Thursday, September 30, 2004

Borrowed from dot.commentary it's McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Life Lessons (a.k.a. Tips From the Mario Brothers Instruction Booklet).

McSweeney's is the online answer to the question: if you gave a million pretentious GenX and GenY'rs a computer and a keyboard and some form of Internet connection, and time in this dimension went on to infinity, every once in a while those prententious authors would resynthesize something funny. Which isn't really a question at all. It's a statement.
I guess I had nothing to fear from Windows XP SP2 after all....

At least I haven't discovered anything yet (I knew about DEP going into this).
Do the Blue!

Of course that meant something different entirely, back in my Starfleet days.
Click here to play my radio.

The only cooler than that is LazyTown Radio. Don't overlook the button on that jukebox that will play all the cool NickJr. cartoon themesongs (Dr. John sings the Littleburg theme song!).
This was on POF, too, but it was so interesting I had to link to it as well: Shape of Days 'Blog on North Korea's Ryugyong Hotel. Fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

So Victor, what do you think of ABC's "Lost"?

Well, Victor, I have never seen a single episode of "Alias" (too boogee) and I missed the first episode of "The Lost" or "Lost" or (for some reason their minimalist logo makes me think of this) as I call it "Toast" but I don't think I missed that much. Judging from the second part of The Pilot (get it? it's the first episode but it's also about a plane crash, and the pilot -- nevermind) I didn't miss much. Cut out all of the pointless walking scenes, the gratuitous sunbathing, stripping, bathing scenes, and the excessive commercials (literally when the show began it was five minutes of show, five minutes of commercials, four minutes of show, four minutes of commercials, etc.) and you're left with about 17-18 minutes of story and plot. It's not a bad story or a bad plot, but I think it'd make a much better 90-minute survival horror movie than a show about bathers who hike and don't really all get along that well for stupid reasons and runs for however long they plan on this show lasting.
Woohoo! Thanks for the Propers, Karl!

I can't believe I never sent you a CD, especially since you zapped that book out to us. If you email me your address I'll make sure you get a CD. And Victor (The Other), your CD is sitting here on my desk, addressed, I just need a stamp. And Don -- THANK YOU FOR THE CD. I should get around to giving it a dedicated listen hopefully this weekend.

I am a behind.

Monday, September 27, 2004

RC informs me that I need to update my blogroll with some deletions and corrected URLs, so I'll be doing that at some point in the future.

Also, my stats tell me more folks are listening to my music, which is good, but I was just wondering if I was mentioned on another 'blog recently (trying to account for the increase in traffic and reciprocate). Unfortunately the only thing out of the ordinary in my referrer URLs stats is an increase in hits from Mark Shea, but I'm not sure that's it.

Oh, well. More to come.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Is there any worse feeling than the night before you go back to work after a week's vacation? I'm not sure there is...

It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have so much fun hanging out as a family. When I'm at work now I'll be thinking about how I could instead be at a museum or park or singing "Older" with 'Xander.

If only I could make a living with music or something... but I guess I'm just not that talented, unlike some people (link, and yes it's a parody, via POF).

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Cookbooks by Peter Kreeft

"Angels and Lemons" - when egg-white-based cakes go sour
"Back to Fondue" - traditional answers for the modern question "what do we do with all this cheese?"
"Fundamentals of the Flan" - inspiring essays mostly about custard
"Ecumenical Jello" - for those times when there doesn't seem to be any room for agreement... or jello
"Handbook of Crispy Apologetics" - hundreds of answers to the question "why is fried food so tasty?"
"How to Win the Culture War" - a rousing call to arms indentifying the real issues at heart when good yogurt goes bad
"Making Sense out of Stuffing" - yeah, we don't know why he wrote this book, either
"Refutation of Morel Relativisim" - Intelligent, engaging dialogues between Mario Botali and someone who just doesn't care about mushrooms that much
"Socrates meets Emeril" - the father of philosophy kicks it up a notch

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

I'm really sorry, Eddie...

The good Doctor asked me to post his latest contest entry for him. The theme this month was "Solo", so only one intstrument could be used, but any amount of processing could be done to that instrument. The instrument was the HUMAN VOICE (albeit six tracks of it). So with apologies to the late, great Eddie Harris, it's...

"Cold Duck Time! (Internal Monologue Version)"

It's under two-minutes long, it's in .mp3 format, it didn't take me more than an hour to make, and it's free. What else do you want from me? Oh, all right: here are all the other entries for this month. As usual, the efforts from Ixox (using only a flute bought for half-a-euro in Europe) and Plunge (using only an mbira) are excellent.

Update: link fixed. Thanks, RC!

Monday, September 20, 2004

I promised myself I wouldn't be drawn into this game (or any game which requires controllers especial) but after looking at that partial tune list, I don't see how I will not.
Everybody do the Hu, he coup...

This is probably the most obscure Ohio Players reference of all time.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

As promised...

Here's some new music for you. This song I started back in January and just finished writing the lyric today and recorded it. I'll probably tweak the mix later on next week, but here it is for now. 'Xander's only heard it twice and is already singing along, so I take that as some indicator of success.

"Pixel" by Victor Lams (.mp3 format, 192kbps) (right-click to save-as).

Here's the lyric in case you can't figure out what it's about.
God willing, I'll be posting a new (demo version) song tonight, a bit later. One that will for sure probably be on the new EP whenever that comes out eventually. So check back for that. If you want a sneak preview of the song, stare at your computer monitor for about 60 seconds then close your eyes really tight.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004

And this, more than anything else, is the main reason I gave up Philosophy. Maybe in another 100 years or so we'll be able to do Philosophy again, honestly, but until then we don't really need Philosophers.

We need ass-kickers.

Er, I mean, we need artists: musicians and writers and painters and sculptors. That's what we need.

UPDATE: While no one taped the debate, Fr. Bryce was nice enough to pass along his own outline for the debate (in Word format) just in case anyone was interested in reading it. Here is the same document in HTML format.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Sunday, September 12, 2004



This weekend was the Plymouth Fall Festival, so of course we went downtown so 'Xander could ride some of the rides (he has a way to go before he reaches that magical 42" mark, thank goodness) but he had a blast, even on the kiddie rides.

There were tons of people, rides, food, booths, and music -- all in all, one of the great things about living in this town. Anyway, the cover band for this afternoon ("Mass Transit") played the usual (for Metro Detroit anyway) set of Stevie Wonder, Jr. Walker, and Temptations but then busted out into "Heaven" by Los Lonely Boys. This is a really excellent song and I'm happy to hear that, even after only being out for something like a year, it's already entering the canon of great cover band tunes. Check it out (most Public Libraries should have their self-titled debut album) because it's a really great song.

Imagine if Santana was actually three young brothers who could actually play guitar, write songs, and sing very well and that puts you in the ballpark of Los Lonely Boys. I do think it's a bit of a cop-out, though to be bi-lingual as it really cuts down on the number of unique verses you need to write for a song: simply sing the first verse over again but in Spanish instead of English and that's your third verse or bridge.

Hmm. Maybe I should have Babel Fish translate some of my stuff into Portuguese and do some stuff like Jobim.
"Gee. Thanks, mom."

"I guess I should say, too, that if my mother, who is pushing 60 (at least judging by that photo) ever became feeble and useless, I would drag her kicking and screaming to the nearest Soylent Green production facility."
Just sitting here listening to some of the late, great Eddie Harris' music. There's probably no better way to pass the time. He's probably my favorite jazz saxophone artist of all time.

It's been ages since I've just listened to music (don't really have a good spot for that), but I'm going to have to try to make an effort to do it more often.
As much as I love TMBG, I have to admit that this is just wrong on so many levels.

Poking around, though, I did find the stage setup diagram for their most recent tour. That was kind of neat to see.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I did another mix of "...and we lost" (.mp3 format) fixing some of the vocals (particuarly the ending bit) and putting a nice Beatles flange on the chorus guitar part.

Anyway, thinking about it now, this song is as much about the 9/11 attacks (or more particularly our country's reaction to them) as it is about anything, so redoing it today just seems, after the fact of course, appropriate.

Friday, September 10, 2004

All in a Day's Work

If I were writing up this true story for Reader's Digest, it might go like this:

Working for a Head Start program in an urban, inner-city area near Detroit, our friend has seen more than her share of unfortunate children's names. This fall, however, when the new class of four-year-olds arrived, she encountered probably the saddest one of all: a young boy named (phonetically) "Sha-theed". Not a bad name, she thought, until she read the actual spelling the child's name on the class list: "S-h-i-t-h-e-a-d."
Usually the Flash games at (VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins, etc.) are pretty lame. But this one is actually pretty cool. Apparently it's about shooting a ball of duct tape into a funnel of doom but if you change the premise of the game in your own mind (which isn't that difficult given the simple graphics) so what you're really doing is trying to launch a graviton mine around the moons of Bajor into the wormhole in order to stop a Jem Hadar fleet from invading the Alpha Quadrant, then it's really quite fun.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Complete Savages

This sounds like something that might be fun. We hear that Mel actually directed the first two episodes, so we'll definitely watch those.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Well, it's almost 11pm and so far no headline has appeared on DrudgeReport with the words "Polyphonic Spree" and "fiery tour bus accident" in it so the jury is still out on whether or not this was a good day.

"Shoot me now,
Don't stop bleedin',
You'll be dead and you'll never think
your song is good when really it sucks,
When you're car nage..."

And now, like Doom taking a drink of water, I feel 10% better. Seriously, though, Tim DeLaughter is to good music what David Koresh was to organized religion.

"But, Victor. Your music isn't any better!"

Yeah, but at least I don't pretend to be the Messiah and wear a robe and fly up into the sky on strings.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Has this been public knowledge or did Barb Nicolosi just out Nihil Obstat?
New version of "..and we lost." (mp3 format, 192kbps). You can still download the old version at the old link, if you really want it. I added a very brief harmony section and made some other minor changes.

And you can now stream it (in WindozeMedia and RealMedia format) from my AcidPlanet page.

ALSO -- I'm really glad RC liked it. He's one of my toughest (and therefore best) critics. At least one of my toughest critics who doesn't only use profanity.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Saturday, September 04, 2004

This isn't really finished yet, but the only way I can move onto something else is to post this. I'll probably tweak this tomorrow evening, but here's a new one:

"...and we lost" .mp3 format. 192kbs (because while I like 256 kbs, this is still a "draft") and it's just over three minutes.

Not sure what to say about the lyric on this one except that it's stream of consciousness almost and if it's anything it's a sort of a null-protest song. Beyond that you'll have to figure out what it means on your own because I can't help you; I guess you could say its meaning is hermeneutically sealed.

I'll post updates to this entry as I tweak the mix.

Update: link in this post now goes to the tweaked version.
The Bible

Then why do they need a website?

Friday, September 03, 2004 Interview with Andrew Robinson

Appropos of nothing. I just found all the cool interviews and timelines there. Nifty.
I'm pretty pissed off about the 200 dead Christian schoolchildren in Russia. If we were really serious about this war on terror in this country, there would be F-117A Nighthawks lighting up Chechnya tonight.

Not that the Nighthawks would be needed in Chechnya's case. You could probably do the job with a couple B-17s. I'm angry enough at this point to volunteer for the belly-gunner role for something like that.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Nice speech tonight (way to throw the pro-lifers a bone, Dubya!), but what really made us laugh was this political ad from the Club For Growth.

It's called "Are You Rich?" Here it is in Quicktime. Or go to the Club For Growth's Multimedia Page and scroll down to August 5th for other streaming formats.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

McSweeney's: An Open Letter to Officials of the United States Government Regarding What's New in My Reproductive Area

This piece effectively illustrates that an essential element in all good satire (which is to say, satire) is truth. If you don't have truth on your side, your piece will read like something written by a High School sophomore sitting in a creative writing class, frustrated by their parents' divorce (which isn't to say that Ms. Weinstein isn't a High School sophomore sitting in a creative writing class, frustrated by her parents' divorce, of course).