing...the phone. Seriously, how hard is it to put a phone in a goddamn Zune? I'm sure Sprint would pay you to do it. What's the hold up? I always felt that the mp3 player market was a dead end market, seeing as everyone has a cellphone anyways. Shit, they're even giving phones to children. If I was a child I know my parents would never give me a damn cellphone.

Looks like an iphone to me. Does it come with bluescreen of death?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Drinking Rhum

So Mr. Booze bought some rum recently. It was less than twenty dollars. It was aged in oak for 4 years, and distilled in pot stills. A fascinating treatment of sugar. Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti is an interesting drink. I recommend drinking it when it is hot, it definitely gets better in the atmosphere.

So how does it taste? Well, like rum, but definitely with its own character. The comparisons to brandy that are made on the bottle are in good faith. It does have some of the characteristics of brandy. The flavor is uniform throughout the palate, unlike whiskey. And while it isn't the smoothest, most drinkable, or have the most character and flavor, it is an interesting drink non the less. And definitely better than most rums I've had. And it was under twenty dollars. Really my biggest complaint is maybe too many fusel oils. Take a smaller cut, gents, and you are really onto something.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Desktop Wallpaper

The newest version of Nero Showtime has a capture button. The old version had one as well, but it compressed images, squishing a letterboxed image. So what is my wallpaper today? Sadly it is this:

NDVD_075 (2)

I know what you're thinking. Those movies weren't very good. But some places were very visually stunning. Some places too cartoonish. Some places not well composed. But I feel that this picture really captures the imagination. The composition is a little weak, because if the camera were moved to the left a little more, and Anakin framed to the right, the line of huts would have created a better line.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A New Hope

Now that you've had time to digest the fallen heroes, I will remind you that all is not lost in shred. There is another. Jeff Loomis has a solo album out, and it sounds like Nevermore without vocals, but with more solos in its stead.

Yes, it is on my amazon wishlist.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shred guitarists I have known

Sometimes following certain bands or artists' musical output becomes taxing. For example, I followed shred guitar for a while. This was during the dark days before guitar hero, when everyone hated guitar solos. Though I will argue that things aren't much brighter now, and that guitar hero is really a sham and most of the people who play it don't really like guitar solos.

Years ago I found a Serbian guitarist named Borislav Mitic who is really talented, and tried to follow his career. He put out two albums. He hasn't put out any new discs in almost ten years. I checked his website for updates every few months, and the new album is coming soon. It is always coming soon. It has been coming soon for years.

Shred excellence

He is actually a very versatile guitarist.

From there I discovered another Serbian master, Bane Jelic. His CD was very hard to come by. While Borislav was on Shrapnel Records and available at distros like amazon, Universe was hard to come by. My copy was shipped from Belgrade (spelled Beograd on the package!). He recorded a follow up album called East/West that the internet just can't find, which sounded much better. He plays a Jem, and the thing about a Jem is that it is meant to cut through a lot of effects with a pure tone. Just listen to Vai. He carefully layers a lot of effects. So it isn't going to sound good with a dry signal. East/West was a lot wetter, and much the better. But impossible to get.

Sure, you might look at his getup and guitar and say "mini Vai". Well, he isn't so much a new agey sort of guy, more pure heavy fusion. Besides, the world can use another Vai, right? Last time I checked his domain expired. No website, only myspace where he has his resume posted.

I also followed a group called Project Alcazar. They had one album, called Reasons for a Decade. I don't really know what that means, but this was some of the most tasteful shredding around. Not the best chops ever, but really good and really thoughtful playing. I waited and waited for the follow up album, alleged to be called The Scarlet Letter, and it never happened.

Well, really it was one guy named Chris Steberl.

If guitar hero has really brought back guitar playing and the guitar hero, then why haven't my guitar heroes made albums in ten years apiece? Because no one but I bought their albums. Because people didn't really change their attitude since the 90s. Guitar solos are still lame and 80s. The same kids that loved Limp Biscuit in the 90s threw away Chocolate Hotdog and listen to the Shins today and wear thick rimmed glasses and listen to Dragonforce "ironically" because they are making fun of it. Because they still think it is stupid 80s crap. Because of couse Jimi Hendricks and Chuck Berry were playing 80s music.

Fuck guitar hero.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Sometimes music becomes the soundtrack to my life. Certain periods are strongly associated with the music I was hearing at the time. One period I remember fondly is the summer after my Junior year, when I listened to a lot of Shostakovich, Gregorian Chants, and At the Gates. Those were strange days. Prophetic dreams, a mysterious illness, but I digress. Perhaps the musical combination played a part?

I have a stock summer soundtrack that may go on the backburner this year. Albums that I refrain from playing autumn and winter. Usually it is:

Satriani - Engines of Creation
Project Alcazar - Reasons for a decade
Sinatra - Sinatra/Jobim
Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brazilieras and String Quartets

This spring has turned out to be a bit odd already. So I'm looking for materials for my summer soundtrack. I have a feeling that this summer will need a theme. There are many ways I can go with this. I can buy albums by David Koresh and Charles Manson. That would certainly make for an odd summer. Or I could get something less...insane, like maybe the new Aghora album. But if I bought that would I need more Hindu philosophy too? Would I go down that road and buy some Occidental music of some sort? Would it make me pine for Amrut whisky?

Previously I had Fear Factory nostalgia, but this spring quickly morphed from late 90's zeitgeist to a time of decay. I worked in an office in a great location. It was a nice office, a short commute, with a park nearby and lots of lunch choices. After a time, things dried up; I was insanely bored, and also worried that each day would be my last. What point is there in having an employee with no work to do? Now I work in a different office, further away, in the basement. No windows at all. A cluttered dump. It is soulcrushing.


Only the dead are smiling!

Monday, May 4, 2009

From my childhood 2: talking cars

When I was a child, cars could talk. Sure, you might pretend that you remember watching Knight Rider. I do remember, and not understand the intro story at all. "This is a story of a man that doesn't exist"? What does that mean?

But more than that, real cars talked as well. My uncle worked for Chrysler, and he had a car that talked. When you left the doors open, the car would say "the door is ajar". It had a few other catch phrases too.

For some reason talking cars didn't catch on. Oh well. But that's how it was, kids. Back in my day, cars talked.

Time Machine

Oh, did I mention that back in my day cars could travel through time?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Wait

I'm in limbo. I'm waiting. My roommate moves out in about 3 weeks. It can't come soon enough. I'm waiting for Apple to release the new iPhone so I can finally become a god among men, with the sum of all human knowledge at my fingertips. That is probably about 2 months away. I'm always waiting on the job front. Things are really slow at the office, and I've taken to reading wikipedia online. I'll probably be let go soon. In the mean time, I have a potential job lead. It will probably be a longer commute, sadly. I was getting used to the easy drive.


Life is blooming all around.


The skies are blue and clear. I've finally gotten the hang of nailing that clear blue sky look too.


Like this fern, I am stretching out. I am unfurled.

I hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of my brown bag and Boonesfarm from the other day. I'll probably have a rum summer, so we'll see how that goes.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Strong winds, clear skies, and kites. The box kite flew well. I sat up on a hill, layed in the grass, drank Boonesfarm, and watched the kite glide lazily through the sky.


Up and away.


The skies clouded up and I biked home, still slightly drunk. I felt a bit like a hobo. But then I threw my empty bottle in a trashbin, and saw what it is that separates me from the degenerates. I know how to use a trashcan and a restroom.



My moment of zen.