Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Toddler 'doing well' after nearly 3 weeks alone

After spending nearly three weeks alone and surviving on raw pasta, mustard and ketchup, a 2-year-old Jacksonville, Florida, girl was in good spirits Tuesday morning at a hospital, officials told CNN.

This is both amazing (three weeks!!! I wouldn't even last three weeks on my own!) and heartbreaking at the same time. Thank goodness they found the little girl in time!
New Law Passed to Block Concert Suicide

The hard-rock band Hell on Earth had said that a suicide by a terminally ill person would take place during a concert Saturday to raise cover charges and bottle beer prices.

Oh, no wait. The article says they're going to kill a person on stage to raise "awareness of right-to-die issues." My bad. And what does it say about our culture or about MSN, for that matter, that this story appears under "music news" and not under "grotesque scandal of the week"?
MSN.com: Will your job move to India?

To rephrase the question: can you do your job just as well as you're doing it today for less than half of what you're making now?

Monday, September 29, 2003

Barbara Nicolosi reports that Mel may be back in Italy, shooting additional scenes for The Passion. This is probably to satisfy the distributor who undoubtedly requires that all characters in the film which may be remotely identified wtih the Sanhedrin be replaced with socially acceptable malefactors: like brown-shirted Nazis, racist rednecks, or bible-thumping ministers of unspecified denomination who wear Roman collars.

Or maybe all three at once: "Y'all done heared the way he blasphemeth against the ways of the righteous! Crucify Him.. Schnell! Schnell!"
I promised to redeem my blog...

...after my most recent totally off-colour post and here we go: check out Laura-lady's new "Musings on Muses" 'blog. It is all about "Art, Literature, Music, Dance, Poetry, Hymnody, Cookery, and anything else that a Muse might be interested in." So there you go. All you muses (here at et cetera, the Doctor and me, we're still hiring by the way) check it out.

(Okay, okay.. so technically I didn't redeem my 'blog...)
Victor's most offensive altered headline ever.

"Hey, everyone! It's Mattel's Carpet Munch Kids!" I mean.. "Hey, kids! It's My Other Mommy -- by Kenner!" Or... "New! From Hasbro: Strawberry Shortlistofissuesregardingheroverbearingfathercake and her pal Blueberry Gotboredandalittlecuriousincollegemuffin!"

Er, no, that was terrible. They're actually called "Persona Dolls" (wouldn't "Persona Pals" have been a more marketable name?" and this is why they're bad). Anyway, the point of this being that if you think this post is offensive, just keep in mind that while my 'blog is not intended for children, the dolls are.

I'll try to redeem this all, somehow, later on tonight.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Entertainer Donald O'Connor Dies at 78

One of the last of the great ones. He is already missed.

Just in case you wondered what Det. J. J. Bittenbinder was up to lately. Thanks, Britain!
These may only be a collection of .mp3 demos for a Bösendorfer 290 sample library, but there are some pretty nice performances there... for free download. If you can't afford $95,000 (and the reviewer has his priorities straight) for a real Bösendorfer 290, this $200 sampled instrument may do in a pinch. And if you can't afford the $200 sampled piano, maybe your local University's School of Music has a real one you can play.
Just got an email from PrizeBounty.com saying I've won an XBox. Anyone else get this email? Is this a scam? I mean, it probably is, but just wondered if anyone had heard anything definite either way.
Nationwide blackout hits Italy: Officials say power outage originated in France

Of course it did!
I will say this: when it comes down to a choice between a bonafide crisis of faith and meaning or just a looming, creeping sense of anomie, I'll take the crisis everytime. Crises are a lot more fun. Can't really say which is better for you, though, in the long run.

But I also had fun tonight watching "Sexy Beast" (hey! Terry Teachout liked it -- and definitely check out his very interesting 'blog on The Arts) and several episodes of "Mr. Show" on DVD with Britain.
Just thinking....

I finally cave-d in and bought a Nick Cave album: "No More Shall We Part". So far it's pretty good. I'm getting back into the idea that good songs are written and re-written nearly infinate times -- not just programmed with a danceable beat (though I love my funk and R&B) and so it made sense to start studying some fine songwriters. The upshot of all this is that I'm not sure if I understand "songs", in terms of any Platonic ideal... it often seems like a song is just a lot of words to me and it'd just be quicker to read them myself, you know, if I can't dance to it or if it doesn't make me chuckle. Yes, I know.. I've devolved into a Chorybant.

Hopefully by studying good songwriters I'll be able to learn something about what it means to be a good song. Though I think part of it is that I once knew what a good song was, and how powerful it could be to me, and since then I've lost that and I don't want to acknowledge that any song could've had such deep meaning for me... and ironically enough, the whole reason I want to be a songwriter in order to reach people. But I don't want to be all wearing my heart on my sleeve and self-pouring-out like SOME songwriters because I don't think anyone is interested in that. Maybe of I did, though, be honest with myself and speak from my own experience... I could actually create something meaningful. But I'd still want to be able to dance to it.

Do people actually like listening to songs like that? Drenched in sentimentality and rich with meaning? Who has the time or energy to listen to that stuff anymore? I have Jeff Buckley albums I don't even listen to...

Who knows. It's too late.

Friday, September 26, 2003


Okay, now I'm a (quasi-)professional/amateur so of course this doesn't apply to me, but the secret, in terms of resources, for all of you budding songwriters out there, to writing hit tunes can be summed up in four words: Catholic Encylopedia and Rhyming Dictionary.

Okay, so that's five words. But stick with these and they'll never steer you wrong.
Glitch puts Segway back in the shop

Segway is recalling about 6,000 of its high-tech scooters, because a problem with their power could cause riders to fall off, the company said Friday.

And riders could also fall off because, oh, I don't know, Segway has only TWO WHEELS?!?!?

Seriously, I don't care how many gyro-ergonomiters it has: if it has two wheels, branches, rungs, or gutters, I can fall off of it. I'll buy a segway when it has a) four wheels, b) a stereo, c) air-conditioning, d) is enclosed, and e) is manufactured and sold by Ford.
Every so often John Leo agrees with me.
Is it just me or does this news story have the most boring photos (check out the self-conscious captions!) of any news story ever?

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Fr. Bryce has the info on the Confederacy of Dunces Soderbergh movie adaptation. Will Farrell would not a bad Ignatius make and overall it's a solid cast. Wish Luis Guzman was in it, but oh well.
Huge Earthquake Shakes Japan

Er, here.

And just what is up with the Peanuts? I say funk 'em, and their Rainy Thursday Lazy. Still I can't help but feel I'm missing out on a revealing portrait of great funk singers. Hmm. Oh, well.
Some actions are just more affirmative than others.

I have to say the sheer ingeniousness of the Affirmative Action bakesale has always cracked me up.
Heroes and Patriots.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Cindy Smart: The First Doll to See and Talk

And hunt you down and KILL YOU!!!!!!

Buy it now at OverStock.com (a great place for furniture, we found out) for only $54.99. You save $240.00!!!!!

And while you're at the ToyQuest site, don't forget to check out their other disturbing toys, like Snubbies! (the only toy too good to play with your kid!) or Stretch Screamers (no, they're not a line of James Brown-endorsed hot-pants) -- Madison Avenue's current take on the ever-popular pull-the-arms-of-the-monster until eye-pus-comes-out-of-its-skull toy (with "cool electronic screaming sounds!!!").

And some folks won't let their kids play with guns. Toy guns, I mean.
Joe Sobran: "I'm gay. It's just my nature."

"These are hard times for gay men. I speak with the authority of personal experience. You see, I am gay. It’s just my nature. I’ve been this way as long as I remember."

Oh. My. Goodness. I can't say, for those of us who have been reading Joe Sobran for any length of time, that this will come as any sort of shock. Thank you, Michael S. Rose, for allowing him to come out of the closet on your new website.
And this is why I love slickdeals.net.

A 120GB Western Digital hard-drive, universal remote, and can of compressed air (that was my own addition) for $60 -- including free, overnight shipping. As the ebullient Mr. Smirnoff once said, what a country!

Monday, September 22, 2003

All it would take is a lawsuit from some spiteful nut at the ACLU, a ruling from California's 9th Circuit Court, and then let the audits begin.
I didn't watch the Emmy's (tm) but they seem to have again this year existed only to annoy me. EXCEPT -- I was very happy to see Tony Shaloub win the comedy Emmy (tm) for Monk. And I was happy to see that Christina Applegate won an Emmy(tm), too, even if I haven't watched a single spisode of Fiends.
"What's disturbing is these young couples, they are relying upon what they think is good, solid info, and relying on what they think is a supportive network telling them everything is OK," he said. "I would have said, 'You know what, they don't know everything. Let's get more information."' -- Monty Patterson, father and grandfather of now-deceased RU-486 victims

Errr... I think what's really disturbing here is that the most a father could have offered in advice (even when he considers after the fact the situation which killed his child and grandchild) to his daughter, who was considering such a life-altering decision (and consider her life altered, I guess), would have been "Let's get more information" -- as if "these young couples" were shopping around for refrigerators.

One gets the impression that so many of these tragedies should really be taken to be the personal tragedies of wishy-washy dads and the culture which made that the only socially-acceptable way to parent. The lesson for fathers here, of course, is that even as unauthoritative (which isn't necessarily to say weak) as Mr. Patterson comes across in this article, his daugher still didn't come to him for advice.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Updated: a new louder mix of "gothictootsiePOP" which includes an image-file embedded into the .mp3 tag.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

New Song -- "gothictootsiePOP"

About 4pm today I had an idea for a new song and here it is: an instant classic (at least I think so):

Victor Lams - "gothictootsiePOP" .mp3; 2.5MB

Streaming versions can be heard on my ACIDPlanet page.

So, about this song... All assembled and mixed and mastered in FLStudio. The harpsicords are from FLStudio's "FLKeys" module (and when I do another mix of this, probably tomorrow, I'll bring their levels up a bit). See if you can pick out the backwards tabla loop and the robot chatter! Ethereal pads are provided by BigTick's Angelina. That's about it in terms of liner notes on this one. It's about a human tootsie-roll pop (being one of which, I think, is every goth's dream) in case you couldn't tell.
I just put together a new song (over the last three hours or so) -- with vocals! Stay tuned because I'll be posting it in mere minutes.

Of course, it's already up on my ACIDPlanet page.
"We steal it because it's crap, not because it's free."

I mean, if Honda could just turn out a decent car, we wouldn't have to steal them! But who's going to pay $20,000 for an Accord when we only want to drive it around for a few months and play with the moonroof?

As Frank Zappa noted, satirising youth culture: "Free is when you don't have to pay for nothing or do nothing, We want to be free, Free as the wind."
Thanks, Mark. This is the most hilarious website I've ever read. I can only imagine what they would have to say about Steve Taylor, were they cultured enough to have ever heard of him.

Friday, September 19, 2003

More good news for Angel fans.

More good news for THIS Angel fan: having made it through Season 1 on DVD, we just got Season 2 in the mail today. Woohoo!

Oh... and Frakes are Go!!!
BT "Michael Moore"-s Michael Moore.
Sail ho!

Arrghhhh, me liver-wristed bilge monkeys! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, again! Here be the Pirate Glossary to get ye all started on the path to the rope's end!

Hmmm... As I recall, Talk Like a Pirate day was a lot more fun last year. You can check my archives for yourself and let me know. Anyway, after my nap, I'll do some more Rachel Corrie 'blogging, so stick around. You won't want to miss it.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Angle-Grinder Man is my new Hero of the Week!

(He unseats the guy who mailed himself in a box, just in case you're wondering).

Angle-Grinder Man!

"Always remember: Those ****s WORK FOR US!!"
I need your help!

I'm looking for a song I heard this morning on the radio. The song is Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Waters of March" but I'm not sure who recorded the particular version I heard on the radio. It was probably recorded in the 1970s, given the instrumentation and sound quality, and featured sparse instrumentation, with a Fender Rhodes up front in the mix. The female vocalist (who sang the English lyric, not the Portugese) was double tracked. It was a really cool version of the song.

So far I've ruled out Cassandra Wilson (obviously: I'd know right away if it were her), Jane Monheit, Mark Murphy, Art Garfunkel, David Byrne (whatever happened to those Red Hot +Liberal Guilt albums of the mid-1990s?). If it was Susannah McCorkel, which it may very well have been, then it wasn't the version on her Best Of album that came out in 2001 (because that one is in Portugese). It's not Paula West, either. It's not the Al Jarreau/Oleta Adams version on "A Twist of Jobim".

And I don't think it was the version recorded by Japanese Hip Pop Bop sensation Akiko (with special guest Swing Out Sister -- click on the first grey "Real" button on the page if you don't believe me.. or the second button if you want the video... there's also a ringtone available, if I read the icons correctly).

It might be Lani Hall. Or, again, it could be an earlier version by Susannah McCorkel. Regardless, as a result of all this searching, I'm going to check out more Susannah McCorkel now... anyone who can make Dave Frishberg's "My Attorney, Bernie" (all too brief audio sample here) sound almost sensuous has got a lot going for them.

Can any of you music lovers out there help me???? I'm going crazy until I find out who recorded that version. And maybe do my own version of that song someday. I dig Jobim (but who doesn't?).
How can so much snot come out of such a tiny nose?

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Boy, did this site ever make me nostalgic for my childhood.
Let's see a show of hands: who here actually strictly adheres to the dosing guidelines for Vick's NyQuil?

Okay. Another show of hands: who here has been having some really weird dreams lately?
The fight to save Teri wages on. A very nice and brief article about the legal issues involved.

So my posts have been so laconic today. I'm trying to fight off 'Xander's cold (the joke is that, since he doesn't go to daycare, everytime he goes to the Church nursery on Sunday, he'll have a new cold by Tuesday and that was the case this week). I can't say which is more sad: a nine-month-old with a cold or a 20-month-old with a cold. A 20-month-old realizes he feels sick and instead of just lying around all day being pitiful, tries to act out against the illness... mostly by glowering, in 'Xander's case.

I guess the point is everyone is somebody's son or daughter and if my child's spouse were trying to starve my child to death so they could marry someone else they've been shacking up with, I'd be pretty upset. And I can't say I'd be as patient about it, or have as much faith in the legal system, as Terri's family... but you never know. I guess it depends on how old you are and how much time you think you have left on this planet but at some point you'd probably start to weigh the cost of spending the rest of your life in prison against a premature end to your child's life.

The purely academic point being that when push comes to shove, there's more than one way to get the State of Florida to appoint a new guardian for your child.
After ejecting the luggage from the plane, it was turtles all the way down.
O', Boy! A new(ish) 'Blog!

Check it out!

Check it out because why should Matt Drudge have all the fun?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Well, inspired or not, I have a new idea for a song. I'm working on the instrumental track this week and may record the vocals this weekend, if I haven't caught What's Going Around, by then.

Monday, September 15, 2003

East West/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Library

Listen to some of the mp3 demos and you begin to appreciate just how scary-realistic some of these orchestral sample libraries are getting (especially in the hands of talented composers/programmers). Now... does anyone have $3,000 I can borrow?
Something skittered above them. A high-pitched sound followed. "Abbadon!" a locust proclaimed.

Excerpt from "A Dangerous Plan, Left Behind: The Kids #20". And yes. That's a complete paragraph, taken from the book. For extra fun, skim through that excerpt and see how often the phrase "Don't let it hurt my baby!" appears.

Go on, read the other excerpts from the other Left Behind: The Kids books on the website, I dare you. These things are freakin' hilarious. Seriously, this is kids' prose at its finest. So blunt and on the nose, professing the sort of unnuanced writing rife with hilarious and unintended double entendres and clumsy turnings of phrase that only a second-grader could possibly summon forth. It's all so stoically written. Here's one of the longer paragraphs from #30, "The Beast Arises":

Huge cracks split the street, and many cars had fallen inside. Someone screamed, and Lionel and Sam walked into an apartment building. A woman pounded on an elevator, yelling for her husband. "He went for our camera, and I heard a crash!" The woman broke down, and Sam tried to comfort her.

Isn't that cute? In just a few sentences you not only have the two heroes walking into buildings (ouch!) but you have a woman breaking down (just like the elevator: how ironic!). And then there's the ponderous pairing of the inconsequential "Someone screamed" (this after a huge earthquake -- duh!) and the presumably nonchalant manner with which our heroes walk into (ouch!) the seemingly random building (they didn't "duck" or "dash" into the building mind you... and what are they doing there in the first place? A few sentences later we're told "Lionel and Sam went outside as the woman screamed for her husband." More screaming. Maybe our Name-O-Matically-named duo -- "Lionel" and "Sam" -- went into the building because they heard screaming in there. I don't know. In a way it's kind of cute how pointless the whole thing is. And this goes on for thirty books -- at least!). Child authors: you gotta love them -- love them and the parents who take their precious darling's scribblings and then get them published by the likes of Tim LaHeye and Jerry B. Jenkins (a pseudonym if ever there was one).

Oh wait.. you mean these "Left Behind: The Kids" books weren't actually written by kids -- non-English-speaking kids in Malaysian sweatshops? Hmm. In that case, they're just sad. All you pre-millenial whoozits: buy your kids Harry Potter. They will be better off for it and may not hate you when they grow up.

Seriously.. the whole series sounds like a very dull Rick Moranis and Macullay Culkin vehicle... "Honey, I Left Behind: The Kids, Home Alone!" For Kids! I guess the books aren't totally worthless, though: lonely people could buy all thirty books and make up their own funny drinking game.
IGN.com: "You're going to want to love this game. But you won't."

I had such high hopes for the game which seemed to blend the moves of Space Channel 5 with classic arcade shooter action.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Why beat a dead horse?
Now that YACCS is back up, I'm disabling the BlogBack comments. FYI.
Arggghh... and on top of everything else, I haven't had a good idea for a song in months. I'm dying to create something, but my well has finally run dry, I think. I mean, I have plenty of ideas, which could be devleoped, I just don't feel passionate enough about them to invest all that energy into following up on them. And I have a feeling that all the new software in the world isn't going to do it this time. I need a muse and would pay good money for one right about now.

I wonder if this ever happens to The Wiggles?
UK Gaurdian: New hi-tech scans show babies smiling and crying before birth

Fr. Bryce has a picture. There's really no need to comment on this. If anyone had any lingering shadows of doubt that abortion was infanticide, this should displey those doubts. At least until the Supreme Court decides we have a personal right to infanticide. Which, I guess, in effect they've already decided. Sighhhhh.....
TeeVee.org's "Television's Most Annoying Fans"

Apparently, whenever Joss Whedon puts his name on a show, that ensures that the craziest, most obsessive fans will sign on. When Buffy went off the air, people leapt from their roofs, clutching pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar and cursing Marti Noxon's name.
We do think it's odd that of the three Joss Whedon shows that were on last year, so many people are big fans of Angel. On the other hand, it's the only one that survived to the 2003 season, so perhaps they know something we don't.

Link via Britain.

Oh, and on the subject of Angel, it sounds like fans are in for a treat this season:

"It's not going to be so heavy as it was in the past," Boreanaz said. "The arcs are going to be shorter. There are going to be more stand-alone shows."

That is what has struck us most about whatching the first season on DVD: how complete each of the episodes were, and how each could stand completely on its own merit: which you can't really say for the episodes in seasons two through four. That they're returning more to the episodic nature of the show's first season is cause to rejoice, as far as I'm concerned.

And I love SciFi Wire. I just didn't think that this was considered news.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

There are times I wish I had a record player (that worked).

Fortunately the entire 12" is on the page as RealMedia files (including the extended remix of the pinball number count song). It seems like the links to tracks 1 and 3 are switched, though. I had no idea that was the Pointer Sisters all these years.
If I had stayed in Philosophy and gone on to graduate school instead of becoming a layabout after college, I may have continued to develop this area of thought, though more in terms of embodiment/existence as a necessary condition of musical meaning, as opposed to common abstract "signs" in music.

In the end, though, isn't it all just sound and fury signifying monkey?
Why is it that so far only the British people have caught the typos in my liner notes?
Kalashnikov AK-MP3 Jukebox

AK-MP3 player built into the body of the ammunition magazine of Kalashnikov automatic rifle.
Player could be used on its own or it could be attached to the Kalashnikov machinegun instead of the ordinary magazine.
Stainless steel body makes this new player uniquely suitable for outdoors.

"Hopefully, from now on many Militants and Terrorists will use their AK47s to listen to music and audio books…They need to chill out and take it easy."

Friday, September 12, 2003

Rachel Corrie Memorial Website

Since the men and regime who murdered this courageous American college student will never be brought to justice -- in this world anyway -- the least you can do is visit Rachel's memorial website.
They Might Be Giants were on Studio 360 earlier this summer, talking about the beach.

Make sure you check out that page for some web-exclusive tracks.
In terms of cultural barometers, if this woman is allowed to starve to death it may indicate that it's finally time, with apologies to Claire Wolfe, in America's awkward stage to start shooting the bastards.

For those who are interested, Claire does indeed have a blog!
Abortion and Rap Music

Link via Fr. Bryce.
And it's not a good day to be an entertainer named John or Johnny. Will Jonathan Winters be next?

There comes a point in every job when you realize, so to speak, that you've done just about all you can for the people and it's time to go home and call it a day.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Not much going on today. Sorry the 'blogging has been so sparse. If you're looking for something fun, do check out They Might Be Giant's "Clock Radio" at TMBG.com. You can hear all sorts of rare cuts, including the theme song for the new TLC show "Resident Life" (not to be confused with Capcom's "Resident Evil" series, apparently), called "Am I Awake". It fits my current work situation perfectly ;).

Also check out their live version of "Damn Good Times" at TheyMightBeGiants.com (click on the tiny "brand new mp3s" link in the upper-right corner of the page and then scroll down three or four entries).

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

He's my new hero.
It may take you a few minutes to get through Greg Popcak's reflections on Monday's meeting with the Bishops, but do read it. Fine stuff. I'll have more to say on it tomorrow, probably, after I go through it in a bit more detail.

Question: what ever happened to Emily Stimpson? She's not listed as a contributor at HMS anymore...
Free DVD!!!!

Okay, so it's about 9-11. And it's put out by the Department of Labor. But still -- Free DVD!

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

And for any of you who want to try flexing your own mad beat-poet/hip-hop skillz, feel free to use this skeleton of a track I whipped up a few months back (and just rediscovered today) as a starting point.
Quick like bunnies!!! Get over to Don's music page and download "Horribly Good". You'll want to keep this one on your hard-drive. And play it for your kids to keep them from getting too good. The music is amazing and I am in awe.
If you have a great idea for a song and if you have fifty dollars maybe YOU can hire The Original Brothers and Sisters of Love.

Seriously think about helping these guys bring out their new album. They're excellent singers and songwriters and you'll probably never have another opportunity to have such talented folks write a song JUST FOR YOU.

You folks in Europe pay special attention: fifty American dollars is, like, what now? 15 pounds? 42 Euros? That's about the cost of a litre of petrol!

And guys: if you have an anniversary coming up, consider this well: Greg, the guy doing this, has an excellent singing voice and plays guitar exceedingly well.
"Hey, Mom and Dad! If you can't afford a Koala Play System for your kid, you're not a good parent!"

That'd be how I'd try and sell these things, anway. They're pretty darned cool. Almost as cool as Delta Play's Shuttle Launch Pad (capacity: 160-165 children, which is even more than their Amistad -- er, I mean Cruise Ship -- inspired playset).

Monday, September 08, 2003

JamesP Reviews "Robot Love"!

This is indeed a proud day for all of us here at etcHQ. Read James' review and ogle at the REAL PHOTO of the album cover. As far as I know, that's a first on the web: an actual live photo of an album cover being read (and it's the only photo of the "Robot Love" packaging online, too... most people don't know it comes in a really cool digipak-esque case with foldout -- there's actually another panel beyond the two visible there which folds out -- pictures and liner-notes and everything). Anyway, thanks James! You're a pip (so watch out for those roving bands of Gladys Knights). And thank you, Ella... it's hard to believe you're not St. Blog's offical compensated endorser yet. Move over, Ed McMahon, now there's something keener (with apologies to those fine Sizzlelean pitchmen of yore)!

And if you feel moved to help me fund my Sonar 3.0 upgrade so I can make even better music, the likes of which the world has never heard (and yet which the world so desperately needs), please consider purchasing a copy for yourself or loved one. I will warn you, though, one of the songs (probably one of the favorite songs on the disc) has the word "Damn" in it, so if you're buying it for small children, be advised of that. All of the songs are addictive and their melodies will live with you for days. And if you want it autographed with a very special message from Victor, just let me know and I'll pass your wishes along to him. Me. Yeah.

SPECIAL DEAL: If you'd like to receive the Robot Love CD along with the special "Radio Victor" bootleg CD-R, which was culled from mountains of recordings (which are vastly more entertaining than recordings of mountains) I did from 1996 to 2001, none of which are on the Robot Love CD, just click on the PayPal button on the top of this page and make a donation for $13. That'll get you both, shipped right to your door (or an unsuspecting friend's door). So far everyone who has purchased both CDs has survived, not gone bankrupt, and has actually found their lives enriched in some small way... none of which can be attributed, perhaps, directly to the receipt of the CDs, but I can't believe there's no link there whatsoever....
Cellll-le-bra-tion Cups C'mon!!!

We gonna have communion tonight. Let's celebrate. It's all right.

Er, sorry, channeling Kool & The Gang, there. Yes, Celebration Cups (just in case you missed them on A Saintly Salmagundi). Thanks to its aeronautically-correct shape, "this patented, all-in-one presentation of communion host and grape juice is our fastest moving product!"

Seriously, if ut unum sint, I really hope it's sometime after these sorts of products go out of vogue. Just something about the idea of the Holy Species (or some non-alcoholic variant thereof) residing in a Jell-O pudding cup that makes me want to go all medieval on someone's posterior. And what in the name of Henry Parsons Crowell are these? The mere symbol of Christ's love for us that doesn't get soggy in milk?

Sunday, September 07, 2003

'Xander and I took a short trip down to Plymouth's Annual Fall Festival which is like a big funfair, blues concert, and car show -- all in one. That's what I love about Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor -- any sort of festival or fair is going to have a) cool old cars and b) really good blues bands. We bought a couple of tickets (funfairs are expensive!!!) and rode the merry-go-round. 'Xander seemed very interested in the fact that he was riding a horse that wasn't really going anywhere and would probably have preferred to ride The Vomit Comet, or whatever that ride is that spins you around upsidedown. Maybe next year.

Anyway, I felt like a real dad -- which I am. But sometimes it's good to do traditional dad-type activities, like taking your son on a merry-go-round ride, to affirm that. I mean, there are worse parents in the world. And I can turn in at 6pm tonight knowing that this weekend I came out ahead.
Every weekend this summer at the gas station there have been groups of high-school-aged girls selling carwashes in order to raise money for whatever activity they're promoting. I was thinking: if they really wanted to make money, they should offer to mow people's lawns.

Regardless, we should all be concerned about stopping Canadian trash.
It's Not Just Me

Robert Diaz feels my pain. In fact, from the sound of things, he has it even worse than we do (for example, I can't recall ever singing "Whine of Peace" or "Now in this Banquet (We Shall play Croquet)" in our Parish -- in fact, today our 0.05% African-American congregation sang "There is a Balm in Gliead" out of our brand-new Gather hymnals: proof that some good hymns do live in questionable hymnals -- even if those hymnals do replace "perverse and foolish" with "confused and foolish" in verse three of my fave "The King of Love my Shepherd Is"... I guess nobody's perverted anymore, which, considering that within the past five years the Internet has added "furries" and "plushies" to our lexicon, is news to me). Very astute observations from Robert, as well, on "Amazin' Grace!" (which, coincidentally we did sing today -- well, everyone but me as I was running the diaper bag across the street to our Parish's nursery... the one thing I'd to which I'd consider contributing at this point).

Somebody get this guy a 'BlogTone!. Oh, wait. I guess that'd be me.

Well, I need everyone to buy CDs so I can spring for the Sonar 3.0 Producer Edition upgrade. That software looks wicked-rad. So buy some CDs and help me justify the purchase. I think "Robot Love" has aged very well and now, finally, the World might be ready for it.

I'm not just going to go away.
Father Bryce tries to mislead us into believing that he's not the Antichirst. But if you put "Father Bryce" into the 666 Calculator instead of "Bryce Sibley", the whole thing becomes increasingly more clear: what better way to mislead people than by providing them with the very means by which they could detect you. Just like Clinton.
We just picked up the new VeggieTales DVD, "The Ballad of Little Joe" and it's a keeper. They're really taking the animation to the next level since they made the move to Maya a few years back. For anyone who was disappointed with "Larry's Wonderful World of Autotainment" (the one that was done in a rush in 12 weeks in order to have something to fill the void between the home-release of "Jonah" and this DVD, "Little Joe").

So rest assured: "Little Joe" is the Veggies at their classic best. We loved all the coy little references to past episodes and the Silly Song, while not up to "Cheeseburger" or "Love My Lips" standards is well worth watching again (and again and again). Actually all the music in this episode was several notches above par.
FOXNews.com: FBI Joins Probe Into SUV Vandalism

The FBI (search) has joined an investigation into vandalism at a car dealership that left a dozen sport utility vehicles covered in graffiti naming the seven deadly sins. The SUVs at a Land Rover dealership were painted with words like "Avarice" and "Gluttony" Thursday night or early Friday morning, Santa Fe police said.

I would bet cash money that come Monday morning there'll be some marketing exec at the top of the RenCen who, after reading this story, will be hit with inspiration: "I've finally got it!! The new Chevy Avarice!!!"

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Hey everyone... It's Midnight!

(That's just a simple 1.5MB song I thew together in a few minutes in FLStudio, in case you're wondering).
Has anyone heard Prince's new album yet? Is it the unredeemed disaster that "Rainbow Children" was? Or is there actually something on there to jam to?

Friday, September 05, 2003

Mmmmm.... Sin!

If you scroll partway down through the production notes for "The Order" the movie actually begins to sound a bit interesting. Not the part about the "Sin Eater", which is completely ludicrous, but the part where the filmmakers seem to show at least a perfunctory respect for the subject matter (not only do they they capitalize "Church" -- which is more than most Catholic Parish bulletins can manage -- but they actually gave a darn about what the Vatican thought about the movie) and also the part where it seems, though they don't mention him by name, that they consulted with Fr. Gabriele Amorth while developing the project. One thing though: as long as they were casting the guy from "The Princess and the Warrior" why on earth didn't they get Franka as well? Franka, Franka, Franka.

Anyway, I'll have to wait and see what Fr. Bryce thinks about it (or Stephen Greydanus for that matter -- though he didn't review "28 Days Later", which I would've appreciated). We don't watch movies in the theaters anymore, and so we have a few months before we actually have to make a decision on seeing this one, either way.
Depp Speaks Candidly about the US

I really hope this doesn't become another Dixie Chicks blow-up. If anything, Depp's comments were woefully incomplete: America has become a dumb puppy: after "Lawerence", a dumb puppy with the "freedom" to hump anything it wants.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

We're making our way through the first season of Angel on DVD, and we just watched episode 9, "Hero" tonight. That episode still gets me, just like it did four years ago -- particularly the two camcorder scenes which bookend the episode. I'd say it's nearly a toss-up between that episode and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's season 4 episode "The Visitor" for most poignant episode of any TV show or movie (though the second season finale of Buffy and overall ST:DS9 series finale can also usually reduce me to a big crybaby wuss everytime I see them).

It's worth getting the first season of Angel just for the Doyle episodes... didn't realize how much I missed that character until we started watching the DVDs. But it's a true testament to the quality of the writing, in that first season, that when they finished the character's arc, they didn't keep him around to start getting useless like they did Fred and Gunn and even -- I hate to say it -- Cordelia in season 4 (they need to keep Wesley around because he's the only one who can fire a gun).
Universal to Cut Wholesale Prices of CDs

A $12.98 retail cap is still about $2-3 away from where the prices of any and all CDs should be and this whole move is about three-to-six years too late, if you ask me.
Our parish's website has two links on it's main page: one goes into our parish's main site (in my estimation, it'll need to earn back the capital "P"), and the other one links to TheInterviewWithGod.com. For those of you who have not seen this "poem" yet and are curious: God does not come across very well at all in this interview. He's more like a castrated alzheimer's patient than an Omnipotent Creator:

And then I asked...
“As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons
you want your children to learn?”
“To learn they cannot make anyone
love them. All they can do
is let themselves be loved.”

"Grandpa was never the same after the accident with the conveyor belt at the box factory. Yeah, he started reading Wayne Dyer books and calling himself 'God'. Only spoke in mindless aphorisms and meaningless platitudes after that. Terribly sad, really."
DemonBusters! (dot com)

I got this from Fr. Bryce's weblog (I sure hope comments are fixed soon!). If they're in the business of casting out demons, they can start with my mouse pointer. When I visit that site it appears to be possessed by white text that follows it around. Folks who can play MIDI files in their browser are in for a real treat: a rousing rendition of the classic Reformation hymn "Get Rid of Catholics Everywhere" (okay, so that's probably not the actual title, but it's too late: I'm already singing it in my head to the tune of the music on that site: "Get rid of Catholics everywhere / Cast out their demons -- no time to spare! / Get rid of Catholics everywhere / So we can all err in peace").
Identity-theft problem growing, FTC warns

I didn't write that story! Author insists
Oh, and I'm probably going to pay a visit to Mr. Haloscan. YACCs will be down until next Monday at least. DENIED! Haloscan says "We're not accepting any new signups" (loser!).

Update: BlogBack is free and took me less than a minute to set up. Click "comment" to leave a comment!
I know it's only so much of that Sigmund Freud "gladness at another's sorrow" stuff, but this picture made my day.

Lots of other stuff in the news today... Can someone tell me, though, why this is one of the top-rated photos on Yahoo? I mean, this one is not hard to understand, given the popularity of chocolate-sauce wrestling and Hardly-Davidson motorcycles in this country...

Other things as well... note the objective reporting in this article. Uh, who's being made into a martyr here? Certainly not Paul Hill.... rather, the real martyrs are the many thousand brave men and women who selflessly put their own concerns for personal safety aside each day as they duck the hail of bullets, dashing into their office to go... chop up preborn children. "Murderous rampage" indeed.

And not to defend anyone who is a convicted murderer and now dead, but don't you need to kill quite a bit more than just two people for it to qualify as a "murderous rampage"? And do it in a somewhat indiscriminatory and frenzied manner, besides? Now Stalin: there was a guy who gave "murderous rampage" some meaning.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

It's a start. But wake me up when the headlines start reading "lynched" instead of "booked".

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Nerd fun!

Now that I know how to encode my music with secret messages, the guys in the black helicopters will never find me!!!

Secret Message! 300kb .mp3!

Can you figure out how to view the secret message? Hint: you'll need an audio spectrograph. Don't have an audio spectrograph? You probably do, and you don't know it. If you have Windows Media Player fire it up and load the .mp3 above. Select the "Particle" visualization. You may have to stand on your head to read the secret message.

It's not the most original thing in the world, I'll warrant... but it's kind of cool.
An article not too polite enough not to point out that under Prez. Bush, 2.5 million manufacturing jobs in this country (one in every seven) have vamoosed.

Ask anyone who's out of work with no hope of ever getting anything like their old job back: that sucking sound sounds a lot more like a blender.
In additon to having some really nice sounding VSTi, the home page of George Yohng has a cool little feature (down at the very bottom) that will translate your name to Japanese. My name is "Bikutoru Ramusu" but I guess I'll have to figure out what a "Bikutoru" Pokemon would look like on my own.

Monday, September 01, 2003

New Song!

I'm still tweaking the mix on this one a bit (so if the bass overwhelms you, let me know.. and yeah, the intro Robot is a little unintelligible -- "Gospel Style 2003, Get on up and feel the beat"). Anyway: electronic music and Gospel (music): two great tastes which taste... kind of like this, together. I guess. Anyway, give it a listen and let me know what you think. If you require additional formats, you can find them at my AcidPlanet Page (System193.net). Actually, I'm more proud of this piece than many others I've done lately because this one was actually inspired.

Victor Lams - "Can't Nobody" (approx 2.7MB, .mp3 format).

For those of you who want to know: this was put together in FL Studio using the generators which come with that program. The guitar is from an Acid collection ("On The Jazz Tip"), the horns are from a Computer Music magazine cover CD. The drums are all Victor-programmed (with the exception of the hyper-fast doumbek loop, from another Acid CD). The Hammond organ sound is from SonicReality's SonicSynth.

Anyway, if this one doesn't get you up, you must be dead.

Next week: a Euro-Disco commentary on contemporary sexual mores as considered by JPII's theology of the body. Yep, that's right. "Pleasure Machine" is back.

Oh, and here's what happened to my comments.