10.28.2008

CoolIris is Decidedly Cool

It seems that CoolIris has been around for a while, but I just became aware of it a few days ago when they launched their iPhone app. While the iPhone app is fine and dandy, the serious coolness of CoolIris takes place on the desktop. Available as a browser plugin for Safari, and Firefox for Mac and PC as well as IE7 for Windows, CoolIris is at its core just an image browser. However, it is a very rich, slick, versatile and polished image browser that, when paired with a fast ethernet connection, is like Google Earth for Internet data.

When you first start up CoolIris by clicking the little box next to your Search pane in your browser it launches in a channel of content called Discovery in which you can sift through the pre-picked results of what's going on on the Internet as assembled by the people at CoolIris. Meh.

Where CoolIris really gets interesting is when you go to a website that contains many images or even a Google Image search page and click on the CoolIris icon that appears in the lower left-hand corner of any picture on the page, it will load that page's image (and even video) content into the CoolIris browser and let you look through things by scrolling, dragging, zooming or even just hitting play and viewing the whole thing as a slide show.
To take things to the next level, you can also search from within CoolIris for content on sites like YouTube, DeviantArt, Google, Yahoo!, Flickr, and Photobucket. Even cooler is the ability to browse popular online retailers' content as well, such as Amazon, iTunes, KB Toys, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Wal-Mart. I attempted to listen to a few singles from iTunes, but it doesn't look like that is possible at this point. I was able to browse by album art and then click a link to get to the corresponding page in iTunes.

CoolIris definitely needs to be tried and played with to see it's utility and/or novelty. While some users may find it to be a pointless skin getting in the way of the actual data they are looking for, others may find it a breath of fresh air in terms of usability and display-ability of content on the Internet.

Also this is one of the only instances I can remember where I was glad that I had the ability to scroll horizontally on my Apple Mighty Mouse, a veritably useless and notoriously under-utilized feature.

In addition to CoolIris, you may also want to check out Amazon's WindowShop, a similar idea with more utility but seemingly less "cool".

10.26.2008

Another Way To Die

High on my cool meter right now is the music video for the "Another Way to Die" by Jack White and Alicia Keys for the upcoming Quantum of Solace. 

The song has taken some time to grow on me. It seems that every Bond song goes one of two ways in its' first impression.  Either it sounds too commercial and not enough like a Bond song or it sounds "too Bond" and the consummate Bond fan worries that the song won't be catchy enough for radio play.

Too Commercial (on first impression)
Too Bond (on first impression)
Anyway, in the end all of these songs become irrevocably Bond and synonymous with their movie.  "Another Way to Die" struck me as being very similar to Paul McCartney's "Live & Let Die".  I also greatly appreciated that seemingly for the first time, a music video from a song featured in a movie does not contain any footage from the movie (save for the awesome shot of Daniel Craig coming up over the ridge at the end).  

Thank you for not feeling the need to cram a clip-show of movie footage into your music video and actually coming up with something artistic that can stand on its own.

I have to express serious disappointment, however that this music video is not available at the iTunes Music Store.  I'm not really in the habit of buying music videos, but this would have been an easy purchase for me.  Hopefully it will be available when the full Quantum of Solace soundtrack drops in a couple of weeks.

8.27.2008

Lament For My iPod

My iPod died this morning.

Purchased in the summer of 2004 as a replacement for my original 1st gen iPod, this 20 gig trooper served me faithfully for the last 4 years.

Truthfully, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.

Godspeed little doodle. You will be sorely missed.

6.25.2008

6.13.2008

Cedar Rapids Flooding

There's no need to 'Blog Like It's The End of The World' in Cedar Rapids, because I imagine for most residents it's looking a lot like the real thing.

For those of you who don't know me personally, I grew up in Cedar Rapids. The flood has hit the heart of the downtown area and you'll see images of a flooded Mercy Hospital in the following video, I went to school across the street from that hospital just out of frame (I imagine the school was okay since it was situated on much higher ground).

The poor public library is almost completely underwater. This is completely surreal. I was just in the downtown area not even a month ago.

Blog Like It's The End of the World!!!

It's 'Blog Like It's The End of the World' Day where many bloggers will blog from the perspective of being in the middle of a zombie outbreak.

I had a lot of fun with it last year, I am going to sit this year out.

While I am not participating this year, due to my schedule, I thought I would point to the people who were, and point to my contribution from last year (scroll to bottom).

Happy BLITEOTW Day!!

5.14.2008

Go

Last night I went to see Speed Racer and live tweeted the entire film.  If you missed it, here are my thoughts about the movie in a much less digestible, non-bite-sized form.

July 4, 2007 I found myself sitting in a crowded theater eagerly awaiting the event of the summer.  As the lights went low, a spacescape came into focus on the screen and the voice of Optimus Prime (Peter Cullin) boomed, causing goosebumps to form and my eyes to well up.  I later told my brother that it felt like what I imagined hearing one's dead father speak from beyond the grave would be like.  Suddenly, I felt like a wide-eyed 8 year old again and it all came flooding back to me in a rush that was almost too much to take.  It was the effects of nostalgia, bought and paid for by Paramount Pictures, but effective nostalgia nonetheless.
Speed Racer
Fast forward almost a year and I find myself sitting in another theater, this time, practically alone.  The lights dim, the feature begins and that same feeling of being 8 years old again creeps up on me.  The movie this time around was Speed Racer and for all intents and purposes I fully  expected this to be a terrible romp of delciously bad camp.  The type of film that you watch for the ironic novelty of making fun of it.  What some might call 'awesomely bad'.  But here I sat, being transported away, feeling like a kid again and lapping up every second of it.

The funny thing is that when the credits rolled on Transformers, I actually left the theater loathing the movie.  Despite the wonder of seeing Optimus and the Autobots brought to life on the big screen, my high expectations, the hype, and the Michael Bay-isms all got in the way.  It wasn't until later that evening or possibly the next day that I was able to coalesce my thoughts and regard the film favorably.

With Speed Racer on the other hand, after reading some horrible reviews, I went into the theater knowing full well that the movie was probably going to be bad and that maybe I could enjoy it on the same mindless level that I enjoy the Fast & Furious films.  I had no expectations, and actually with so much trash talk about how bad it was I only wanted to see it more.  I've always mostly been one who, when faced with hype, goes in the exact opposite direction of public opinion.  Much to my delight and very similar to how I fell in love with The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, I [heart] Speed Racer.
Original Speed Racer
In the interest of full-disclosure, I have to admit that until last weekend I had never even seen an episode of the original Speed Racer TV show.  I was familiar with the franchise, it's a pop culture icon, but it was simply before my time.  In which case, I had no nostalgic expectations for what this film should or should not be.  To those that keep the original Speed Racer series near and dear to their hearts, I cannot offer any insight or advice.  I have no idea how you will receive this film.
Original Speed Racer
However, that was one of the things that struck me so hard about Speed Racer on the big screen.  Here is a world inhabited by characters that I have no familiarity with, and yet by the end of the first of the four major races in the movie, I was feeling the same wonder and awe I felt at my first Transformers screening.  I was feeling nostalgic for something to which I had never been previously attached.  That is an amazing feat.

The first thing that hit me about this film was that it is not as dumb as I originally expected.  This can be attributed partly to the writing of the Wachowskis but mostly to the editing of Roger Barton and Zach Staenberg.  From the get go, the very first race of the film is actually two races being run simultaneously on the same track at different times with Speed's childhood flashbacks sprinkled throughout.  It sounds ridiculous and confusing, but the transitions are seamless and the scene really works.

I have read reviews that panned Speed Racer for its incoherent storyline and others that have panned it for its lack of story.  I found it t
o be a happy medium.  There was enough story to keep me from calling it vapid, but not so much that it got in the way of the basic draw of the film: the races.

Visually this movie is completely over the top.  The Wachowskis set out to make a live-action animé and that's probably the best way to describe it.  Of course, everyone is willing to admit that the races are breath-taking, but it's not just the races.  The whole movie is a barrage of color, depth and embellishment.  In its initial impression, it reminded me of Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  The scenes between the races are just as eye-popping, and neat touches like 'speed lines', the hallmark of animé, and a free virtual camera make for some very interesting imagery.  
Racer X
I could go on and on about how Speed Racer walks a fine line between cool and campy, stupid and smart, lumbering and spry or how Spritle and Chim Chim are not nearly as annoying as expected, but instead I put together this little checklist as a way to tell if Speed Racer is for you.
  • Do you have any attachment to the original Speed Racer? ___ 
  • Do you like crazy Japanese things or animé or crazy Japanese animé? ___
  • Have you ever been able to enjoy the mindless indulgence of a Fatboy Slim song, or any other Big Beat techno song from the late 90's? ___
  • Have you ever enjoyed an episode of Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward? ___
  • Have you ever played with Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars? ___
  • Have you ever played the video game F-Zero? ___
  • Did you enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Shark Boy and Lava Girl or any of the Spy Kids movies (not that I did, but if you like those, you'll love Speed Racer)? ___
  • Do you love the international pop superstar Rain? ___
  • Can you stomach love this remix? ___ :
If you answered yes to any but the first question, you might enjoy it.

5.13.2008

Twitter Theater

I have agonized over this decision for most of yesterday and today and I have finally made my decision. I'm going to go see Speed Racer.

I know what you're thinking: "Don't do it!" "It's a trap!" "Save your money, fool!" "What are you fuckin' retarded?!"

But the sad fact is that I am a victim. A victim of hype. I NEED to see this movie. I know it will suck, I have no illusions about that. It's going to be a bad, giant, candy-coated, plastic piece of crap. Yet, I feel compelled to see it.
What's more, since I can't get anyone to go with me, I'm going to document the entire experience via Twitter. So stay tuned to my tweets tonight around 6:50pm CT and you will get to observe my descent into madness.

I seriously cannot wait, I am leaving work early for this shit. I am flipping out I am so excited!

5.02.2008

Yes



Say what you will about Barack Obama. I've looked at the policies he's laid out on his website, I've done my research, and I agree with his stances on all of the issues that are important to me.

But what's more, his eloquence is inspiring and I look forward to a time when I no longer have to be embarrassed by the words (or made up words) that my president chooses. Hearing Obama speak makes me feel like maybe we can stop our world from ripping itself apart at the seams, afterall.

This bouncy house track is the kind of thing I love to listen to in the summer time. It almost sounds like Deadmau5 or Chris Lake, but it's by House Music United... a fitting name.

4.30.2008

Nuclear Punching Match

I'm putting this out there because I Googled "Nuclear Punching Match" in quotations and nothing popped up.  Now, hopefully whenever someone searches this in the future it will send them here.

Hi!  Welcome to Super. Mega. Ultra.  Feel free to peruse the old posts or click on some of the links in the "This Just In..." section.
Nuclear

Punching

Match

4.18.2008

Live Action Ghost in the Shell?

Section 9Just in time for Cyberpunk Month comes news that Dreamworks has acquired the rights for, and plans to make, a 3-D live-action Ghost in the Shell movie.

Boiled down to the essentials, GITS (as the kids call it) takes place in a world where humans and computers have finally taken the final step of convergence. Most people are augmented with cybernetic implants but some have completely replaced their organic bodies with prosthetic ones. The show itself revolves around a SWAT Team-esque special unit of police that specializes in cyber-crime.

Starting as a manga (Japanese comic) in the late 80's and adapted into an full-length anime in 1995, the original Ghost in the Shell movie was widely hailed by anime freaks as a masterpiece but largely went overlooked until The Matrix was released in 1999. The movie's visual presentation of data and information along with its' existential dialog was highly influential on later works of cyberpunk, most notably The Matrix.

Since then, a mini-renaissance occurred with a spin-off/alternate storyline TV series in 2002, which spanned 2 seasons and it's own movie, as well as a proper sequel to the original movie, released in 2004.

Dreamworks was actually the distributor for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, but they still haven't released an English dub for it. You have to understand that throughout all of the movies and TV seasons, Ghost in the Shell has had largely the same cast of American voice actors doing the English dubs and they have always been top-quality (a rarity in the industry). So not getting the English dub going on 5 years after release is pretty lame and doesn't set a great precedent for Dreamworks.

As far as making a live-action movie, I'm not going to get all up in arms about it. I'm not sure that this is going to make the greatest of Hollywood fare, but if the visual style and action stays consistent it will at least be entertaining. The area a film like this is likely to fall short in is the plot, which consists of philosophical existentialism that is tantamount to the action of the originals. Polysyllabic dialog and questions of reality might make audiences' eyes glaze over faster than Neo's conversation with The Architect.

Batuo and TogusaJamie Moss, who penned the recently released Street Kings, is set to write the script. I haven't seen Street Kings yet, and he has no other entries on his IMDB page, so it's kind of a crapshoot.

My advice would be to stick with the Puppet Master storyline. It's tried and true and embodies the heart of what GITS is all about. It will be interesting to see if it takes place in Japan or L.A. and whether or not the characters and character names will be changed. If they keep the characters I hope they don't focus too much on Motoko. Striking a narrative balance with the other teammates was a great move on the part of Stand Alone Complex.

Things I dig: The Matrix trilogy constitutes my favorite movies of all time. A sequel is pretty much out of the question, but this might be the next best thing. It will definitely look totally sweet.

Things that suck: Dreamworks is not exactly a seal of quality assurance, this shit could still suck hardcore. The involvement of Avi Arad has me worried (Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four all pretty much sucked but were visually impressive). Untested writer.

Worst case scenario: we'll get something that is visually stunning but intellectually neutered. If they just try to stay true to the vibe that GITS gives off, it will probably be semi-decent.

4.17.2008

Wired Tea Robits

Well, April is officially underway and this year's celebration of all things Cyberpunk is a little more low key than last. I still haven't gotten around to watching The Terminator Trilogy (not to mention the obligatory screening of all things Matrix), but I have delved into a few new things.

First up is Serial Experiments: Lain, an anime series that originally debuted back in 1998. For being 10 years old it has held up remarkably well, both from an animation standpoint and that fact that the show is all about technology and the Interwebs and something 10 years old could easily feel dated by now.

I am still only about 4 or 5 episodes into this series and judging by the trailer below, the shit hasn't even begun to hit the fan yet but here's what I know: Lain is an 8th grader isn't into computers at all, and doesn't go online, like, ever. This all changes when one of her classmates commits suicide but then starts sending out e-mails from beyond the grave. She says that she has given up her body and found God on The Wired (the Internet) and is inviting everyone to join her. Most people play it off as a sick joke, but Lain stays curious and weirder and weirder shit starts happening to her.

So far, the story and the animation style reminds me a lot of some of the Animatrix episodes, most notably Beyond.



Things I dig: the "sparse-ness" of it all (sometimes it seems like you're just looking at static images or a series vignettes). The presentation of The Wired (or lack thereof), and being creeped out but not knowing why.

Things that suck: Lain's traumatized, wide-eyed, whimpering demeanor (I think this is just a plot device, characters have made reference to her being a completely different person on The Wired, but it hasn't been shown yet. She will probably snap out of it eventually but sometimes I just want to reach out and shake her!)


Next we have Tea from An Empty Cup by Pat Cadigan. I just picked this book up for the first time about 10 minutes ago to read the synopsis on the dust jacket so I'd have something to blog about. But from what I've read, it sounds pretty cool and actually kind of similar to Serial Experiments Lain. It also reminded me of Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (which is one of my favorites), in that crimes are carrying over from a virtual world to the real one. This book also looks interesting because I believe that all of the major characters (the hero, the villian and the damsel) are female. Kind of rare of rare for Sci-Fi. Anyway, I am really looking forward to reading this, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Things I dig: it looks like it will be faithful to the genre of cyberpunk. I haven't read it yet and don't know anything about so all the surprises will be there.

Things that suck: it's a book and I can't read.


Lastly we have Robotech, which isn't really all that cyberpunk, but it is Sci-Fi and giant robots or, as Ryan Davis calls them, robits. I have never been into Robotech, I just never really got it. It also didn't help that the "Robotech canon" is seemingly vast and infinite and very daunting to a newcomer. I did a little research and found the DVDs of the original series (Robotech: The Macross Saga) and have been enjoying them a lot. If you're uninitiated, like myself, Robotech is about a big alien spaceship that crash lands on earth. The Earthlings go and check it out and find all kinds of sweet "robit technology" aka Robotech on board (is it pronounced Robo-tech or Robot-ech? For some reason I can't stop with the Robot-ech). So they tinker with it for a while and finally get the ship humming again. Just in time for an invasion by the other alien race that originally shot the thing down.

I've only watched the first 5 episodes, but it's great. It was originally aired in 1985 and holds up incredibly well. I feel much shame that I did not get into this earlier, but from an outsider's perspective it just seemed uber-nerdy... even for me.

There is also a rumor that Tobey Mcguire is going to be making/starring-in a live action movie adaptation, which could be cool so long as they throw an ass-ton of money at it and make it awesome.

Things I dig: ROBITS! Kids cartoons that aren't afraid to talk about death.

Things that suck: the episode The Long Wait, almost killed it for me. There were no robits. Just a stupid, stupid girl.

4.11.2008

Coined: Fake & Shake

"Fake & Shake"

Fake & Shake describes any restaurant, sign or billboard that is decorated in red with black and white checkers or otherwise made to resemble a Steak & Shake restaurant.

Dude #1: "Hey! Pull off at this exit, there's a Steak & Shake!"
Dude #2: "False alarm, man. That's just a Fake & Shake."
Dude #1: "Aw, what the frak!"

4.03.2008

Coined: Plugged & Rugged


Plugged & Rugged (pronounced Plug-ED and Rug-ED)

Used to describe a hot or live connection.

Dude #1: "Is it ready to go?"
Dude #2: "Hell yeah, man! We are plugged and rugged!"

Beware the Deadly Motaba Virus


So, I've been out of action for a couple days now. I got myself sick, and I'm kind of pissed at myself for it.

I'm better now (still not 100%), but still afraid to go outside, which is a shame because the last two days have been gorgeous.

Anyway, just to catch up on some things:

  • for the love of god click the links to watch the trailers for Pineapple Express and Step Brothers (they're just over there, look to the right in the blue box). I laughed so hard I had a grade-A coughing fit.

  • my new computer is awesome.

  • Gametap.com is surprisingly awesome (I'll write more about this in a separate post)

  • I recorded about 55 minutes of me beating on my drums for the video I'm working on. (I don't really want the video to be more than 5 minutes long though, so methinks I have some editing to do).

  • April is here, Cyberpunk Month has begun and I am still watching 80's movies. Time for Sci-Fi dammit!

  • And lastly, I think I'm finally over physical media. You can keep your discs and CDs. Downloads and digital distribution are the wave of the future. (Actually, I prefer to rip my media and then toss the disc to the wayside, but yeah, changing CDs is played)



3.27.2008

Benedict Arnold Was Here

I woke up on Monday and found that my building had been graffito-tagged by someone named Traitor. Which, first, let me say that given the sheer idiocy of this act, I am really impressed that 'traitor' was spelled correctly.

Monday was the day after Easter Sunday so when I came out of my apartment that morning I thought maybe it was like a religious thing. You remember that part in The Ten Commandments when all the dudes put lambs blood on their doors to protect their kids from the evil green misty fingers of doom? But then I was like, hey Moses isn't Jesus. Then I stepped over the upside down writing and realized what it actually said.

"Oh, Boy."

Devoid of any meaning, the whole thing becomes pretty hilarious. Anyway, I have no idea who did it or why. There are only three units in my building and I (the librarian) did not betray anyone recently. I don't think it was my Yoga-training, computer programming upstairs neighbor either. No, my money is on the boys on the 3rd floor. The self-proclaimed Xtreem Renegade Riderz. I'm not making this up (or exaggerating the spelling). This group of 4-6 individuals live on the top floor and own roughtly 14-17 vehicles all of which have Xtreem Renegade Riderz stenciled on the windshields. They are fast and they are furious... apparently.

The funny thing is, when I bump into them in the laundry room or pass them in the hallway they are super nice. All smiles, at least one of them has kids, and they even pitch in around the building, like when my landlord cheaps out and begs his tenants to "help him out" instead of shelling out for a grounds crew.

So maybe someone in the crew lost his pink slip and now is forced to ride the bus. The other dudes were like "Oh yeah, we'll totally pick you up" and then they were busy with their illegal street racing and forgot? I don't know. You're guess is as good as mine.

Anyway, I just felt compelled to share this because it was so crazy. I wanted to post it on Monday but the shit went down at work, and you know what they say: when the shit goes down, you better start runnin'.

3.21.2008

Kinda Wanna Go Skiing

In honor of the lovely 6-8" of snow we are expecting in the Chicagoland area today I thought I would post this gem of a video.

If you ever hear me say "I kinda wanna go skiing" as a euphemism for "I'm over it, already", now you know what the hell I'm talking about, and you can thank Jeff Gerstmann for starting it all in the first place.

3.19.2008

No Point

So, this post doesn't really have a point. I'm just trying not to work and this seems like a halfway productive non-working exercise that I can engage in.

This week I have been completely destroyed by the weather. I am not generally one who's mood/demeanor is dictated by the weather. I love bad weather and good weather about equally. After a long and cold winter, enjoyable as it may have been, I found myself actually looking for to the Spring (something that doesn't happen every year). We finally got a little taste of it last week with sunshine galore and warm temperatures, but this week, someone flipped the switch on the big lightbulb in the sky and we have been wallowing in Doom and Gloom since Monday.

I have been completely deflated by this. It also doesn't help that I haven't been getting enough sleep this week and all I can do is spin my wheels on the projects I'm working on at the office. I feel like Superman after he got shanked with kryptonite. Or maybe Nuclear Man... I guess Nuclear Man is a better example. They both get their powers from the sun though, so whatever. Also, Nuclear Man looks exactly like Dolph Lundgren (in fact, I mistook him for Dolph for a good chunk of my life). I wouldn't mind taking a nap in a tanning booth right now, or maybe just rigging up some kind of UV heat lamp like those ridiculous cameras they make people wear on reality TV.

Blargh, indeed.

In other news, I saw a woman this morning with bright orange hair. She was older and at first glance I thought she was wearing a hat. It just made me wonder, how it can be socially acceptable for an old lady to walk around with neon orange hair (or at the very least, overlooked) while a punker kid with green hair gets demonized. I guess the grandma probably isn't blaring death metal from her mom's minivan, but whatever. Down with the double standards!

Let's see, what else can I talk about? In computer news, I'm pretty happy with my new setup. I've got Mac OS X and Windows XP running on my new computer and Linux on my old desktop. I'm running gOS, which is a really slick and light, Internet dependent flavor of Ubuntu, I believe. I like it a lot, but I can't get my wireless card to work with it.

I'm not going to lie, I don't understand shit about Linux. Loading drivers, installing packages, that kind of crap makes my head spin and I don't want to deal with it. gOS is one of the most user-friendly flavors of Linux too, so if I can't hack that, then I should just give up. I am thinking about moving the thing into the living room where I can plug it into a landline, loading Linux MCE on it and just using it as a media center. But that would require buying an adapter cable though and probably more learning, so I can't just do it on a whim.


Whatever. It seems like computers are all I ever talk about anymore.

Oh yeah, I know; I can mention that April is Cyberpunk month and it's coming up soon! To be clear, this is a distinction that I have completely made up, but it serves a good purpose for me to set aside a month to get caught up on all things cyberpunk. You can read more about it if you follow the link but the short version is, April is my least favorite month, typically, so I am basically just trying to turn a frown upside down.

Last year I finally watched Robocop 2 and 3 and Tron. I'm excited this time around, although I'm not really sure what I'm going to go for. I was thinking about reading some more Richard Morgan from his Altered Carbon series, but my buddy Jeremy warned me off and told me they were pretty pale compared to the first book. Instead, I'm thinking about checking out Tea From An Empty Cup by Ms. Pat Cadigan. I can't remember what movies I am going to look for. I will definitely watch The Terminator trilogy again. Sarah Connor Chronicles started that itch a while ago and it will finally be scratched.

In other movie news, I just watched The Last Starfighter for the first time in my life last night. It's not cyberpunk, but, like Tron it was one of the first movie to use 3D CGI special effects. It wasn't bad. I'm sure if I had seen it in 1984 when it originally came out I would have a much bigger sweet spot for it, but I was decently entertained 24 years later and that's not too shabby.

*Update: So, I'm feeling a lot better, now. The sun has come out, I managed to find some traction on one of my projects at work and it's all thanks to the magic of the Internets! Next up, I'm going to take a damn nap!

3.18.2008

Drum Test

I threw this together as a test for recording drum audio and video simultaneously. It also served as a good intro to learning the newest version of iMovie.

3.14.2008

Triumphant Return

So, about 2 weeks ago, my laptop died. I've had the thing for almost 4 years, but for some random reason it just won't operate without freezing any more. From what I understand it was some crazy logic board problem only occurring in my specific model.

Whatever.

In the meantime, I ordered a new computer (a desktop, for a change) and after many calls to the bank trying to convince them that I was not defrauding myself, I am finally, fully back online.

It's cool though, I am online practically 8 hours straight everyday at work, but so much of what my computer has become now is more than just websites, my music, movies, photos, all that crap is on there.

So, yeah it's good to be back. And no, if you're wondering I didn't lose any of my data. I am awesome at backing shit up. In fact, Juvenile's song "Back That Ass Up" was actually written about me. Originally titled "Back That Cache Up", the record execs didn't think it would synergize backward overflow in the key demo's, so they made him change the lyrics and throw a bunch of hoochies in his video. Whatev.

DataMapRight, so I'm still working out the kinks on the new system. Right now I am shuffling the data around on my increasingly ridiculous array of external hard drives. (To the right is a diagram I had to make to keep myself sane.) I thought I was done about an hour and a half ago but now we are "verifying" that my first hour and a half of transfers wasn't spent in vain. So it's almost 2am and the only light on in the room is the blinding white luminescence of my monitor. I'm kinda going crazy. At one point I swear there were bugs crawling on me. Oh well, tomorrow's Friday, hopefully I can walk around like a zombie at work and no one will notice. Also, I got a new keyboard and it's totally -uckin' with my shi-. I love it, but it will take some getting used to.

3 minutes remaining on that verify. I'm out. Stay tuned to this space, I hope to be updating it more frequently now (barring another crazy-ass Star Trek-esque exploding computer panel).

Oh yeah, I also installed gOS on my old PC (since Windows totally failed me in my time of need), but more on that later.

2.14.2008

Sneaking Suspicion

I had a conversation with my fiancée the other week in which she professed her amazement at the effectiveness of state-sponsored corporal punishment. It was a fairly innocuous, half-serious conversation but it still left me briefly suspecting that I might be marrying a fascist.

Of course, I know that she's not, but hey, let's face it if there was ever one group of librarians that would love nothing more than to ditch the "liberal librarian" moniker and subject the world to their cold, pitiless, uncompromising order, it's the catalogers.

Anyway, the whole thing, including my fear that I would become the inspiration for a new Mike Myers romantic comedy (So I Married a Nazi), made me think of this pretty funny song by Stephen Lynch.

I'm not sure which is my favorite: the line about driving a Panzer or "I said 'how are you', you said 'white power'."


Stephen Lynch - I Think You're a Nazi

2.09.2008

Top 20 of 2007 Part 3

Here is the final installment of the Top 20 of 2007!


7. Numb/Encore - Jay-Z & Linkin Park
6. Sinnerman (Felix Da Housecat's Heavenly House Mix) - Nina Simone
Nonpoint - Miami Vice (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
It's fitting that these two songs should be side by side, because that's how they're featured in one particular scene from Miami Vice.



5. What Ever Happened - The Strokes
The Strokes - Room On Fire - What Ever Happened?
Perhaps it was nostalgia or perhaps it was Shia LeBoeuf's t-shirt in the movie Transformers, but The Strokes came back into my life in a big way. It may have also been because my fiancée had the soundtrack to Marie Antoinette laying around



4. LDN - Lilly Allen
Lily Allen - Alright, Still - LDN
Great summer song and definitely one of the standouts on Alright, Still.



3. Universal Truth - Matrix & Futurbound

It isn't often that a dance track comes along that rocks harder than anything in the rock and roll world. This is a banger; the type of song that just makes you want to put your head through a brick wall and fight a dinosaur.



2. Dig - Incubus
Incubus - Light Grenades - Dig
Incubus has been one of my favorite bands for a while now and Light Grenades quickly became one of my favorite Incubus albums by successfully blending the sounds of their previous works. "Dig" is derivative and not really ground-breaking, but if you like Incubus you can't help but fall for it.



1. Saturate - The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers - We Are the Night - Saturate
I first heard this song in January on the phenomenal House music radio podcast Dance Department and I hunted and hunted for it. Originally titled "Electronic Battle Weapon 8", the track was renamed "Saturate" and released on the album We Are the Night. If you've been paying attention, you will remember that the "Electronic Battle Weapon 8" version of this song was my #13 song on this list. Combined they have a playcount that surely far surpasses anything else I have listened to on my iPod this year.

Well, there you have it. The results of my top 20 songs of 2007. Please remember that the rank of these songs is determined by their play count according to my iTunes music software. So their ranking does indicate how much I actually like them, but rather how many times they were played from start to finish.

Until next January, thanks for reading.

2.05.2008

Top 20 of 2007 Part 2

Continuing from where we left off here are more of my most played songs of 2007.


14. Bleed It Out - Linkin Park
Linkin Park - Minutes to Midnight - Bleed It Out
Not my favorite song on this disc and definitely not one of my favorite albums of 2007. Got a lot of play, regardless.



13. Electronic Battle Weapon 8 - The Chemical Brothers
I first heard this song in January on the phenomenal House music radio podcast Dance Department and I hunted and hunted for it. In the summer, this track was renamed "Saturate" and released on the album We Are the Night.



12. Alfie - Lilly Allen
Lily Allen - Alright, Still - Alfie
I caught Lilly Allen's "Smile" as the radio-edited, iTunes Free Single of the Week back in late '06, but I didn't catch the full-length release until summer '07. "Alfie" is just one of the most ridiculously catchy songs on that record. Long since I've gotten sick of all of the other tracks, I can still listen to "Alfie".



11. Public Service Announcement (Interlude) - Jay-Z
Jay-Z - The Black Album - Public Service Announcement (Interlude)
When Jay-Z's Black Album dropped in 2004, my attention focused completely on DJ Dangermouse's The Grey Album. More than just a synthesis of Jay-Z's latest Hip Hop opus and The Beatles' White Album, The Grey Album was one of the more defining moments of the Internet's relationship with the Music Industry. Recently the original version of Public Service Announcement came to my attention and sounded like a novelty. It's odd when the original sounds like the remix.



10. The Salmon Dance (featuring Fatlip) - The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers - We Are the Night - The Salmon Dance
It's no secret that I am a big Chemical Brothers fan, but "The Salmon Dance" had an even broader appeal than the usual Chem Bros sound thanks MC Fatlip and a hilariously bizarre voxbox named "Sammy" the Salmon. Throw in a rump shakin' hip hop beat and some trippy synths and "The Salmon Dance" sweeps the nation.
One thing that The Chemical Brothers have never explicitly included in their music is comedy. "The Salmon Dance" featuring Fatlip tears down that barrier with a hilarious song that evokes the brand of humor found in Mr. Oizo's music video for his song "Flat Beat". For some reason, "The Salmon Dance" makes me think of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.




9. You Know I'm Good - Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse featuring Ghostface Killah - Back to Black - You Know I'm No Good
8. Just Friends - Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black - Just Friends
I grabbed "You Know I'm Good" as an iTunes Free Single of the Week, meanwhile "Just Friends" was/is the most perfect song I have ever heard to help facilitate coming home from work, loosening the tie, rolling up the sleeves and pouring a nice stiff drink.

See #15-20 -->

1.17.2008

Yep.

Just go here and read. Then watch the video. It's funny. I'm a librarian and the video is funny and relevant to my profession while still being worthy of Internet pop culture. Joy! Whatever.

DoofyCrap.com - You Cannot Eat a Purse

Reading is still for losers.

1.16.2008

Top 20 of 2007 Part 1

This year, we're going to break down the top twenty list into sizable bites. Starting us out this week are numbers twenty through fifteen:


20. Snow (Hey Oh) - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium - Snow (Hey Oh)
I pretty much dropped RHCP after that one album that had "Aeroplane" on it. This song got stuck in my head after last year's Macworld keynote presentation by Steve Jobs. He used "Snow" during his demo of the iPhone and that guitar part from the beginning just got lodged in my brain.



19. After Party - Ozomatli
Ozomatli - Don't Mess With the Dragon - After Party

From my review of Don't Mess With The Dragon:
Not enough can be said for the laidback, simplicity of 'After Party'. This is the type of song that you wish would start playing on your iPod as your walking down the street on a sunny afternoon. It also shows that lead singer Raúl Pacheco can evoke emotion even when he's just singing about finding a good party.




18. High Road (featuring John Legend) - Fort Minor
Fort Minor (Featuring John Legend) - The Rising Tied - High Road (Non-PA Version)
The strength of this song was mostly in the chorus and the beat. Shinoda's lyrics about how nobody likes him because he's in Linkin Park are pretty lame and have to be taken with a grain of salt (which was a problem with the Rising Tied album as a whole). Note: if you're making a song about how much all of your non-fans hate you, you're doing a disservice to your actual fans. In the immortal words of Bill Murray, "Nobody likes a whiner."



17. End of the World - Armor For Sleep
Armor for Sleep - Transformers (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - End of the World

Just got this one at the beginning of December but I must have put it on repeat a few more times than I remember. The first time I listened to it I just really liked the melody. I got crap for liking it, but it's a well constructed song with great production values... so whatever.



16. Explosivo - Tenacious D
Explosivo (Live)

Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny came out on video in 2007 which meant I couldn't resist digging the first Tenacious D album out of my collection. Explosivo is not my favorite but the short length probably explains how it got played so many times. Honorable mention to "Master Exploder" which appears on the movie soundtrack. That's the song that stirred it all back up again.



15. Inversion - Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson - Version - Inversion

I'm kinda proud that my favorite song from the Mark Ronson album wasn't any of the singles. It was this short little minute-and-a-half ditty that reminded me of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown theme and made me want to play piano again. A great song for whistlin'.