Monday, December 31, 2007

furthering advances in streamlining political debate

torture - hot button issue
illegal immigrants - hot button issue

I'm all for condensing distracting hot button issues to get them out of the way. So let's propose the candidates argue over water-boarding for illegal immigrants, and kill two birds with one stone.

Personally, I think boogie boarding for illegal immigrants would take care of the whole problem.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday picks

Christmas Break is almost over - sniff. Saw several movies over the break. Some good, some not so good. Mostly not so good. Even the best movie wasn't great.

The Best movie: Hot Rod with Andy Samberg. Andy (Dick in a Box) Samberg plays a slacker 20 something who is obsessed with stunts. Specifically This movie could have been awesome, but they played it a little safe, and it felt like the studios were trying to force proven formula. Case in point - Hot Rod's crew are all nerds, so you see a lot of Napoleon Dynamite-esque acts of brazen foolishness. Who'se wasted in this movie? Will Arnett. They knew enough to cast him as the asshole boyfriend, but not enough to give him more screen time. Sissy Spacek play Hot Rod's Mom, but I'm not into ironic casting for its own sake - she didn't really do much in the role. Who isn't wasted? Ian McShane (Al Swearengen from Deadwood) as Hot Rod's stepfather. He had some great scenes, and the movie's story winds up showing a pretty nuanced relationship between Samberg and McShane. I think that if Samberg gets more control and experience, he could make a great comedy, this one was simply pretty good. Of course, when you are dying to see a comedy you haven't already seen, sometimes a "pretty good" is shelter from the storm. There are a few moments where you get to see Samberg's unique comedic talents, which I think maybe will become more as a producer. - see this bit from Hot Rod that made it to youtube.

Worst Movie? Shooter with Mark Wahlberg. Priceless moment from Shooter: Jade and I loved one scene. Wahlberg has is holed up in some room with his woman - I think its a hotel room or his girlfriend's bedroom, he's set up as an infirmary. To knock himself out so she can remove a bullet and sew him up? He does a whippit from a whipped cream can. Please trust me when I say there isn't enough nitrous in a can of whipped cream to knock you out for 3 seconds, much less the duration of an operation performed by an amateur.

Dumb deriative crab. Tom Berenger's Sniper meets Damon's Jason Bourne trilogy. Quality level has parity with the former. Horrible, horrible dialogue. Mark Wahlberg is capable of great performances, but I think he needs a strong director. This was approaching David Hasslehoff levels of over-acting. Plot - totally predictable. You could tell the role and fate of every character within seconds of their appearance on the camera. The actress who played Wahlberg's love interest, Kate Mara, was horrible - her career I hope is almost over. Also horrible? Danny Glover. Ever since I saw him in SAW, I realized he would do anything for a little coin. Must be true here. I see nothing on the web to indicate he had a stroke, but his performance suggested otherwise. He was lazily slurring his words, and really coasting. Just a crap movie.

Monday, December 24, 2007

liberal bias rant

Say what you want about the democrats... but at least they have a handful of presidential hopefuls who don't suck. I mean, you can argue they aren't awesome, but most of the main guys (and lady) don't suck. I have my own primary vote to cast, but I really wouldn't be upset by any of the frontrunners winning. The republicans, on the other hand. I mean come on, politics aside, these guys are just so lame. Guiliani? The guy is a philandering shitheel. Romney? Maybe its because I'm from Mass, and I don't like how he talked about the state after his tenure. Or maybe it's because he looks like Eddie Munster, all grown up with bronzer. Or, maybe its because he exaggerates pathologically. McCain, I actually liked in the last couple of elections. He's getting less sucky, but his wacko comments from the spring and summer still are ringing in my ears. Huckabee? Don't get me started - I mean if we are going to elect him, let's just put a steeple on the white house. Give the Christian Right what they really want. Fred Thompson? That would be so sweet in a Governator, Jesse Ventura sort of way. Only with those guys, they represent(ed) places where I was not a constituent. I really don't want to vote for the most ironic candidate. And then there's some other dudes running. I feel like the republican party is silently waiting, and hoping for their real candidate to arrive.

stunning revelation

Watching It's A Wonderful Life (Part of the fascist xmastime regime) - and I ran up to put on the record how awful the editing is. I discover via IMDB that William Hornbeck did the editing, and his work on the film was nominated for an academy award.

This blows my mind. Seriously - my brain is saying "don't taze me, bro" to this piece of news. The movie has so many unnecessary short shots, and awkward jumps. There's a scene with George and Mary on the bed. They share a kiss, and mid-kiss, it cuts to the same shot, only they are done kissing, and the angle is slightly different. And once you notice this about the movie, you can't even watch it normally anymore, because you are waiting to find that kind of film chopping in almost every scene. And there are weirder shots, that make you wonder how somebody made a conscious decision to present the film in that manner. I'm not knocking the treacly and bizarre story-line and its unabashed anti-establishment messages - that would be to easy. Just from a purely technical aspect of execution, this film is a failure. I get that some of the "special effects" were probably ground breaking at the time, but when you can't present a normal shot of two people speaking in a room, you shouldn't be getting nominations for the fancy stuff.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Hip hop round up

Getting ready to endure christmas - at least I sowed up shopping way back. Posting some hip hop finds.

New Stuff:

Wu-Tang: 8 Diagrams. Pretty hot. RZA gets pretty funky with the production. Meth is pretty hot, as is Masta Killah and the GZA. Would have liked to hear more Ghost. Check out "Wolves" (featuring George Clinton no less) and "Take it Back". That, and where the hell did RZA dig up Sunny Valentine. I thought that dude was on the Bar mitzvah circuit. Shows what I know - and that guy can still belt out some tunes. Nice of them to Eulogize O' Dirty Bastard. Have to say, as far down as he fell musically before he died, Return to the 36 Chambers is still pretty awesome. Dirt Dawg was right - there truly was no father to his style.

Ghostface: Big Doe Rehab. I actually didn't like this that much on first listen, but I'm warming up to it. The problem is I'm an ardent Ghost fan, so I want everything to be awesome. The bonus track with High School All-Stars sucks, but everything else is pretty tight. I think the Fishscale / More Fish/ Big Doe direction has run its course, and we need to hear him mix it up on his next project. Not sure how I feel about the production here. On one hand, there are some great samples - on the other hand, its a little too polished, and the source material a little too obvious. Get some Ray Ayers in there. Check out Yolanda's House, and Paisley Darts, and you'll smell what the Ghost is cookin'. I have to say the Rythym Roots All Stars throw down some awesome cuban music to mix up the soul influences, but ghost doesn't rap to them - they are just interludes. I would have actually really liked to hear Ghost spit rhymes over them the whole album. That would be tight. Too bad he doesn't read my lame-ass blog. I heard he is actually touring with them.

Old Stuff I hadn't caught before:

Redman: Red Gone Wild. Redman is still making music? Good thing. Classic Red. Much better than his pervious Malpractice album. Nothing surprising, but consistent Brick City hip hop. It's like Doc's da name 2000, only with better production. Sidenote - if you haven't listened to Blackout! in a while, toss that disc in the CD player. Meth and Red maybe made the best duet album since Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery flipped the jazz script on The Dynamic Duo.

213: The Hard Way. For years, I waited to hear the album by Snoops original group. And when it finally came out, I missed it. Argh. Well I finally caught up with Snoop, Nate Dogg and Warren G. Man, this album plays like an homage to old school G-Funk. You know how Warren G's flow was tight, but he was just a little too dorky? Well, Warren's a little harder, Snoop's a little softer, and Nate Dogg is still the muthafuckin May-an belting out gansta R&B. I think someday, Nate's gonna get his due. These days R&B singers who spit profane background tunes are a dime a dozen, even dragging R. Kelly into the biz. But as far as I know, Nate Dogg invented gangsta R&B. He's the original don dotta, and listening to The Hard Way, he's still the number one stunna. That's dumb-ass white-boy speak for saying he's a highly skilled musician.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

hi blog

blog - I've been neglecting you lately, and I'm sorry. I know you are nothing more than server space with some style sheets draped around you, but you deserve better. I'm sure you'll find my excuse - I've been writing fiction locally - to be incensing, but there it is. I have a goal to finish a second draft of a novel by the end of 2008, so it's been taking up a lot of my time. Blog, I promise, if I get published, I'll take you out for a porterhouse steak.

Also, I've been playing a lot of Call of Duty 4 online (dodges plate flung at head).

Friday, November 23, 2007


It's good that the act of gratitude has its own day; that way we can forget about being thankful the rest of the year. Let's push for more of these holidays... Happy Truthtellings! Merry Human Decency Day! And very happy Rationalresponse Eve...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Goddamn It!

No... we're not making any goddamned turkey already!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Nobody ever said republicans aren't funny

Nope; they just implied it. Well, the inference that fueled the implication seems to be nothing more than balderdash. Mike Huckabee's campaign put together a great ad with Chuck Norris. Pretty shrewd as well, as the candidate who isn't taken that seriously is being paired with a celebrity who is also aware of his own less than highly esteemed public persona, and can laugh (stiffly) all the way to the bank.

On top of that, Mike Huckabee can now count on two types of voters - his primary base of Ted Nugent type survivalist conspiracy theory nutjobs, and the type of young, irony obsessed idiots that put Jesse Ventura in the govenor's mansion.

if the democrats want to get a tasty piece of the irony pie, I think that Senator Obama could be well served by doing a similar ad with his caucasian counterpart, Leonard Nimoy. Take it one step further, Senator Clinton should rope in Will Ferrel doing his Janet Reno bit - or better yet? Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I finally get it

I finally get Frosty the Snowman. One of the perks of rhapsody is you can find a standard by just about any artist (there's about 50 arrangements of Radiohead's Everything in its Right Place). Listening to the Willy Nelson arrangement of Frosty, I realized the song is just about some dude tripping his nuts off on really good mushrooms, running around town having dialogs with various inanimate snowmen, toking on corncob pipes and policemen hollering "stop!"

What the song charitably omits is that when Frosty "melts away" it's because you're peaking and the melting is a horrifying sight involving serpents, incantations recited backwards and pools of steaming quicksilver, that leaves you a shivering sobbing mess, huddled in a snow bank, rocking back and forth, telling yourself that you aren't going to stay crazy forever, and this trip will end. If there are no flashbacks for me to trigger: it's like when Tot's face melts away at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Thanks for clearing that up, Willy. Ahhhhh... snowmen.

The Last To Know: Pitchfork

Pitchfork makes me want to blow my brains out while slitting my throat and chugging gasoline, but I keep coming back to it.

Pitchfork has to be the most smug, hipster music review site on the internets - they are the review site equivalent of diesel sweeties' Indie Rock Pete. At the same time, I always go back. In fact, I think it's their schtick. The reviewers consistently project a tone of: "because you think this album is awesome, I dislike it that much more".

Case in point - a reviewer criticizes the Avett Brother's new album as being "the most contrived record I've heard this year". Really? More contrived than the new Brittany Spears album that was genetically engineered by producer-cum-psychologists who were masterminding her comeback? But there's the extra sting - they are so cool that they only review music so good that even the good music is contrived - and the stuff that really is contrived - well they've never even heard it. It's like the roam an alternate universe, where reviewers retain personal handlers who employ hapkido to keep non-grounding breaking music at bay. Or try this: when the album is "good, it's intrusively good". How's that again? Is there some quota on sincere praise? Imagine trying that on your woman: "Yeah, the sex was good; but it was intrusively good."

This isn't about the Avett Brothers at all - Emotionalism is a solid album, but I'm not going under blanket on youtube to defend their honor. This is just (another) bitch session about Pitchfork, and the elitism of reviewers on the web (see the AV Club). In fact, this review starts with an insult, but continues to state that they keep coming back. Which is where I come in. Pitchfork seems to love music, but hates all the musicians they review. Like pitchfork, I hate the site, but am addicted to reading their reviews, in a blind hope that they will deem an album I like cool. I keep coming back, and refuse to offer any pure acceptance of admiration. Here I am, 32, and dying to find approval and affirmation from strangers. Giuseppe's come a long way.

I guess I come form the Roger Ebert school of reviewing, where the goal is to present your own honest opinions, and not try to elevate yourself above the art, or more importantly, your audience. Maybe these reviewers really are musical geniuses who ghostwrite reviews under pseudonyms when they aren't releasing 5-star LPs. Maybe they think they are elevating the common man to their elevated state. More likely, they are a group of hipster cornholes who want to be "the camera behind the camera behind the camera". Even when the music is good, it could be better (or its intrusively good). Even though its readership is smarter than the general populace for being aware of pitchfork - its audience is nothing more than a one-eyed man walking through the land of the blind.

One more political brain fart - the cheater versus the cuckold

Given their respective roles in adulterous love-triangles; I think that Rudolph might want to start planning far in advance how he will deal with Hillary if they meet in the general election. While Clinton is prickly and trying to avoid being perceived as a victim (the cyanide to a woman candidate), I think that as pundits get rolling, there is going to be some bad mojo for home-wrecking multiple marriage Giuliani, versus the noble cuckold Hillary (yes I know cuckolds refer to husbands - cut me some slack here). God forbid the media leaves the iron curtain open enough for somebody to raise that issue during a debate. one advantage I see here is that, while difficult, Hillary has the advantage of being able to discuss the matter with some well prepared responses. Gules on the other hand, is going to have to make a "right to personal privacy" play that is not going to sit well - particularly with social conservatives and women voters. On the flip side, being a cheating bastard gets the scumbag east coaster vote sewn up in north jersey, and I think those guys get to vote two or three times at least.

Even Karl Rove...

... is putting his money on Hillary. That's not too surprising - she's the primary frontrunner, as well as the most polarizing democrat in the race. Which makes her the broad side of a barn when it comes to republican jabs. I mean, there has to be something that Giuliani and Romney can agree on - namely that red blooded Americans should use holy water and a crucifix to keep Senator Clinton at bay.
She also seems to be the most substantive. It takes a lot of spin to create substance - so kudos to her campaign staff.

A lot of people demonize Karl Rove, but - and I say this as a committed Democrat - I think he's a national treasure in his current role. He's essentially pulling back the (first) curtain to show you how he helped shape enough minds to get Bush in the white house and keep him there. You are seeing how policy gets shaped in its earliest stages.

Of course, there's some delicious layers to this article - I'll leave the particulars of his statements for interested readers to pick up for themselves. This guy wasn't the puppet master for no reason; its interesting to pick up the nuances of what's genuine advice, what are veiled criticisms of Clinton (as opposed to the clear criticisms), and the potential that he's leaving some poison bait for democrat campaigns to sniff out. It's also very interesting to read how he walks the line to present many of his views, while keeping the more callous, manipulative brushstrokes that shaped them just off in the wings. I'll concede that he's not the influential machiavelli that he was before he resigned, but the spark is still there. It doesn't bother me that he represented George W. Bush, who I think will go down in history as one of the worst presidents to hold the office. Actually, maybe its because of that fact that I find him so compelling and capable, and a voice to be listened to. It reminds me of advice I used to get from Mr. Hyde, one of my english teachers - "know your narrator". This guy helped narrate years of the current administration, and now he's concocting some insightful prologues. He's a narrator worth knowing well.

Movie Recommendations

Erik asked me for some movie recommendations. Here's some good flicks I found with "weight " that will help you get through the writer's strike. I tried to limit the movies to those that have some suspense, taught drama, or unexpected twists.

A murphy's law thriller in the tradition of hitchcock. Kurt Russel and his wife (Kathleen Quinlan) break down along some desert highway. As help turns into menace, all hell breaks loose. There's two types of people in the world - people who love the late great J.T. Walsh, and idiots. See him here in one of his best and last performances, and prepare to squirm. Plot twists abound, and you'll get your over the top end that befits a movie like this. A great potboiler of suspense, that won't leave you emotionally drained.

The Spartan
Val Kilmer is a secret service agent, tracking down a politician's daughter who has been abducted. Things are not what the seem from beginning to end. David Mamet's snappy dialog keep things moving along. Kilmer needs a good project to shine, and he gets one here.

A Simple Plan
The movie that took Bill Paxton out of my favorite bad actors category and put him in my favorite actors category. Some rural residents find lost blood money during some winter hunting. Moral disintegration and danger ensues. Billy Bob Thorton and Bridgette Fonda are inconsistent actors, but they deliver here.

You might have seen this, but if you didn't - put it at the top of your queue. Nicolas Cage plays a socially retarded writer, and his own twin brother. Amazing script that turns inside out on itself. Cage is always his best doing comedy. There's some real depth here, and you'll see some brilliant screenwriting in action.

This one's a heart breaker. Nick Nolte plays a self-destructive, paranoid drunk who sabotages what's left of his miserable life. The best part - his dad is an even more destructive drunk, perfectly cast with James Coburn. Understand how pathetic fathers beget pathetic children. Dramatic closing scene - check.

Shallow Grave
An early Ewan Macgregor film - and another "what happens to people when they find illegal money". Less about human drama than a simple plan, but way more hitchcockesque suspense. This money makes these people go muthafucking batty. Look for the "shafts of light through the ceiling" scene - that's some good movie-making right there.

Why settle for hitchcockesque, when you can have Hitchcock himself? If I had to recommend one Hitchcock film (or one Jimmy Stewart film for that matter), I'd pick this one. As always, Hitchcock casts a smokin' hottie - Kim Novak, as the female lead. Weird twins and a mobius strip of a plot make this feel like Hitchcock traveled through time, dropped some acid with David Lynch before traveling back to film this. In fact, I don't know if Mullholland Drive could have been made with Vertigo.

This is the watershed moment for 1980's Anime. The animation isn't dated at all - and because its set in furturistic tokyo, neither do the cultural references. A post apocalyptic Japan finds repressed biker hoodlums battling against mysterious goverment forces who have abducted one of their own. Once he returns, they quickly learn that he has gain incredible and uncontrollable powers. but what has he given up in return? If you don't understand what all the hullabaloo about japanese animation is - rent this now. There are some more nuanced, emotionally complex anime that have been released stateside (Princess Mononoke, anyone?) But this is first, and best.

Seven Samurai
I can only recommend one Kurosawa movie? Shit. Might as well pick the incontrovertible winner. Remade many a time, a village under prey from bandits hire a throng of ronin samurai to protect them. Striking cinematography and directorial vision will please the cinephile, while a rousing script that combines action and human drama should leave everybody who can handle subtitles well satisfied.

Who says I can only recommend one - go get Yojimbo if you like this, and see Toshiro Mifune as the ultimate bad-ass. let me break it down, SAT style for you. Mifune is to Eastwood, as Eastwood is to 60 Minute's Morley Schaffer. In fact, Fistful of Dollars is a remake of Yojimbo. For those looking for a samurai epic - rent RAN - Kurosawa's adaptation of King Lear.

The Ninth Gate
A great director guides a greater actor. Johnny Depp plays a smug book buyer who specializes in the rare and arcane. He is commissioned by a creepy patron (played with scenery chewing delight by character actor numero uno Frank Langella) to find a book written by the devil himself. About as convinced as the audience about the likelihood that such a manuscript could exist, Depp takes the sizable paycheck to conduct a skeptical search. Real or not, dangers mount up as he discovers other parties are interested. Deadly parties. Mwuh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha... excuse me.

Buffalo 66
Vincent Gallo's breakout film about a malcontent, recently released from jail - he writes directs and stars. His kidnapping of Christina Ricca to pose as his girlfriend is not really plausible, but the performances are salivation inducing. You usually don't walk away from movies this bitter with a smile on your face, but here's an exception. Personal faves Ben Garazza and Angelica Huston are priceless as vincent's parents. Look for Gallo's photo-booth instruction's to Ricci: "We're a couple... spanning time. Spanning time. Span time." You'll love it, or suck trying.

A Perfect World
Like a cicada, Every 8 years, Kevin Costner emerges from his cocoon of overwrought mediocrity to shine. It doesn't hurt that pre-hype Clint Eastwood directed this "perfect" gem. As a fugitive who stumbles into taking a small boy hostage, this movie creates one of the most three dimensional bad guys. The dramatic tension builds for a good payoff at the end.

Sure - you could rent the english speaking remake (I love Chazz Palminteri and he is great), but go old school and rent the original balck and white french flick. If you think your school was bad growing up - trust me, it wasn't as bad as this. The students don't really play much of role in this deadly game of deceit and subjugation. If you can't handle subtitles, the remake with Chazz, Sharon Stone (see, I told you to get the original) and Kathy Bates is adequate.

Red Rock West
A really weird suspense movie about a case of mistaken identity that compromises a niave drifter (Nic Cage) who blows through one of the most corrupt podunk in the west. You'd think Dennis Hopper would be the menacing heavy, but (not)surprisingly, J.T. Walsh upstages him.

I think you can only make a movie like this once. A man stricken with amnesia tries to piece his identity together in a very hazardous situation. The genius of this movie is that it proceeds in a fully reverse narrative - meaning the first scene you see in the movie is the last thing that happens in the story, and each scene that follows goes further back in time, until the final very dramatic scene is actually the one that starts the whole story. hard to explain and visualize, but amazing to watch.

Some indie movies are cool and innovative - some are just "indieish" fortunately this falls into the former category. Two young engineers accidentally invent a time machine in their garage. Watch what happens with suspense and humor as they try to deal with the consequences of making decisions using a technology for which they they don't fully understand.

City of God
Holy crap - filmed on location in Rio, and cast with real street kids, City of God weaves a spellbinding story about the blood spilled by street gangs. Epic in every sense of the word. A foreign language requirement is probably why more people haven't seen this.

Dolores Claiborne
Easy to skip over - this Stephen King adaptation about a strained mother daughter relationship as the mother is investigated for murder. A cast of top shelf actors, the story unfolds in an affecting way. A great combination of drama and suspense.

Shadow of the Vampire
We've all seen clips of the creepy black and white movie Nosferatu. The vampire is bald and has bug eyes. This movie is a fictional account of the filming of Nosferatu. Part suspense, part character study, part black comedy, this flick askes what happens when you find the absolute perfect person to play a vampire...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Leaning Tower of Dishes

Sadly; an all too common sight. Of course, using a dish towel is just crazy talk. A single dish generated this mess... pesto cavatappi.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More Sprucing

Maybe its because we have the same dressers we bought at the unfinished furniture store when we were 24. Maybe its because we only had a single piece of art. Maybe its because we don't even have a bed frame... Whatever the reason - our bedroom needed some sprucing.

This is a print of Monet's "La Japonnaise". It has sentimental value; I proposed to Mrs. Jones in front of the original at the MFA. This one is a pretty small reproduction; the original is something like 12 feet tall.

I guess we should get around to a real bed frame and furniture one of these days. Another piece of art or two wouldn't hurt either. For now, this beats the hell out of blank wall.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

sprucing up the dump

Katsushika Hokusai's "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" I'm a little annoyed at how it's cropped, but looks pretty good anyhow.

Perfume: Making folks sick for centuries

Seabass came home from school the other day reeking of perfume. Clearly he had story time with a teacher who passed it one to him (I've checked his credit card statements, and no purchases have been made for perfume).

This is a sensitive subject, so let me make this preamble - I'm not here to make friends; I'm here to record a journal. So if you are into wearing perfume, or cologne, or even a lot of baby powder, you might want to click away. Seriously; this will probably just piss you off - because I have zero good things to say about perfume.

Perfume is artificial B.O.. As the afternoon wore on, Bass man's stink got so bad we had to take off his shirt, and then a scrub down. I am not going to debate that a sizable portion of the populace find perfume in general or specific perfumes attractive - much like pre-modern people found B.O. attractive. For everybody else - it's physically repellent.

There are some square pegs out there putting their hands on their hips in protest "But we don't care about what some people don't like, we out to express ourselves." Fair enough sentiment, and far be it from me to characterize this as a proposed blockade or anything more than a complaint, but consider this. It's one thing to offend people's artistic, intellectual, or moral sensibilities. It's another thing to offend the back part of people's brain - to cause a reflexive, physical disgust.

For those perfume wearers who have discovered this article and are stewing in their own Chanel - I'll put it this way. You know that one person - an aunt, a grandmother, a great-aunt, etc... who used to wear that perfume that made you sick? That made a golf ball sized cyst of discomfort materialize right above the bridge of your nose? Well, there are a bunch of people out there who feel that way about your perfume. Add to that a good portion of society that feels that way about all perfume.

Compounding the issue is that chronic, regular perfume wearers inevitably put increasing amounts of their scent on. It's only natural - after time, as you increase your tolerance to the smell, a larger amount is required for the applicant to register "I know have applied the necessary amount of perfume". Soon, you begin to amass a quality that is overwhelming to an entire sensory category. That's a lot of power for one person to have.

The olfactory organs are highly sensitive and capable of strongly affecting people's entire mood and mental state. Perfume is like taking a baseball bat to those organs. It's disorienting and discomforting - perfume and its wearer are completely indistinguishable to the beholder. If you wear perfume, rest assured; there is a portion of society who finds your smell offensive and overwhelming.

There is a clause to my railing against applied scents. In western culture, there is a scent that is offensive to only the smallest of minorities. That scent is call SOAP.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Yippie...a new printer

Nothing like buying office supplies to procrastinate. I had been
getting by on a photoprinter, and finally decided it was time to make
the leap. It's slow for a laser MFP, but quality is high. It doesn't
have a fax, but I'm opposed to faxing on principal anyway.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Craptastic Religious Films

Seriously - this movie is about your religion, and it's the BEST you could come up with?

How was this horrible creature allowed to see the light of a projector? Pick your poison:

Option A - nitwits with money and absolutely no experience producing films, somehow thought this passed as cutting edge animation. Apparently their only frame of reference is the "Money For Nothing" video by Dire Straights. You know, because they spend all their time preventing sin, advocating abstinence, and other things that render them oblivious and irrelevant to the modern world. I'm sure if I go to the Hell you are warning me about; I'll have to watch the movie you paid to have made for the rest of eternity.

Option B - Opportunistic vultures decided they could rope in well known unwitting voice talent, take all the money that should have been spent on the animation, and piss it away on coke and hookers. And commissioning their own fantasy park, populated with genetically engineered unicorns, cyclopses and pegasae. And buying the 2008 preseidential election - go Pat Robertson!

Sadly, I'm sure it's a bit of both. All these voice actors have done some horrible stuff in their day, but they must have dropped a collective mudshark in their pants when they screened the final cut. I mean, go watch the trailer for the original Toy Story movie - I bet the pre-vis for toy story (released 12 years ago) would be a better experience than this dreck. And this is getting a theatrical release.

The great thing about digital sewage like this is that it will live on forever, generating "idiot tax" based residuals for every nincompoop who mistakes it for Cecil B Demille's version(s) or "Prince of Egypt". It's almost as good as making a shitty christmas movie.

Enough of my ranting. See for yourself how incredibly bad this trailer is.

And just for giggles, here's the trailer to the 1995 release of toy story...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Golf Handicap Update

New Handicap: 18.9
Old Handicap: 19.5

Last handicap issued for 2007
2008 Golf Goal: Get to a 15 Handicap.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bye bye Halloween: Guts

Good lord. After all my searching for scary stuff to read, the scariest comes in the form of an audio book by Chuck Palahniuk (the guy who wrote the novel Fight Club). "Haunted". It's like a twisted take on canterbury tales. A great premise to frame some fantastic short stories.

One of the stories is "Guts", which was also released separately. I have to say, while its not scary precisely, listening to this was the most cringe inducing literary experience I've ever encountered. Apparently, several people fainted upon hearing it during a reading by the author.

I think hearing it read it the best way to be overwhelmingly assaulted, but if you absolutely can not be persuaded to find it on an audiobook site, here's a link to a written version, courtesy of the author's site.

Be warned, it involves masturbation, and some really unsettling mutilation. This was clearly written to push the envelope of shock fiction. It's not for the faint of anything - so if you are in doubt, don't go read it; if you do read it and hate your experience, email Chuck P. and not me.

Dethklok: Life imitates art imitating life

Part of my musical schizophrenia includes a heavy metal fetish. Is it as strong as my interest in roots reggae? Sure. As potent as my submission before the altar of Gangsta rap? Not a chance. I am selective, but the metal I like, I love. Metallica's Master of Puppets, Sepultura's Roots, anything by Faith No More.

Anyhoo - Adult Swim (the evening and late night block of original programming and imports on cartoon network that targets adults who actually enjoy cartoons [i.e. not my wife]) has a show call Metalocalypse. It's a gruesome, bizarre and ultimately hilarious send up of Black Metal. For those of you who don't know and are still reading, Black Metal is taking Dio to extremes - masturbatory guitar solos, rolling drums, and absurdly dark nihilistic lyrics. The band in the show, Dethklok, does for real metal, what Spinal Tap did for lame-ass, post Zeppelin hair metal.

So this fall, unbeknownst to my usually omniscient self, the creative team released a full album: The DethAlbum. Not surprisingly to those who have sampled the show, the album is really good. What did surprise me, is how good the album is. Sure, the lyrics are still a little overly absurd (a little, mind you, black metal is already lyrically absurd), but musically, this shit's toit. Even better - the vocals and all of the instruments, save for the drums, are played by one guy - who wrote all of the songs and produced the album. The guy is a metal savant. Even crazier, Brendan Smalls is the creator of a few shows on Cartoon Network. So music is just a small part of what he does. Way to make me feel like a waste of DNA.

Short story long; Metalocalypse may be a little too much for most people (there's a lot of cartoon blood and guts), but if you have even a passing interest in metal (it really is the 20th's century's interpretation of classical music), should check out The DethAlbum.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween scary thoughts

Thinking about my generation in nursing homes; the first generation of video gamers... How easy will it be to contain us? Shot of morphine, a fresh diaper and a playststion 10.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


ugh... I work in a shared office situation, including a guy there worked with me at my old job. "Skeeter" is what you'd call an extremely acquired taste. He's a belt tugging alpha male who knows everything and allegedly completed his punch card of the 50 coolest jobs in the world (kinda finished on a low note if you ask me). Personality wise; he's the yin to my socratic, pretend-to-know-nothing yang. Think John Candy as Dell Griffith from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, meets Don Knotts as Mr. Ferley from Three's Company, meets Burt Reynolds in that stupid fucking race car movie with Sylvester Stallone that I've never seen more than 5 minutes of but I just know in the bowels of my soul must be stupider than a brain damaged Newfoundland with a crystal meth contact high. Yeah; he's THAT guy.

Role-wise, he's the office manager for his company. So we use a shared T1, which goes down with alarming regularity. Once again, it goes down. Skeeter's job is to barge into my office 10 minutes later and interrupt me to ask me if I was trying to use the internet. Yeah asshole; I saw that connect to server message, but I've been spending last 10 minutes of my life trying to get onto friendster anyway. He proceeds to periodically announce to the hallway that the Internet is down. Of course we're on a need to know basis. I finally ask him if he knows what's wrong and when he thinks we'll be back online. He just stares at me like I asked him if his head was carved out of a solid block of black licorice or vulcanized rubber. No response. I finally leave and try to work from home. The worst part is he's one of those "private schedule" friends. Meaning he has a schedule, one that only he is privvy to, that dictates when he is going to be a nice guy, and when he's gonna be a douche. I'd rather he just be a dick all the time, than have to deal with his stinky bottom tomorrrow when he wants to be all chummy. That's why I have 3 friends - its all I can handle being consistently nice too. That, and those are the only dudes I could find who don't totally hate my guts.

I think I'm gonna talk to Ryan about that open office space he knows about. Another plus, besides the absence of douchebags, is that it can't be more than a mile from my golf course.

Kvetching over; we return you to your regularly scheduled bitching.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Go Jim Thorpe

Jim Thorpe is one of the coolest cats on the Champions tour - nice to see another victory under his belt. His easy going demeanor and unconventional swing make him a treat to watch.

Go Boston

Sox swept, and the Pats bulldozed a preternatural victory over the redskins. A colleague of mine said it best this morning "its a good day to be a new england sports fan" It certainly feels pretty good, and even though we've had some relative dominance the last few years, as far back as I can remember before that, we were pretty soft - you have to go back to the 80's Celtics for some bone crushing rule. So in 8 years, when the sox and pats are tanking again, I can look back on 2007 as one of those great years for boston sports.

Those rockies will get their chance someday - and who knows, if they aren't playing against the sox, I might even root for them.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Testing mobile blogging

Now that ive got the iPhone, I wanted to see if mobile blogging with pigs is really easy. Not terribly hard.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rockies Uniforms

Sure, it's true ever since I got called out in July for wearing a red sox shirt, I've had it in for the rockies. It's hard to have respect for a team that was being rolled out when I was in my freshman year of college.

As fun as it was watching them get fisted by the red sox, it was hard to watch. Mainly because of their uniforms. I know that getting distracted by uniforms is pretty juvenile, but those things are awful. They looked like extras in a low budget sci-fi movie. Even the coolflo batting helmets are pretty lame - seriously, those things look like the bottom of my driver.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Long ago in a talent show far far below my standards for quality...

This may be one of the mightiest moments of WTF seen on the internet...

Can trumpets be tuned?

File this under "V"

for "vomit"

I'm glad that conservatives have people like Anne Coulter on their side - it helps validate my beliefs. It also makes me realize as much as I hate Bill Maher, I hate Anne Coulter times seven.

In the interest in fairness and accuracy, I'll post the link to conservative news source Fox's coverage of Coulter's remarks, made on Donny Deutsch's CNBC program. Here's some highlights...

DEUTSCH: Christian — so we should be Christian? It would be better if we were all Christian?


DEUTSCH: We should all be Christian?

COULTER: Yes. Would you like to come to church with me, Donny?


COULTER: "...Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews."

I have to agree with Deutsch's sentiment that the scariest partt of her diatribe is not her zombified goosestepping allegiance to the most mundane and intolerant aspects of organized religion, nor her total ignorance the the relative sameness of all 3 prophetic religions, but that she sees nothing offensive about her remarks at all. Could it be that she really believes that "we want to see us all as christians". Of course, it doesn't hurt that she she takes a controversial socio-religious dump on the airwaves just as her book is about to drop. She is helping to alert the other vampires in her coven that its time to open their wallets - she's so helpful.

Another nice touch his her enlightened comments about inter racial marriage. "You walk past a mixed-race couple in New York, and it's like they have a chip on their shoulder. They're just waiting for somebody to say something, as if anybody would" What!? Am I on drugs? You might as well assert that they entered wedlock just to see the gasps of horror on the faces of smiling benign white Christians. Yeah - they want to offend you. Project much, Anne? I like shocking people. I should divorce my wife, find me one them black women, have a shotgun wedding, and crank out some mixed race babies - just so I can piss off everybody ("everybody" being white christians). Yeah, that'd be sweet. You know, she seems to be pining for those golden glory days where white people were large and in charge, and never stopped to hear a peep out of anybody else. What was the role of women in those good old days again? Oh that's right, servile baby makers. But I guess she can have her cake and eat it too - its her racist fantasy after all.

Look, I know she's got a schtick and that being a conservative rabble rouser is probably what lets her live at the end of private road in Connecticut all summer, but this is really disturbing. I hate to be the cliched liberal who gets up in arms at the drop of conservative shock pundit's hat - that's why most of what Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh say sound like a jumbled mess of syllables by the time it hits my ears. This puts too fine of a point around what's wrong with this flavor of christian conservatism. It's and embarrassment to our country, to white people, to chill christians who don't want to convert me or dream of world without muslims, who just want to go to church on sunday and pray for a better day. It makes me embarrassed to share any common demographics with her. It literally turns my stomach.

I think I'd like to hear a public endorsements of these statements to be made. By the KKK. Then maybe she'd get a sense that by definition, ignorance is a trait that one is unable to perceive in oneself.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Silly Rabbit, Lovecraft is for Kids

One day closer to halloween - I stumbled across a site selling plush dolls of Cthulhu - you know the hyperbolic representation of extreme evil from the netherworld? Yeah, that Cthulhu. It's the perfect bedtime companion after you read your 4 year old stories of the purest expression of dread from a distance ethereal plane that transcends death itself. Then you give them the creature-deity that is so horrible to behold that men have lost their minds - but in plush form!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Envoy: Chapter One (rough draft)

Chapter One
D'Artagnan was compelled to remember the household cat from his childhood - Chiffon. She was the most prized possession of his mother. Like her doting owner, the Siamese was ornately beautiful with green eyes, emotionally removed, and singly interested in her own pleasure above all else. Chiffon lived a life of extremes, either being pampered and preened over by his mother, or being mercilessly tortured by D’Artagnan, whose favorite manner of menace took the shape of placing the cat into a piece of hand luggage, and violently shaking it until the cat stopped hissing and growling. It would fall out of the bag mewling weakly and limping to whatever part of the castle that she could hide from the boy. With the passing of his parents, the attache, along with everything else, had fallen into his possession.

With the handkerchief placed over his mouth and nose, D’Artagnan felt, not without irony, that he might fall out of the carriage mewling quite weakly himself. The four horses drawing the carriage were being lashed by the coachman without pause, their hooves smashing the rainwater out of wheel ruts and potholes. D’Artagnan and Esmerelle clutched hand loops with white-knuckles, and were trounced about frantically against all six sides of the coach with an absence of rhythm that struck panic in their hearts and nausea in their guts. With great difficulty, D’Artagnan managed to fumble his way to opening the side window, and stuck his head and shoulders out. Looking back at the road behind him he could not see their pursuers, nor hear the musket shots in the distance. That knowledge, combined with the fresh air and the cold mud splashing the back of his head and neck, left him momentarily refreshed. Just at that moment the carriage struck a gaping pit, violently delivering his head into the window frame. A wet rosebud of pain opened across the top of his skull. Angrily, he slapped the outside of the coach.

“Perhaps, monsieur, you would consider slowing our pace! It appears that our pursuers have abandoned the chase!” D’Artagnan yelled up to the driver, who did not look down, but cracked the whips violently instead.
“Eh?!” The driver fired back, obviously irritated by the interruption.

“We aren’t being followed anymore! Slow down, please!” D’Artagnan shouted.

With the same bitter annoyance, the coachman brought the carriage to a skidding stop. This time it was the side of D’Artagnan’s face that met with the window frame. He swore as a welt immediately swelled up across his cheekbone. The horses snorted and clapped their hooves in place, sharing the same indignation as their master. The coachman turned to face the road behind them, firing a quick and dirty glance down and theatrically placing a cupped hand to his ear. For the first time in what seemed like hours, the sound of the heavy rain was noticeable as it pelted the roof of the carriage, the worn brim of coachman’s leather bicorne and the shining coats of the horses. Incredulously, D’Artagnan gaped up at the coachman and back at the road. Moments passed, and just as he was about to protest, a the whistling of ammunition tickled his face, followed moments later by the crack of gunpowder.

“Eh?” The coachman repeated, this time the tone and his glance were both pregnant with the same gleeful self-satisfaction. D’Artagnan moved to slap the side of the carriage, but the coachman required no such prompting. With jerk of the reigns, the crack of the whip and a heroic declaration of profanity, the horses leapt into full stride again. Symmetry was achieved as the back of his head was cleaved by the window frame. D’Artagnan sat back into his seat, bouncing wildly again, as he tended to his newly minted head wounds. “Shit,” he muttered to himself as he examined the kerchief “this will never wash out.” Esmerelle shot him hateful glare - her eyes were two coal smudges on a white sheet - until she turned back to the matter of hanging on for dear life. If he remembered correctly, this flight was thanks to her doing.

The rifle shots continued and D’Artagnan again thought of his mother’s Siamese. If he remembered correctly, Chiffon did not live very long.

The Envoy: Chapter Two (rough draft)

Chapter Two
D’Artagnan thought it wiser to have his audience with the King without cleaning up or dressing his wounds. As he strode into the court, he could tell that his fortunes had shifted slightly, and he felt bold enough to improvise a limp in his left leg. It was not a question of sanity; the regent had long ago lost all semblance of rational thought and personal restraint. The critical question was precisely what kind of insanity would his audience be treated to? The king was wearing his nightgown, playing with a superbly detailed twenty foot long model of a galleon. He was perched atop one of several footstools that provided access to the higher sails and crows nests. The king was in a happy state, and that bode well for D’Artagnan and the potentially displeasing news he had to debrief.

It was clear that this was the work of a master craftsman, likely a boat building architect in the employ of His Majesty’s Royal navy. The mermaid that adorned the bow must have taken weeks alone to carve and paint. The cannons looked as if they might actually be functional, and knowing the king, that was likely a formal request made of the builder. The sails appeared to be woven of authentic cloth, and all of the rigging and nets were similarly authentic. This was a vessel, no doubt seaworthy, that was clearly a labor of love by a true artisan who must have derived great pride from being allowed to share his prodigious gifts with the greatest of all patrons.

D’Artagnan caught the eye of the King, whose face lit up with incandescent happiness. His subject returned the look with the remarkable sincerity that befit a man of his skills and place. Excitedly, the king hobbled down from the ladder, raced to the bow of the ship and snapped the mermaid off from beneath the bowsprit.

“D’Artagnan! You simply must come sailing across the court with me. This mermaid will provide us with fair seas and may also guide us safely past the isle of wretched harpies that are spoken of residing in the far sea.” He pointed over to one of his attendants, how flashed the knowingly sad smile of a dog who knows that his ability to withstand vigorous beatings without protest is the only thing that saves it from being tied in a sack dropped from a bridge.

“Oh dear,” The King announced, sadly recognizing the mermaid in his hand. “It appears this boat is broken. Please have it taken away at once.” Being king means never having to address your requests to anyone in particular. D’Artagnan knelt at the feet of the King, kissed a ring upon a hand which smelled of feces and sugar, and was asked to rise. The King gave him a vigorous hug that betrayed how frail His Royal Majesty’s frame really was. D’Artagnan, familiar with this greeting, knew to return the hug, lovingly but softly so as to not bruise his brittle bones. The King clasped his subject’s biceps and held him at arms length, beaming with pride as he examined him. The head trauma did not appear to register. How better off the country might be if that boat were not so stable upon its footing and came crashing down upon the king. He thought of the king, trapped under the weight of the splintered boat. He imagined that the ruler’s courtesans would make a to-do, but none would actually help him, unless it appeared that he perchance might free himself.

The king continued his charade of sanity, clapping D’Artagnan on the back and leading him towards the thrown. The royal fingertips tugged up his nightgown gingerly, so as not to trip as he mounted the thrown. His left hand reached instinctively for the scepter, which he began to wag, catching the balled end in the palm of his other hand. Here, in the details, D’Artagnan could read the lack of reason; in the hands, the scepter was being aggressively toyed with like a cudgel - even while his eyes still twinkled with favor. Bits of dried blood were faintly visible in the crevices of the scepter. He had seen his liege administer but a few of the fatal beatings that helped lend its encrusted red patina.
“Have We reached an acceptable agreement with king Edmund regarding Our mountain retreat?” The acoustics of the room were designed to amplify sounds that came from the throne. Accentuating the fraudulently debilitated left leg, D’Artagnan lowered himself to one knew before making his reply.
“I think that we should have some success, my lord...” D’Artagnan paused “...I wonder however, if you strategy regarding Esmerelle was fitting for this particular scenario. I of course, would never think to question your well crafted strategy, but I do not think that Edmund took kindly to Esmerelle’s execution of your intended role for her.”
The king’s smile poured out of his face completely, leaving the empty bucket of a perplexed scowl behind. The scepter wagged like the angry tail of a cat. Chiffon again - not a good omen.

“We had no plan for Esmerelle. She was present, merely as your appointed assistant, as always. Of what execution do you speak? We would ask you to choose your words carefully, but we know that it is in your nature, and in the nature of your forked tongue, to do so.” Malice blew through the voice and countenance of the king, silently and undeniably as winter air creeping under a door.

“I beg your pardon, my liege,” D’Artagnan began. He knew the best route with the king was bored detachment rather than obsequiousness. The king found quivering fear delectable, and poorly feigned confidence was like the shell on a crab that needed to be removed, before the soft innards could be gnawed upon. Besides, the king’s envoy knew he was not at fault; his goal was to ensure that this recent diplomatic catastrophe would be Esmerelle’s final contribution to D’Artagnan’s career. He would settle for having her detached from his appointment, but truth be told it took only a modest amount of wine for D’Artagnan to share his dream of Esmerelle’s head being detached from her neck.

“I had only assumed that such a brazen act was one that you must have orchestrated. If that’s not the case, I fear that Esmerelle has thrown my Majesty’s interest into a most precarious position.” He waited for the sign - the king’s knee began to bounce impatiently; D’Artagnan then grinned inwardly outed Esmerelle.

“It pains me to inform you that my attendant slept with with Edmund’s sons.” D’Artagnan locked his eyes with the king; it was another bold move learned from experience. A preemptive and strong stare did several things; it displayed strength of position were a debate to break out, it prevented the king from doing so first, and it allowed him to peer into the king for a reaction. The kings face melted into slightly baffled surprise. “Sons, you say?”

One of the great ironies of sovereign rulers is their need to be supplanted in the right manner. D’Artagnan knew it was in human nature to desired what one could not have; indeed, it was D’Artagnan’s knack to discover that want, and dangle it’s possibility like a carcass in front of a hungry dog. A king and queen’s wants were seemingly easily satisfied. It left rulers feeling empty and frustrated; D’Artagnan knew that this was an oversimplification, and untrue. This highest echelon of nobility thirsted for two things; to become anonymous and to be dominated. The key was to bring satisfaction to these two wants in a way that did not unhinge a cushion of comfort. The king or queen must be able to indulge in escaping the role, without ever feeling that their authority and rule is credibly at risk. It was a dangerous road to navigate, but D’Artagnan charted the map. As he continued, he used the stern tone of a tutor whose student was slow to learn the lesson.
“Yes, your highness, sons. We have confirmation from an attendant who caught her in the act of pleasuring both of the King’s two oldest sons simultaneously.” D’Artagnan behaved as him the King were the last man in the Kingdom to know. The way gossip traveled the streets and taverns, it may well have been true.

“Simultaneously, you say?” The king seemed to be waffling closer to confusion.
“At the same time. It was clear that the boys were both heavily intoxicated. I cannot verify all of the details, but it appeared that the three were fully engaged with one another. Suffice to say, the scandal broke quickly throughout the castle and kingdom. Now the bloodline has been called into question, and each of the respective families of the betrothed have negated their agreements. The king is said to be considering making his third son heir to the kingdom.”

“But the youngest has a clubbed boot, and stricken with brain fevers.” The king forgot himself and gasped with genuine concerned for the fate of his adversary’s throne.

“Yes. That is true.” D’Artagnan slowly, almost imperceptibly, began to lift himself off of his knee.
“But the older boys. The middle boy is only fourteen years of age.” The king’s eyes wandered and lost focus. The gears started turning, his voice had a fuzzy giddiness. There was something good for the king at the end of this line of questioning, he just hadn’t figured it out for himself yet.

“Yes. That is true. We were lucky to escape with our heads attached to our necks, once Edmund learned of what had happened. We were chased to the channel, and his navy even gave chase for some time before turning back. Unfortunately, we are left with a pitched battle to obtain the retreat. I mean that figuratively, of course, your Majesty. I am loathe to bring this up at such a time, but this is not the first time that Esmerelle has sabotaged either your goals or my ability to execute them diplomatically. I strongly urge you to reconsider my request to-”

The king waved his hand at D’Artagnan, absently dismissing him. “No, no, that wont be necessary. I know you are quick to sever your ties from the woman, but I won’t allow it. Not yet. I know that you lack the vision, but trust me when I say that she has a part to play in your story yet. Of course, I will discipline her severely. Most severely.” the King’s fidgeting and absent smile betrayed an engorgement of the royal plumbing.

“You certainly are hot to have her dismissed, D’Artagnan,” the king continued “but what I still have yet to understand is that if you detest her so much, why on god’s green earth did you marry her?”

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I hate it but it puts me in a good mood...

"I've had the time of my life" from Dirty Dancing. It helps that Tatum likes trying very hard to sing the words.

Friday, October 5, 2007

My first golf handicap


Coincidentally, I think that's almost the equivalent of being able to type 19.5 words a minute.

I have one more revision schedule period (beginning of november), before the season ends.

Also, it says I've played 21 rounds this year. I'd say that about 4 of those were full rounds, and 34 9 hole rounds. That's purty good - you can get in a good amount playing 9 after work in the summer.

Wayward conversations when you are whacked out on DayQuil

I'm taking the day off finally. I'm out of it today. As testament to that claim, I just had this exchange with Jade...

Me (zoning out on couch, thinking out loud): You'll find it for me, Magellan. Chillin' like Magellan...

...that doesn't even rhyme.

Jade (putting mail together in the kitchen): Who says "Chillin' like Magellan?"

Me (still zoned out): "I dunno...

(spacey yet decisive)"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I've joined the Sith

I received some late night revisions to a powerpoint deck. I managed to pull into a coffee shop early this morning to execute said changes prior to the 9AM meeting. Let's see where I started to fall towards the dark side...
  • I was in starbucks
  • I was using a macbook pro (17 inch no less)
  • I was drinking a Venti with room.
  • I was wearing shades
  • I had noise canceling headphones on.

After 3 people came up to see my computer, it was then I realized I had become the very thing I swore to destroy

Movie Trailer Awesomeness

I may actually have to go see this in the theatre.

Wait - check that. I may actually have to go all the way to Denver if I want to see this in the theatre.

This is Wrong in So Many Ways

Charges dismissed in sherry enema death.

Yes, that's drinking sherry... She told the newspaper her husband was addicted to enemas and often used alcohol in that manner... a throat ailment that left him unable to drink the sherry.

Maybe when you've burned your throat drinking sherry, it's time to get your ass to a twelve step, not have your wife shoot twelve ounces up your ass.

I just noticed the dateline - Houston. Priceless.

Why do lame white people like me listen to hip hop?

Rather than field this one myself, I'll let these three crunk ladies answer for me.

(yes, that is gwen verdon)

Scott Mountain has a twin

Sorry Scott...

It's Ed Helms, star of NBC's The Office, and former reporter for Comedy Central's The Daily Show. He actually a pretty funny guy - here's the clip I took this from, on why Ed Helms prefers LA to NYC.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Halloween Awesomeness

Let's get crunk at Camp Crystal Lake.

Because Halloween is coming, I want to talk about somebody important to Halloween movies. What? Michael Myers? No. A Mr. Jason Voorhees. That's right, somebody made a Jason Voorhees slideshow tribute. Of course they did; this is the internet. I don't know what this lame song is, but it makes me want to weep, it's such a beautiful specimen of 80s hair rock. At 3:14 credits actually start - that's how you know its a real "Jason Voorhees Tribute". Wow, I forgot how not-cool 80s slasher films were.

What kind of names is Voorhees, anyway? Seriously. Is it Roma or something?

I be cussin'

I swear. A lot. Sure, I tone it down for most folks, but when I get the green light, I'm the cussin'est. I've noticed on the blog that I try to make journal entries the way I would talk, except I don't feel as comfortable peppering the posts with that. I'll occasionally name-drop one of the seven deadly masters, but more often than not I elect to delete the profanity. Personally, I like swearing, and I think its a great form of communication. It doesn't get the respect it deserves. Nothing cuts the gordian knot in two like a well placed f-bomb. I guess that immediacy gets lost in the written form, so you really have to wait for a good opportunity to organically happen.


Nursing a sick head cold. Earaches, sore throat, stuffy nose, aching joint. The works.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bush Vs. Zombies

Let the countdown to halloween continue...


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Nutty post: An alternative to torture

A few of statements of opinion before I venture this idea.

First - I consider torture to be a heinous act, whether committed by individuals alone, or those acting under institutional provisions. It's up there with the death penalty, as something that cannot be attributed clemency or moral excuse, regardless of context.

Second - I acknowledge that torture is probably highly effective in obtaining information, particularly from resistant targets and in time sensitive situations. Torture has probably saved innocent lives at some point.

Third - I find it incredibly naive to think that torture does not happen under our government and military. Likely it is conducted with some para-institutional guidelines that are difficult to document or use to establish accountability.

With that out of the way, I am wondering if there isn't a better interrogation through chemistry. The experiments with hallucinogens in the middle of the 20th century seem quaint, but I think there is probably a good bit of potential use here. Like torture, I'm sure there is some limited amount of drugging going. I'm suggesting using it in a much more organized and sanctioned way.

This post is prompted by viewing an article on vbs,tv about the use of scopolamine in Bogota. In columbia, the naturally growing drug is used to rob and rape victims - stay with me here... The drug affects the areas of the brain that control free will. The subject becomes completely willing and beyond suggestible to controllable by the administer of the drug. Hence all of the nefarious uses by criminals. But here's why I think it would work well for interrogations.

1. It can be controlled. Torture reeks of emotional hotheadedness. How many captors die at the hands of overzealous interrogators. Unlike torture, the correct amount of a drug can be presribed, and it is abstracted away from the interrogation itself.

2. It isn't psychological torture. Unlike true hallucinogens, this drug doesn't create visions, or instill fear. It simply renders the user completely willing to carry out instructions.

3. It leaves the victim without memory of the event. This is true from what little I've read and watched. The only thing better than extracting this information, would be to extract it without the knowledge of the person you interrogated. This would reduce the ability for enemies to respond to know information had been obtained. it would also open the door for subsequent interrogations over time, if needed.

4. It has no real potential for recreational abuse. Although it can be used like a date-rape drug, there is no personal recreational potential. You wouldn't see this drug pop up into the counter culture the way LSD did.

I know this is a weird post and suggestion, and I'm probably missing something as to why this avenue hasn't been pursued more aggressively. However, used in the right way, it seems like a very effective weapon. If we are going to fight a war on terrorist groups, wouldn't this be an effective method to break down the cell structure of terrorist organizations, member by member? It would also eliminate the need to occupy foreign countries, when we could act with precision to extract what we needed using very modest resources. It would eliminate the need for long-term rendition - we could extract, drug, interrogate, determine guilt, and release. It's pretty extreme, and I wouldn't want to see it used by the police, but the alternative we are facing and exacting on our "enemies" seems even more extreme.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blue Penga

Bassman was vomiting from 2:AM on last night. Now Jade and I feel like shit. Tatum didn't get it yet, but she as a viral ear infection. So we are all feeling pretty sweet.

Of course, we are now the owners of "blue penga". He barfed on his penguin, so I washed it with his bedding. This turned all of penga's white parts a very deep blue. Contrary to my dread, Seabass was delighted, and proclaimed it was magic. Jade wisely abstained from disabusing him of the notion that it was his vomit which turned the penguin blue.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

ADIDAKZ: All Day I Dream About Killing Zombies

I'm going to mock this up and try to sell some tee-shirts from one of those custom logo clearing houses. A clear rip from ADIDAS, a similar font treatment will be necessary:

ADIDAKZ - with a picture of a zombie in cross-hairs.

Technical Term: Gut Sweep

Definition: The downward sweeping motion performed to remove crumbs from the torso area of a shirt.

Location: Over a sink, trash can, garage or back porch.

Notes: The gut sweep follows the use of a gut tray. A gut sweep works best with a cotton shirt. Do not perform without shirt as food particles may become smeared on skin or lodged in navel. Do not attempt with a sweater or fleece, as static discharge may occur. This activity is only recommended to be performed without spousal supervision. An accentuation of the gut's natural slope is advised to help minimize the loss of crumbs during transit from couch to the gut sweep location.

Sweet success

I just wrapped up a mailer brochure for my buddy/client with the hangars. They went out yesterday - low and behold, he's already getting calls about the hangar units. It feels good to produce some collateral that gets fast actin tinactin results like that.

Monday, September 24, 2007

holiday reading and suggestions

Halloween is one of those holidays I don't hate. I actually picked up some reading to celebrate the month, which is my favorite of the year. It's not as special in Colorado - Massachusetts is cool, dry, sunny and exploding in the color of foliage. Anyway, here's what I picked up.

Some H.P. Lovecraft - lurker at the threshold. A really messed up homophobe, but the original master of terror. He helped create the concept of horror that was so fantastical, that it would destroy somebody's mind to behold it.

I am Legend by Richard Matheson. Good vampire fiction is some of the best. Bad vampire is, well, Anne Rice. This one I've started first, and so far its amazing. It takes the basic premise of vampires, as a lone predator in a world of prey, and turns it on its head. The book follows. Richard Neville, who is the last man on earth (as far as he and I know this early on) in a world where everyone else has turned into vampires. It's based very much in the practicality of survival. He is the lone prey in a world of predators. The omega man with Charlton Heston is the most famous adaptation. Will Smith is the lead in a remake coming out very soon - which was all the more reason to read this sooner rather than later.

Son of a Witch - the sequel to Wicked. Not really scary, but witches are involved. Wicked, in case you've been under a rock, is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, told from her point of view. There's a lot of social commentary and good storytelling for adults. The sequel is, as the title would indicate, concerned with her orphaned son.

Halloween reading suggestions

Dracula: The original Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is a true classic of any genre. It's a good time capsule of how women were held in society at the time it was written. The narrative is pieced together from letters, diary entries and news clippings, which made it a pretty experimental piece of work as well.

Salem's Lot: If there are Stephen King doubters out there, read Salem's Lot. I will contend that that book is also a classic. most people who don't like King haven't read much or anything by him. If you read Salem's Lot and still hate him, then he's got nothing for you. Salem's Lot and the Shining are probably his two best works in my opinion.

World War Z: This isn't strictly terror, but Max Brook's vision of future where a zombie outbreak reaches a global pandemic is pretty scary in its attention to detail. It is gripping, told as a series of interconnected interviews with survivors. Brooks uses the tale as a metaphor for a global crisis capable of changing the socioeconomic fortunes of countries around the world. It's well written, and takes itself deadly serious.

As an english major, I spent a lot of time reading books that had prestige value or was supposed to imbue me with some quality in its reading. Halloween is a good time to remember that books can be high art - and fun at the same time. Don't take my suggestions, but take my advice - read a fun book in October (yes I know its still September - just got a little trigger happy I guess.)

On a lighter note...

The 6th hole is the hardest on the course - I figured out the shots that work for me. A full swing with my 5 wood will get me over the lateral hazard to the edge of the first landing zone, without spilling into the gulch. A gripped up 3 quarter swing with my hybrid will get the ball over the gulch and on the green. If I am swinging confidently that day, I will probably want to trust a 5 iron on the 2nd shot, as it will probably stop better once it hits the green. If I'm slicing mid irons at all though - stick with the hybrid.

Rhetorical question that butchers iambic pentameter

To play in, or not to play in?

I went to Highland Meadows yesterday to crank out a quick 9 holes. As is usually the case, it was pretty empty of golfers. That, combined with the fact that my first shot off the tee went in the drink, I decided to make this a practice round. I took some extra balls, and started experimenting with landing targets and club selection. That makes me sound like I know what I am doing, which is not the case. It's a good way to really feel familiar with a course. And I'm lucky that it's empty enough that you can do that, and its the type of course that rewards good ball placement throughout a hole, not just the approach shot.

After a few holes, I noticed a guy about my age, playing with his son riding along in the cart who looked like he was in that 7-10 year old range. They were a few holes back. Slowly, they started to catch up. When I got to the 9th tee box, he was getting to the green on 8.

So I cranked a nice long drive (long for me) off the tee (for Erik's benefit - it was the left side - clear of the trouble, but with that blind second shot). I hit my ball, which catches the green-side bunker (of course). Before I take off to my second shot, I look back to see if I should hustle so this guy can tee up. I guess not, because as soon as I turn around, he's hitting his shot. It flies about 10 yards past me, about 3 yards to the right. Anybody still reading this post who doesn't play, can probably guess that that's not cool.

I push my cart over to the left of the path, to let him play through, and I'm not even looking at the guy - I don't want to see him. He pulls up and and apologies.

"Hey man, I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean to--"

I respond, "okay. Just play though." I don't want to look at this guy any more than I have to.

"Okay. But it's. You're not. I feel like..." He has this desperate look in his eye.

"Please just play through."

It took a few more volleys before he played his ball. He thanked me and I called after for him to have a good one. I was pretty annoyed though. I don't like making people wait behind me, and I would have asked him to play through if he had been waiting during the round. but it just wasn't the case. This was the first hole where the guy had to wait at all, and he played into me. Playing in to somebody is lame. It happens once in a while, if you have a blind first shot, but I was in view the whole time. It's every golfer's responsibility to know how far he hit his driver until optimal circumstances. I usually hit the ball between 200 and 240 yards, but last weekend I hit a near 300 yard drive. If you think you could possibly hit a ball on the screws and even get it close to the group in front of you - you just wait.

It's at my own risk that I play, but its also at my discretion how I react to the play of others. If I had hooked my tee shot on the third hole into somebody's living room window (my worst fear) - they have the right to be cool about it, or to get really pissed and berate me. Same with playing in to someone. I was very cordial with this guy, but I was clearly not pleased. He had this edge in his tone and look in his eye, like I was supposed to "be cool" about it - maybe because his son was there. That's what really annoyed me: an expectation that I would be jovial and dismissive about the event. Maybe on another day, I would have.

Don't apologize until you get the type of pardon you are looking for, and don't passively make faces like I'm overreacting. I never raised my voice, never made any aggressive postures or gestures, or used bad language. Trust me, buddy, I'm a Henne - we hold the patent on overreacting. Just submit your apology, leave it to me how to receive that apology, and go hit your goddamned ball.

shower thoughts

The iCar.

When I first heard this reported a few weeks ago there was some snorting. Oh was there ever some self-aware robust snorting. From the saftey of my (analog) car.

Now I'm thinking this may be the killing blow dealt by apple to the consumer electronics industry. When I saw 50 Cent rocking an iPod in a video on MTV back in 2003 (pre youtube!?) I new that the zeitgeist was just getting warm. From the white headphones to the cottage industry of 3rd party peripherals, the industry understood with painful clarity, how self worth is tied to these little things. While they became ubiquitous, they never lost their luster at the rate of, say a Motorola RAZR. In large part due to where gredit must be given - Apple still adopted planned obsolescence, but supplemented that with genuine and highly strategic feature innovations. There's always some new hotness around the corner, that actually does something new or better (than the previous model).

Flash forward to 2007 and the announcment of iCar plans. Obviously there won't be a unique model, but an iCar trim, and more importantly, an iCar badge. Consider the market for fake auto badges (can't afford an M3 - no problem; just take your basement level 330, and slap an M3 badge and ground effects on it). Consider the marketing tactics around real badges. If all people really wanted was quad zone climate control and a reverse gear activated rear window cam, they wouldn't need the XL badge on their SUV. They don't need it, but they want it. Take it from a guy who covets the material - that is there to impress every other educated consumer who either owns the same model, or investigated it for possible purchase at one time.

So an "iCar" badge on your Jetta GLI? What better way to let people know you have a sick sound system (especially when you don't have anything in your playlist bumping 808s) and a totally integrated smart vehicle that must have the same attention to user interface and ergonomics as any other Apple offering.

As a marketeer, I'm less cycnical about marketing, and more of the mind of "lets see where this hideous cultural trainwreck goes... off the rails, down the embankment, off an overpass, into a school, through yucca mountain... still going... still going..." I applaud the decision, and can't wait to see how big this gets, if only to see the backlash. And besides, its pretty crazy to think you could buy shares of apple stock now, and still make some cash off them in 5 years.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The last to know: volume two

This is from way back in 2002, but since halloween is almost here, I thought I'd bust this puppy out

NSFW - Spiderman body painting

The detail around the balls inspires as much awe as it does concern...

Friday, September 21, 2007

DORF on Golf

Well, my good kemosabe Ken is getting hitched today at the JP, before heading with his new bride to Fiji for 2 weeks. Lucky bastard - I wish I could have had a romantic wedding like that - yuk yuk.

Anyhoo - we played the home course last night. He didn't exactly have the jitters, but he shot a "10" on one hole. That means he could have shot a 17 on it. Since it's his big day, I won't air his dirty golf scores.

I bagged a 44, including one double and a brain melting triple. It's always nice to grab extra strokes like that from from knocking balls into blind spots, and then not being able to find them. If Ihad just bogeyed those two, I would have had myself a nice fat 41. Which is what E-money wound up shooting. The tuned up superquad worked fabulously - with the weighting set for low shots, my ball flight was nice and low. The slice seems to be a thing of the past... for the moment.

Screw laser distance readers and GPS for yardage - what I want is those special blue blockers I saw at Dicks. One the box, they made it look like your ball increased in contrast ten thousand percent.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The last to know: volume one

I'm going to start labeling bits like this "the last to know". These are youtube and video clips that have been seen just about everywhere, but I'm posting here in case you are "the last to know."

Here's a delightful little lunatic who is moved to great lengths based on his strong support of Britney Spears. Apparently, our media outlets have their heads so far up their arses that "YouTube Sensation™" Chris Crocker now has a reality show deal in the works. If all you need for a show is to cry under a blanket - I should be a network CEO by now. Or at least getting cameos on Entourage. Come on, we all want to meet the guy from whom Turtles buys his weed; you know I'd be perfect.

Good golfing blog

the sand trap

Covers media, some equipment reviews, and golf talk. Pretty much my dream blog. These are guys who like golf as much a me, bu from their bios, are much better at it.

The Messenger

Reminder for writing project:

The Emperor's messenger must deliver his bidding in foreign lands. Essentially, each trip is like a suicide mission that he must talk himself out of. Blackly comical short stories, sometimes intertwining. I'm thinking something from Roald Dahl. It would be funny to introduce the emperor late in the stories, and make him half insane, or otherwise the most dangerous audience for our protagonist.

Got the idea from the guy who gets kicked down the well in the beginning of 300. I didn't watch much more past that scene yet, but that guy's story seems more interesting than the meat head who did the kicking.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My 3-Wood

I'm trying to embrace the fairway woods. I'm not long off the tee, so my only hope to ever bird, or just stay in contention for pars, is to start making up some of that distance on the fairway. Unfortunately the old cleveland launcher 3-wood I was using was pretty dead at impact.

I found a used demo model TaylorMade 3-wood - I'm a discount scavenger who could care less if the bottom of the club is scuffed before I scuff it on the first swing on the range. The same spring action I feel with the TaylorMade hybrid and Superquad was evidenced here - the ball flies off the face like its trying to get away. The sound is also inspiring - think a sledgehammer pounding in a railroad spike. I'm excited to go out tomorrow evening and give it the business on the course.

The season is starting to wind down - I can see the darkness at the end of the tunnel. I should be able to continue to get 9 holes in once a week for a while, but it'll be cutting it closer and closer. What I need to do is make buddies with the club pro - and try to start getting shooed on before 3 (the limitation of the twilight pass). The other option will be to make nice nice with the range, and focus on practice until weather puts a stop to that. Well, I should have at least a month and a half until I have to start making the tough decisions.

Spreadsheet explosion

I wound up spending the day trying to manually correct some screwy spreadsheet data. I got not skills with the macros, so it was about 6 hours of cutting and pasting. Basically, the data was sitting in the wrong rows, and the addressees (it was a mailing list) was first name last, and the entire name was in one cell. It was that or eat 90 bucks an hour to have the mail handler do it. Call me cheap, frustrated and tired. That type of repetitive activity that requires concentration really saps me, and now I'm exhausted, but can't sleep. The dangerous level of diet coke I've been consuming as of late certainly doesn't help.

I have started thinking that for local businesses, any mailing list I help build, I ought to save to do my own drop to at some point. Since this one is for pilots it should be pretty good - since its an affluent bunch with some disposable income.


Seriously, WTF OJ!? He's an easy target, but come on, you've got to be kidding me.

It's nice to read the Goldman has popped up again like a karmic whack a mole to demand that any of the goods deemed valuable must be turned over as part of the wrongful death settlement.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Golf Time Capsule

2 awesome shots on Saturday at Mariana.

12th hole - two bad the first chip ran of the green, but the second chip nailed the bottom of the pin, and the ball dropped inches from the cup for bogie.

13th hole - this slightly uphill drive was clocked at over 300 yards in the cart's GPS. That's more than 70 yards farther than my average good drive. The drive sounded different and the trajectory was very low. I don't expect that to be repeated. but pretty awesome golf stuff to have happened that day.


Finally figured out my Superquad Driver. There are 4 screws that are used to alter distribution of the weight to affect hight and spin imparted to the ball. I thought it was adjusting the relative weight of each. Ther's not documentation online or anything like that. I FINALLY figured out that two of the screws are weighted, and two are not. By choosing which two of the four cavities hold weighted screws and which don't control it - there's no adjusting the weight or center of gravity of each. I guess my days of fixing bikes drew in some personal bias.

Either way, it feels good to shave 3° of loft of my driver. It doesn't sound like much, but it does keep the ball lower - I tend to sky my drives.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Home Course

This is Highland Meadows, the course where I got the twilight pass. This picture is of the 1st hole green from behind the hole (the tee box is off in the distance, and second hole across the street behind me). That tree is pretty, but its one of maybe 12 on the whole course. It looks a little apocolyptic in the background, but the course itself is beautiful. I don't know how they stay in business - nobody is ever there. It's pretty sweet playing with nobody in front or behind. If I camera up, I'll start taking some more pics. The Q ain't cutting it. There are some crazy canyons you have to land across, and some cool views.

It'll be nice to keep playing this course - being forced to focus on the target, and not the hazard you have to get over, will go a long way towards better playing. The subcounscious can really make you foul a shot out there, but the more you face it, the less it get's too you. And that's something you can bring to any course and any obstacle, be it a bunker, hazard or trees. It's all about the target. Working these visually indimidating hazards is helping that one sink in.

It's ironic, because a golf swing is so complex, you get bogged down in the mechanics. It would be like throwing darts, and spending all of you time focusing on your wrist angle and release, and never really looking at the dart board. Of course, you aren't going to close out 15's when you are looking at your fingers. Sure, you have to look at the ball in golf, but your body can swing out to the target line.

As for this hole, its a par 5 (I like it when courses start with a par 5) with a lot of water, but it is not a super long hole. I haven't birdied yet, but a strong drive can eaily put you in contention for birdie - and for long hitters and guys with solid long iron skills - possibly eagle. It's nice for a shmoe like me to kick things off with a par. The green is shaped almost like a horseshoe, with a lot of slope back towards the water.

Shootout at the OK Corral and Saloon

Snapped this at Mariana Butte (shot a 98 - with two triple bogeys on the last two holes - vomit)

I beg your pardon? So you can't bring your own booze to the golf course - no suprise there.

But wait, what's this at the bottom of the sign? Survivors? They are expecting hostile resistance to course marshall law enforcement? Do they bury the dead, or let them float away in the Big Thomspon river?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Series: Fort Collins is Woefully Bereft of...

... a hot pretzel cart in old town

A chauvinist generalization

I've noticed that I more often than not, find women who drive pick-up trucks to be mildly attractive. However - there is one major exception. If that truck has a sticker referring to how trucks are "toys" that are for "girls" and not "boys", the woman driving the truck is usually someone I find to be extremely unattractive to the point of being repellent. It's nice that I'm so scorching dead sexy that I feel comfortable commenting on other people's appearances, but there it is anyway.

LOL... this picture I found makes me think about the chasm between the idiomatic definition of "bad ass" and a more literal translation. In the latter case, I don't think that I'd like be known for having an ass that's bad or somehow otherwise not fully functioning. "Oh, that Giuseppe... he's a good guy, but he's got one of those asses that is bad." Somewhere along the line excessive cellulite or anal leakage got mixed up with toughness and grit. I suspect John Wayne was involved.