Monday, July 20, 2009

Awesome dream. I'm catering a party for a rich lawyer who lives in a shabby mansion atop Red Mt. I'm there setting the bar up, and I overhear a conversation that convinces me that the guests are all mobsters. But now they're suspicious, and they try to kill me by trussing me up and hurling me off the back porch. I struggle free, manage to take one of their guns, and shoot one of them. All hell breaks loose. Pursued by angry mobsters, I flee, wrecking a house and stealing a car in the process. I make it downtown where I and my friend (who of course is Samuel L Jackson) fortify our catering company offices, hold off the attacking mobsters, and save the day, I'm rarely the hero in my dreams; I'm usually the quarry, it was nice to be on the side of the ass-kickers for a change.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Afghanistan has a "Counternarcotics Ministry"? In other news, foxes to offer lessons in poultry security management.
So now I can post to my lame-ass blog from my iPhone. The world trembles in anticipation.
This is a test post.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In Which I Purchase Modern Technology And Am Duly Impressed

You may have noticed that I just got an iPhone. No? Well, now you have, because I'm blogging about it. After having tweeted, texted, emailed, voice-messaged, and talked about it.

I bought the 3G S to replace my old cellie, which was so old that the camera used iodine-sensitive silvered plates and mercury vapor. And man, is my sexy new iPhone awesome. But the feature that has absolutely sold me on it was the one I least expected: using the thing as an e-book reader.

It never occurred to me that I might like e-books. I mean, I have shelves and shelves of real books. I have stacks of books by the bed, by the couch, in boxes in the garage. I like the physicality of books, the smell and the feel of them. I don't like reading on my computer: I'm constantly fiddling with the text size or shifting about to rest a tense neck. So I had no interest in an e-book reader.

Until I accidentally got one.

The first thing I did when I got my new phone all charged and activated and set up was what every new iPhone buyer does: head to the App Store. Scanning the the free stuff, I see the Kindle for iPhone app. What the hey, right? A few moments later I'm browsing the Kindle store, looking at the freebies. Fusty public domain stuff mostly. A fantasy novel about dragons fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. Pass. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Meh, though I feel vaguely guilty for not being more interested in reading it. Then: Conrad. Wodehouse. Chesterton. Well, well. I never did get around to reading Nostromo, it'd be nice to have some Jeeves stories for amusement while stranded in waiting rooms and such, and I lost my copy of The Man Who Was Thursday....


(That's the sound data makes as it flies around, in case you were wondering.)

Neat. That was quick.

I continue futzing around in the App Store: Sudoku! New York Times crossword puzzles! After evaluating the use of the device as a mobile gaming platform (ie, crashing on the couch and doing sudoku and crossword puzzles all afternoon) I remember the Kindle thingie.

About forty-five minutes later I look up from "Jeeves and the Hard-Boiled Egg". It had taken me less than a minute to configure the thing: white text on a black background; large, easily readable type; landscape mode. It weighs less than a paperback: this is what got me. One-handed reading! Go ahead, snicker, and no, I haven't yet downloaded The Story of O. But It's really COMFORTABLE. I never expected that. Reading in bed without a book-light is a life-changing experience.

But more importantly it addresses an issue I have always struggled with: I scan. I read fast and spottily, and though I grasp essentials I am rarely fully engaged with the text in the way a responsible reader should be. The brevity of each screen of text on the iPhone encourages me to read more closely.

Now, we'll see how well that theory works when I read something a tad more challenging than the tales of the cheerfully hapless Bertie Wooster. I just got Bertrand Russell's The Problems of Philosophy, so that'll be the test case. I hear the Kindle isn't necessarily the best e-book reader for the iPhone. So we'll see where this goes. I'm hesitant to actually PAY for e-books, though. I'd like to see publishers develop a model where the e-book version comes automatically with the paper version. That's a publishing model I could get behind: that way I've got the "back-up" for the shelf and the convenience of the e-text. But it seems like there's a wealth of free stuff out there to read in the Kindle format. And that scratches that Pokemon-like itch, too: it's a thrill to zoop a buncha free classics, knowing that they're there in your pocket all the time. Gotta zoop 'em all...

And I find it pleasing to put the highest-tech device I've ever owned to such a low-tech use.

Here's a brief summary of what I DON'T like about the iPhone: surfing the Internet, that fiddly virtual keyboard, the fact that with 3G enabled you can actually SEE the battery charge indicator dropping in real time. Pretty much the same complaints everyone else has.

On the whole, though, it's a happy-making wonder of a device.

UPDATE: OK, I totally snagged the book about the dragons who fight Napoleon.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Run Out And Buy This Immediately

Be the first kid on your block to own Booker T.'s new record "Potato Hole", featuring Neil Young and backed by the ever-lovin' never-better Drive-By Truckers.

Well, you'd be the SECOND kid to own it if you lived on my block. Because I already own it, and am thus cooler than you could ever hope to be. At least for the next few minutes.

I would remind you that it is best if you were to simply follow my directives blindly and unquestioningly. Go buy this album. It's the soundtrack of your summer, you just don't know it yet.

Monday, March 30, 2009

You Know Who Rocks? Vulture Whale, That's Who

I don't go out of my way to promote local music, because 90% of it sucks.

Vulture Whale does not suck.

Their new record is out on Skybucket Records.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

I guess I bought tickets online and somehow the local concert promoters harvested my email address so now I get the intermittent update on what Big Shows are soon to be in my area. Today's list was a perfect storm of Don't Give A Fuck:

Kenney Chesney
The Allman Brothers
Def Leppard

Wow. If I sat and thought all day long I couldn't have come up with a list of shows that left me more indifferent.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Watch Some Old Punks Tear It The Fuck Up

<a href="">Live Concert Video - Buzzcocks</a>

I'd point out a particularly good song, but the truth is the whole show is great. Pete Shelley now looks like the typical punter down the pub, but that snotty adenoidal screech is still in place, the rhythm section is still amazing, the songs still make me wanna pogo. Oh punk rock. When did you become nostalgia?

Whatever. The Buzzcocks rock.

UPDATE: The site hosting this video closes down on March 13. Watch it now while you still can.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Lieu Of Content: Some Lists!

Because I am deeply lazy and all I've done in recent days is read comic books and allow my girlfriend to prepare me delicious meals, I have nothing of value to blog about. So I'll fake it like the rest of 'em and throw up some completely random and subjective lists of stuff!

Recent Things I Didn't Think I'd Like But Liked Anyway:

Brussel sprouts
There Will Be Blood
David Bowie, Heathen

Recent Things I Knew I Was Gonna Like, But Ended Up Liking Even More Than I Thought I Would:

No Country For Old Men
Iron Man
Agents of Atlas #1
David Byrne & Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Recent Things I Thought I Would Like But Ended Up Not Liking At All:

The Dark Knight
Brunch at Cafe de Paris
Getting prescription sunglasses

Recent Things I Really, Really Liked:

Atomic Robo
We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen
Eating a reuben at The Diplomat Deli
Don Chambers & Goat, Zebulon

Man, this blogging stuff is EASY!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Tried To Like It

... but The Darjeeling Limited has to have been one of the worst films I've ever seen. It was so bad it pissed me off. And I LIKE Wes Anderson movies. Really! I even liked The Life Aquatic.

I could list everything that's wrong with the The Darjeeling Limited, but I won't. You don't have all day. Let's just say that just about every directorial decision Anderson made in that film I took issue with. "Let's have them all stand around looking blank for an hour and a half!" "This film needs a moment of drama! Let's randomly kill off a poor brown child!" "See, they drop THEIR FATHER'S BAGGAGE, get it?"

The worst part is that, as a fan of Wes Anderson movies, I was really looking forward to watching this. Take it from me, folks: this movie sucks! Don't waste your time nor clog your Netflix queue. It comes across as contrived, too clever by half, heartless, soulless, manipulative, and empty. And if that's his POINT? Well, that's even worse, then.

Avoid this film.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How Did I Miss This? Awesome Performance!

Bettye LaVette performing The Who's "Love Reign O'er Me" from the 2008 Kennedy Center Honors.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Further Erosion Of The Fourth Amendment

Remember back when police had to have a reason to hassle folks? Yeah, the good old days of the Fourth Amendment, which protected US citizens from unlawful search and seizure. The "exclusionary rule", under which the fruit of the tainted tree would be thrown out of court -- a way of making sure the cops have all their ducks in a row before breaking down your door.

Those days appear to be gone. Well, going, at least. The US Supreme Court has ruled in Herring vs United States that "evidence obtained from an unlawful arrest based on careless record keeping by the police may be used against a criminal defendant."

Great. That's just what we need: an INCENTIVE for carelessness in law enforcement.

And we can't un-ring this bell. Even with a new administration.

Still, January 20 can't get here soon enough.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

WTF, Christian Right?

OK, this is just kinda creepy.

Man, the God-botherers squick me out sometimes.

Monday, January 05, 2009

I Know This Is Making The Rounds, But...

Click this link for Internet satori.

It's especially good for just leaving open as a background tab and then when you get to that right part in whatever song it is you're grooving to, drop in a little DLR. Awesome.