Thursday, May 31, 2001

I really don't know what it is about this game that brings on panic attacks everytime we go to play it. Maybe it's because it's too much like work (be here at this time, do this task, talk to this person, and every three days you lose everything you've gained). I can remember a time when games were diversions, not careers. Of course, that was back in the day when we'd return any game that didn't take at least 20 hours to beat.
I don't know if I'd ever let my kids watch it, but the PowerPuff Girls can be mighty funny.
While the jury is still out, I'm going to have to go with... not cool.

I mean, honestly: how cool would Bullitt have been if it had been produced by Ford? Or The Blues Brothers if produced by Dodge? They showed one of these "films," on the Independent Film Channel tonight and I almost barfed with each extreme closeup or gratuitous highlighting of the BMW logo. Big deal: so your brand-new 540i can out-maneuver a '96 Plymouth Neon (and yes, in one of the "films," they actually went up against that choice of multinational gangsters everywhere, the Neon).

So, to sum up: car movies are cool when the filmmakers show genuine appreciation for the cars and manufactures they enjoy by featuring them in their films. Car movies are not cool when manufacturers try to appear cool by featuring their own cars in commercials and pay filmmakers a lot of money to embarass themselves.

Anyway, I'm going to hold my breath until debuts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2001

How badly do I need a cup of coffee? I just brewed a pot of water.

I didn't find this site until well after I ranted about the new Pearl Harbor movie -- and I haven't fully checked it out the website yet -- but if you're curious about just what the reaction has been to the movie, as well as how much advance warning the government had of the actual attack, you should check it out.
How can "F'ed Company," be nominated for a webby in the humor category? It's not funny. It's mean and exploitive. Humor lies in showing people the truth about themselves and the world, largely in exposing their lower natures. When the truth (ie. tech-market layoffs) is hitting you over the head every time you turn on a television or radio or open a newspaper, it's no longer funny to ram it down people's throats -- it's violence. "F'ed Company," is a rumormill and a cashcow, making money hand over fist, exploiting other people's insecurity and misfortune (like a con-man selling a recently-widowed woman a book on how to determine the lifespan of her next husband). If by "humor," however, the nominators of the webbies intended us to understand "bile," I suppose they're right on the mark. I'll never understand how a human being -- or to generalize, mankind as a species -- can turn away from the things which do promise to enlighten and comfort them and give them hope in a life worth living but instead turn to this sort of crap.

But then, I'll never understand why otherwise seemingly intelligent people turned to phrenology, either.

Tuesday, May 29, 2001

Time to wax prophetic.

"We speak for those who can't."
(The irony here, of course, is that one wonders how many members of The Fund For Animals would offer to speak for any one of the over 50-million voiceless human lives legally murdered in this country in the last 20 years. Their website doesn't say).

It brings to mind, though, a story which, according to a recent editoral in the local paper, in the April 29, 2001, Detroit News in which "Bloody" Jenny Granholm, speaking on the subject of her eight-month undercover investigation, the alleged trapping and killing of a family of bears, is reported to have called it "butchery under anyone's definition." (We'll assume for a moment that "butchery," to Granholm doesn't mean the profession of killing and cutting up of animals for meat and clothing -- which does seem to apply here -- but rather the more nefarious meaning, "senseless maiming and killing," which -- also ironically -- has only attained that nefarious association when its been applied in the past to the senseless maiming and killing of human beings). Granholm's belief, then, seems to be that most people's definition of this nefarious sort of "butchery," doesn't apply to the maiming and killing of their own species, but only to that of bears. And that's frightening: an individual with such a belief is an individual capable of doing just about anything to their fellow humans.

You're free to disagree with me (at your own peril, of course ;-). But if you are able to deny that I have a very real and valid point, I'd love to hear from you.
Since I truly do believe there is a spiritual war to be faught between the forces of Good and the forces of evil, shouldn't I be praying quite a bit more?

Monday, May 28, 2001

Have I mentioned just how much I appreciate Roger Ebert?

My prior arrogance justified.(Well, vindicated at least).

Sunday, May 27, 2001

I think it's time to bring back the ancient Greek philosophical schools. Not so much the schools themselves but the sort of pedantic sophistry which must have surrounded them. Instead of people talking about their various touchy-feeling encounters with glowing orbs of light which must've been angels, or their own self-congratulatory sense of spiritual awareness, I think we should make everyone wear togas (though it was the Romans who wore togas, of course, but I suppose we could make a concession to modern misrepresentation of ancient cultures in the interest of modesty) and then have them give speeches in public areas about why their school is better than the other schools. Can you picture it, Isocrates? Cynic vs. Stoic vs. Epicurean vs. Pythagorean. And I'd have front row seats.
Hmmm... Again my mp3s have disappeared. They're back now, but for how long?

Saturday, May 26, 2001

As Joe used to say, "Deyyyyyyyyyyyyyymmmm!" Her assessment of the JV-1000 is a little harsh (The JV-1000 was the first real keyboard I've ever owned -- I still got it!), but she's right about the clunky interface. All in all a very entertaining page for all keyboard players.
Jackie showed me a picture of a faucet in one of our home improvement books. I now realise that mindlessly whacking our bathtub faucet with a mallet really wasn't doing it any good. I bought a "Big Yank," faucet puller then pulled, cleaned, and lubricated the faucet. Hope that fixes it.

Friday, May 25, 2001

Do you want to know what scares me? Alright, then. This scares me.
Ever wonder what would drive a Chinese person to drink Ovaltine (hint: the answer lies in the ancient and mysterious "Ovaltine Power City,")?

No? Then what about those wacky British kids?

Thanks to Britain for showing us how we can give our computer a makeover and beat the pants off that silly Quik Rabbit!!

Thursday, May 24, 2001

I pulled the dust cover off of my keyboard about 6 hours ago, but felt too queasy to turn it on and play it. I pulled up Acid 2.0 instead, and stared at a drum loop for about five minutes before I shut the computer down. Being creative is hard.
And by the way, Elmo loves you!

Wednesday, May 23, 2001

I guess if you're reading this, as well as the earlier posts you might be wondering why I'm so hard on some things. "Dude," you might say to yourself, "this guy is really hard on some things!" Well, I don't know what to say to that. Folks who know me know that I don't usually storm around loudly censoring or condemning things, though, I don't know... maybe I do. Or, at any rate, perhaps that's what I should be doing?

Or maybe I just need a nap.

There's a lot to be said for social decorum and keeping the peace, but at some time -- to paraphrase loudmouth Chef Bobby Flay, the oven mitts have to come off. We tend to view (well, I do at any rate) the protesters and activists of this world as weirdos or people who are somehow not normal, or not playing by the rules of polite society. But I suppose if you want some things changed, the only thing you'll accomplish by merely voting for one candidate who's less inclined to make things worse than the other is well, perhaps not much. Squeaky wheel gets the grease, I suppose.
I wonder that if statements such as this one from the Vatican were actually promulgated and reported in this country, if the world would still be such a hostile place. Of course, it would raise questions about why Ted Turner "donates," billions of dollars to these ineffective losers.

Tuesday, May 22, 2001

I was able to score some photos of the new American remake of Iron Chef they'll be filming later on this year! The temporal mechanics involved probably explains the poor quality of said photos.
Photo 1
Photo 2

Monday, May 21, 2001

I love thunderstorms.
And a little rhubarb goes a long way.
Hahhh!!! Whacking the faucet really did fix it! It just wasn't turned off all the way. Oh, yeah -- and I made $2.14!! Things may just finally be looking up for me!

I already know the new Pearl Harbor movie is going to suck -- I don't need to check out their self-gratificatory website to know that (if I want the free-small-popcorn-with-large-soda-purchase-at-AMC-theaters-only coupon, however, it's another story). It's going to be another sloppy recasting of the mid-20th-century with late-20th-century mores (the chiefmost of which, of course, is that there really aren't any), canonizing FDR until he's indistinguishable from Churchill, and stating once again the awful lie that -- gee, shucks! -- we had no reason to believe an attack was imminent. All it really proves is that some people would do anything to preserve their "legacy." Still, the "intense war sequences," sound like they may be pretty cool. I wonder if Disney will lead off the movie with any of their war propaganda cartoons of that era. Probably not.

("Just don't grip the bar until your knuckles turn white -- it's unlikely you'll be falling off,").

Sunday, May 20, 2001


Now comes the 98% perspiration.

Saturday, May 19, 2001

I'm going to build me a trebuchet.
A trebuchet of justice,
A trebuchet to end all inquity,
A trebuchet to bring about peace.

I'm going to build me some portcullises,
To complement my corner towers.
My corner towers and my portcullises,
Should stand against the trebuchet.

I've finally built my trebuchet,
But I couldn't find any counter-weights.
So next time I'm hiring ingeniatores,
To tear down the wall.
Hmmm. My approach to fixing the leak in the bathtub (that is, whacking it with a mallet) appears to have not completely remedied the situation. The solution here may be a bit more nuanced than I had originally anticipated.

Friday, May 18, 2001

Poor little aphid. But it was indoors and on my leg so... splat.
Okay. I fixed the leak in the bathtub (see May 15, 12:24:23AM, below). I hit it with a mallet.

Thursday, May 17, 2001

Happy Birthday, Monica!!!!
"Herbie,you give my life so many different colours.All new ones.Thanks for being a true inspiration.always with me.Love goes out to all of you who can relate." -jazzHead

Yeah, man. As I sit here listening to "Chameleon," being coloured largely funky, I can relate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2001

There's nothing so bad that it can't get worse. Humor, then, exists in seeing how it all plays itself out.
Before you get completely caught up in thoughts of "how many digital audio tracks can my computer record at once?" or "this synthesizer is only 64-voice polyphonic, so out it goes," or even, "does this processor really sound like it's giving me 24-bits of sterile digital sound?" it's important to remember that digital electronic music was never more impressive or cool-sounding than at its humble origins. Recapture (or capture, as it may be) the thrill of that FM-synthesized bygone era of SID chips and DX7s here -- and do it all on your GameBoy Color. (And, yes, you can synch two of them up together).
Okay, I don't know what happened to make them go away, but my .mp3s are all now back online. Things that make ya go "hmmmmm."

Tuesday, May 15, 2001

I may have to take back a lot of what I've said or thought about contemporary Christian (or Catholic, anyway) music. Some of this isn't bad at all... there's still some skipping around to be done, though, amongst the tracks.

From the same site, Joseph Card. Ratzinger's document on The Third Secret of Fatima, with the scanned original documents. Very cool.
I think our dishwasher is on the same water circuit as our bathtub. Whenever the dishwasher's on, it causes the bathtub to leak just a little bit more. That's just one of our dishwasher's problems. It's also on the same electrical circuit as our refridgerator, so if it's too hot in the kitchen and the refridgerator motor fan or condenser (I don't know which) cuts on just a little too hard, it trips the breaker.

I suppose it's better than the alternative, though, which is washing dishes by hand. Hand-washed dishes never seem to come out quite as clean as they were before they're used for eating. This is of some concern, because if you don't periodically find a dishwasher and wash those dishes, they ultimately just wind up really, really dirty. And then you have to toss them out.

I can't tell you how many dishes I've gone through this way.

Monday, May 14, 2001

I'm less consistently amazed these days by just how widespread awful, depressing music is in our culture. Not so much amazed at why people buy it, but more amazed at just how available and all-permeating its become. We're often told that misery loves company, and while that may be true, if someone is miserable and eating vomit and all you do is feed them more vomit, you really haven't done anything for them (except gotten them more accustomed to eating vomit, and perhaps that's the point). Why not feed them something they can actually enjoy? That's not to say feed them something loaded with sugar: the Blues is something that at the same time uplifts and indentifies with the soul in misery -- not just makes it more miserable. One really has to question the worth of "artists," which feed on and foster such depression.

Cynicism is a very healthy thing, as long as it's directed towards the cynical.

Friday, May 11, 2001

Opening a new book at random:
"You must not say that no revelation would satisfy you unless the gaurantee of miracle accompanied it, and then say in the same breath that you will refuse to accept any story of miracle precisely on the ground that it is miraculous. That is as if you were to invite your opponent to stab you with a pistol."
-Ronald Knox

Thursday, May 10, 2001

Someone left the TV on,
Matchbox cars all over the floor,
Cardboard puzzles with their pieces gone,
Homage cartoons I’ve not seen before.

Someone left the TV on,
Very soon it might rain, I think.
There should be quite a few more people here;
And juice cups soaking in the sink.

Someone left the TV on,
An unseen lighthouse on a muddy reef.
A nation with its children dead,
Buys toys to shade its guiltless grief.
I never cease to be amazed at the web searches which (as it seems to me) randomly bring people to my site. Today, a google search on Rodney Greenblat brought someone to my site. Since my page only appears as the 85th link generated on such a search, does this mean that someone viewed 84 other pages about Rodney Greenblat before they arrived at my site? Or would I like to believe that some special force guided them towards my site in particular? Either way, though, whoever they were, they didn't buy a CD or offer me a record contract.

By the way, I truly recommend Rodney Alan Greenblat's website, Be sure to check out his 'free trade zone,' from time to time. Usually for the price of an old action figure, he's willing to send you cool Parappa The Rapper merchandise and other neat stuff. Always truly inspiring.

Wednesday, May 09, 2001

How cool is this?
"HI uncle Victor.... I`m at School right now. We are listening to your music right now!!"
There is perhaps nothing so sad as seeing a program which once appeared so clever and intricate begin to wallow in irrelevancy and choke on continuously regurgitated self-righteousness towards its heroine. There was a beginning of a story this week, which was encouraging after such a long and pointless ramble through the desert. It's a shame they killed off their only narrator.

Tuesday, May 08, 2001

It is of some comfort to learn that no one suffers their particular affliction alone.
Another thing: I'm not sure I understand what many people mean when they talk about "guilt," these days. When they say that so-and-so is making them feel "guilty," is it possible that what they really mean is that that person is reminding them of a specific obligation they have, either to that person, to themselves, or to whom or whatever else? If that's the case we probably shouldn't chastise people for making us feel "guilty," but rather thank them for the service they've done both ourselves and our society.

Monday, May 07, 2001

There are no coincidences, just unmarked convergences.

It's too late to be profound, I'm going home.

Friday, May 04, 2001

Mowing a small lawn is a pleasure second only to watering a small lawn.

Thursday, May 03, 2001

A brief note about greeting cards:

I find the whole greeting card enterprise a little confusing: very often they already have words written in them, many times in the form of rhymed couplets (which don't scan very well at all). The only place to write in a greeting card is on the inside-cover of the card (though I've noticed that some cards have writing there, too!). But anything you might write there just looks like its competing with the preprinted sentiment, as if the card you selected said almost everything you meant to say, but was inadequate and so now, you, the amateur dares to improve upon it, or perhaps you didn't really read the card until you got it home and now you're trying to compensate for not spending more time in the store trying to select just the right card. Anyway, the whole ordeal is just best left avoided.

Though, I suppose I could buy blank greeting cards. But then I'd really need to come up with something clever to say.