Thursday, May 23, 2013


Where the fuck is fulsome while all this SCIENCE is happening?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Good Time Tunes

While driving from the Middleofnowhere, Iowa, to the Uppermiddleofnowhere, Wisconsin, I wanted to make good time on the roads without risking my life.  I could have downed 75 ounces of coffee and just floored it, but I get jittery after 60 ounces, while also spacing out on extremely productive, but distracting tangents in my internal monologue.  Instead I limited myself to 56 ounces of coffee over several hours, and rotated through my CDs.   Since I know that you are just sweating in anticipation of seeing this list, here it is:

Silver Jews – American Water (Originally recommended to me by a man who will no longer speak to me, but that is what happens to two men with a woman involved.)

The Duhks – Migration (First heard on NPR All Songs Considered {I think, it was a while ago.} and then seen live at Iota.)

Action Painters – Eponymous Album (Seen live as an opener for Olivia Mancini and the Mates, ’80s-esque rock that sounds genuine.)

Architecture in Helsinki – In Case We Die (I should really get their new album {albums?}.)

Old Crow Medicine Show and Various – My Phone (I made an upbeat playlist on my phone, it starts with Cocaine Habit and Tell It to Me by OCMS, and Cocaine Blues by The Man in Black, and then stays at that pace for a while.)

Various Artists – Carondelet (A mix album from an unknown west coast-based blogger, containing everything from The Zutons to The Wrens, with some Canasta, Architecture in Helsinki, and Of Montreal thrown in for giggles.  The music snob who mixed the album helpfully refused to include proper encoding on the tracks, so that those who wished to purchase the respective albums could only do so by listening to every song everywhere to determine the origins.  That’s hipsters for you.)

A lot of the still active bands with sites beyond Myspace have at least one or two free downloads, and I would recommend that you check out the sites except that I am fairly certain that only I and dontEATnachos will ever see this post.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Friends With Movies

You have to be careful with friends.  There are friends that help you move, there are friends that help you move on, and there are friends that recommend movies to you.  There are movies you recommend to everyone, there are movies you recommend to people you don’t like, and there are movies that you never admit to having watched, even under extreme torture, like being forced to watch that very movie a second time.  In our wondrous new age of being in constant electronic contact with all of our friends all of the time, you must be even more suspect of other people’s tastes.  This suspicion could rightly be spread to all categories of everything except spouses, because she isn’t getting a divorce just because you don’t like him and never admitted your love for her, move on.

SIT. STAY. Think about the turd you left on the carpet.

A few months ago, I saw that a friend I usually trust on such matters had seen and enjoyed Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.  I had read his words on this movie because he had not written any at the time, he had merely clicked a button on a famous social media site and that button-clicking had been delivered to me through some strange algorithmic alchemy.  I remember my exact thought process upon receiving this information.  “Huh, Randall liked Dylan Dog: Dead of Night.  He is generally circumspect in matters of such import, and wouldn’t like a movie without good reason.  Furthermore, he is not such a huge fan of utter shit as I, and would not like something simply because it was godawful atrocious as I would.  That movie must be better than it looked in its half-hearted media campaign.”

The next evening when the Lovely Lady and I went to the local video rental establishment in the parking lot of a drugstore, I voiced my interest in Dylan Dog while we scrolled through the available selections.  My Lovely Lady agreed that Randall could be trusted with movie recommendations, and we rented the movie.  I will be concise in my review: Randall is on a one year Movie-Recommendation ban.  There are no redeeming facets to this movie.  If it had been made in the 80s, it might have a reason for the crappiness of the effects.  If it were written by an Tourettes Syndrome afflicted autistic child, then it might have a reason for the poorly written dialogue and lame plot.  If I had recently been the unfortunate victim of a terrible accident while putting on my glasses and the junction between the halves of my brain had been severed, I might have been able to forgive my friend for liking this movie.  Dylan Dog: Dead of Night sucked.  I don’t need to delve into all the great, and mediocre, successes that exist in the niche of Supernatural Private Detective subgenre.  Anyone who is inclined to read this site can, or should be able, to name five examples off the top of their clawed appendages.

The mere fact that Dylan Dog is a terrible movie is not why Randall received the year long ban.  It was the fact that he recommended it without comment.  I enjoy and own a number of movies that I will only permit certain people to watch, and only under special circumstances.  In ascending order of restriction three of these movies are: Evil Dead (I will never recommend these movies to my parents), C.H.U.D. (I will never recommend this movie to my brother), and, the crown jewel in the Throne of Ultimate Suck, Demon Wind (I will only recommend this movie to the most astute viewer who proves to me their enjoyment of the worst movies of all time).  Recommending movies is very much like finding presents for people.  There are guaranteed presents like Bond movies, or Spies Like Us, but those are easy movies to recommend.  Finding something that the recommendee will enjoy and always remember that you suggested requires a level of empathy and movie knowledge that goes beyond the box office.

I failed pretty spectacularly in giving my brother a copy of Dead Alive one year for Christmas.  He tried to watch it once, about a year after I gave it to him, and he hated it.  He hated it so much that he kept a smoldering coal of a grudge for several years.  I had described a scene or two, and he had reacted favorably.  I had made a classic mistake.  While Dead Alive has its place on many a shelf, the film does not belong on a shelf that almost exclusively holds Arnold Schwarzenegger movies.  I was trying to force a movie on a person who would never enjoy it.  I had forgotten, or perhaps ignored, in my zeal for this movie, that other people have tastes, justified or not, that do not always jive with mine.  Opinions, assholes, etc.

Our glorious new electronic existence has brought us closer to our friends in some respects, while also showing us just how wide the perceived gulf in opinion can be.  There is little context allowed on many social websites, or if there is, it can often be a hassle to include.  There are many reasons Randall may have selected the Like button.  Perhaps he has some app that allows him to build an online library of his owned movies in reality.  Perhaps he was pranking someone into watching that abysmal movie.  Perhaps he suffered a massive brain injury and genuinely liked that stinking turd.  I shall be more cautious in the future.  Considering the source of all recommendations as I already do, I will also be considering the context in which a film is recommended.  A simple one-click recommendation will not be enough without some corroborating words from the proponent.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Books I’ve Read This Year, 2008: Response to fulsome’s Return to Semi-Posting

In 2008, I think I might have read ten books and I am rather ashamed of this. I started the year pretty well, with three books by Jonathan Lethem (Gun, With Occasional Music; Motherless Brooklyn; As She Climbed Across the Table) and then wandered off into the land of a whole lot of crap. I read two books by John Ringo which barely qualified as beach reading (Vorpal Blade; Watch on the Rhine). I read Voyage of the Shadowmoon by Sean McMullen which I had high hopes for after reading a couple of the books from the Greatwinter series several years ago. The year improved vastly with Anathem by Neal Stephenson and ended with Pride and Prejudice.

Sidebar: I don’t know how I feel about admitting that I read that last book, but there it is.

The books by Lethem were great and have been discussed many times by other people smarter than I, so I’ll just recommend them and anything else he’s written to anyone who chooses to read this blog. If you’re reading this, then you’re extremely likely to enjoy his work.

Additional Sidebar: I think I could do with more reading.

John Ringo is pretty much the polar opposite of Lethem. His writing is pedestrian and his editor is lazy. Not only did I notice actual spelling errors and punctuation mistakes, but the author overuses cliches to deadly effect. I noticed this with his other books about the Posleen aliens, but I was kinda hoping that the co-author might have tempered this tendency. Alas. I can’t really recommend Ringo, without a heavy grain of salt and a large sunny beach to sit on while reading. His characters are pretty much all super heroes, both hard core military-types and also holding multiple doctorates. They’re rather like a Doctor Who with a gun, and get a little annoying in that regard. You can’t relate to them at all, but at least he tends to kill off quite a few of them in most of his books. His attempts to drift into hard-science fiction territory often go awry and detract from the action, a bit like Michael Bay trying to host a re-make of Cosmos.

Further Sidebar: I doubt my novel will be any better.

Sean McMullen’s Voyage of the Shadowmoon was a little disappointing as well. The book clearly had a lot of backstory which intrigued me, but, like the show Lost, kept you in the dark about a lot of stuff. At the time of reading, there were no other books yet in the series, nor did my copy mention that it was the start of a new series. Perhaps I will withhold further judgement until I have read more.

Yet Another Sidebar: Still not letting myself get involved in Lost.

Anathem was a lot of fun. I have not read the Baroque Cycle, but I didn’t really like Leibniz or Spinoza anyway. Anathem was far more interesting and maintain’s Stephenson’s cool but human hero trend while incorporating Socratic thought. A lot of Socratic stuff actually, probably more than I noticed, given how bad a student I was. If you liked his other books, you’ll like Anathem. If you want Stephenson to get back to his pre-Baroque form, you’ll like Anathem. If you like protractors and orbital mechanics, you’ll like Anathem. If you’re a dork who wants to save the world through applied mathmatics, you’ll like Anathem.

Superfluous Sidebar: I liked Anathem.

As for Pride and Prejudice, I will admit to reading it. I will even admit to enjoying it. I will admit to nothing else.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I found my blog keys

They had gotten lost in one of those pesky tubes. Sorry about that…

I will try and think of something worthwhile to tell you but I first wanted to reassure Chuckles and dEn that the FBI hasn’t forgotten about their pet issue…
FBI zombies smaller

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Back to the music. San Francisco’s premiere indie rock music festival kicks off. I’m actually hoping to attend three shows there: John Vanderslice, Roky Erickson, and The Ponys.

NoisePop has a plethora of excellent bands. It is March Madness for music. Look at these choices:

02.28.07 Sebadoh vs. John Vanderslice vs. Hella — No holds barred cage match
03.01.07 Roky Erickson vs. French Kicks this one’s probably a blowout
03.02.07 The Donnas vs. The Dandy Warhols vs. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists vs. Autolux — the matchup we’ve been waiting for
03.03.07 The Ponys vs. Brightblack Morning Light vs. Clinic + Earlimart — a round robin extraordinare!

Vote for your own! Ridicule my choices. Tell me why the Sonic Youth documentary will suck.