Monday, August 30, 2004

This may just be the best Casio SK-1 page on the web!!!!

I loved my Casio SK-1. I still love it. And some day I shall dig it out of the closet and play with it again.
No matter where I go in life, or what I manage to accomplish, this picture will always make me laugh.

"You guyyyyssss! No! Sssshhhh.. You did NOT!"

Heh. Heh. Heh. I wonder if they'll take that part out when they broadcast the awards. I sure hope not!

Didn't get any further than the headline on this latest Shiavo hackjob. This could only be considered a "right-to-die" case if Terry had ever expressed a desire to die. This can only be considered a "right-to-kill" case. Gotta love our media.

But then, no one ever said Michael Schiavo was a great man.

And yes, that is a newly remixed and remastered version of my song. I've been meaning to at least do something about the vocals and since I don't have time to re-record them, I just reprocessed them (a closed door can work wonders).

Victor Lams - "Not a Great Man" 192kbps .mp3 format. Lyric here.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

It's been a rainy, wet weekend (well Friday was pretty nice). We did go to Jackie's MOPS group's picnic today, though, and 'Xander got to play with all of the other preschoolers. Very much fun.

I've been working on a song this weekend, but fell victim to My Curse: a nearly complete instrumental arrangement and no idea what the lyric is going to be about yet. Oh, well. You can listen to the music here, and maybe this week I'll write some words for it. I'm trying to balance the profound with the pro-fun, but on the other hand, I do this music making stuff because I enjoy it, not because I hold any delusions about it changing the world. So maybe I'll go with what first popped into my head, as ephemeral as that is.

And just because I know one person who will be interested: we're on the verge of the release of Lost Marble's Moho v5.0. This version adds some pretty substantial Flash .swf file exporting as well as added 3D capabilities (while still retaining it's 2D animation character) and new bone strengths. The beta is downloadable (for Mac and PC as a demo version) and it looks WICKED AWESOME. Can't wait to make some cartoons with this (particularly since the upgrade from v4.6 to v5.0 requires, as the other upgrades have done, only a very small fee: in this case, $19).

Oh, well. That's it for this weekend. Hope yours was a blast.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Jay Maynard (aka. Tron Guy) does his best Evan Coyne Maloney impersonation and interviews Michael Moore fans for Jimmy Kimmel.

Very, very funny. And I'm glad Kimmel (of all people) could convince Maynard to put on a pair of briefs underneath his Tron unitard. Link via POF.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Ow! A cut!. I want a purple heart now for skinning my elbow on the curly slide at the park. That really stung for a few minutes there.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Missionaries To The Preborn: Great Lakes American Atrocities Tour - August 2nd-13th, 2004

We had more physical confrontations on this Tour than on any other Tour in the past. Several pro-abortion people were arrested along the way. No one from our group was arrested. We also ran into some bad police situations in a few places. In Pontiac, MI for example, some rank and file officers who were mad because they didn't get to impound Ron Brock's truck and confiscate all our literature, got in their squad cars, road up and down the street, and as they passed our people said derogatory things over their squad car PA system like - "How much are you getting paid" and "Blow up any buildings today?"

Silly pro-lifers. If they wanted a warm reception in Pontiac, they should've pretended to be crack dealers.

Really remarkable accounts and photos (bad metaphor aside: "Cars were often backed up like cordwood along this Tour"). It bears repeating: when people get upset by the photos of abortion, they have to realise that what they feel revulsion towards is not the pictures, but the reality represented:

This woman drove up the curb and stopped abruptly just before hitting our people with her car. She was cussing, screaming and crying. Several minutes later she attacked Pastor Matt. is the caption for this photo.

Jared has some strong words for them, too.

The situation is probably reaching a head though, apparently, as folks can no longer stomach the reality or abstract themselves from it. As one photo caption reads: "There were more physical confrontations on this Tour than any others in the past." Passion can be a good thing; it means we're not completely dead yet.
To the pure, all things are pure. For everyone else, there's Earth Erotica, "Exploring the Sensual Contours of Earth's Body".

"Yosemite National Park? Yeah... I'd do it."

Monday, August 23, 2004

Okay, I wasn't actually fishing for birthday wishes (mainly just marking the occasion) but it sure was nice to receive them! Thank you, all, and with any luck we'll all make it back here next year.

Now do yourself a favor: drop whatever you are doing right now and run, do not walk, to the nearest place of DVD rentals and sales and make, buy, or rent "The Triplets of Belleville". This was in my birthday haul this year and is an awesome, awesome film. If you thought animation was dead or had somehow reached it's pinnacle in "Finding Nemo" (as I had), this will restore your hope and faith in the sheer craft of it all.

More on my birthday booty later.
Happy Birthday to me!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Dr. Apostrophe X emailed me this afternoon:

Hey, V! Could you post my entry this month? I thought everyone could use a dose of the Funk. And Funk goes best with a healthy dose of nasty dubble entendre. "Knock me up" I'm told can mean "pay a visit to" in the UK (as in "knock upon the door of me"), although in the states it pretty much just means to impregnate someone. It ends with a fadeout because all songs in the 1970s ended with a fade out.

So, I know I'll regret posting this but I do owe the good doctor a favor a two...

Dr. Apostrophe X - "Knock Me Up" 2 minutes, .mp3 format. If you promise not to cross the streams, you can listen to Windoze Media and Real Media formats at

Friday, August 20, 2004

What would you get if an athelete from Iceland combined creepy-looking puppets, nonsensical Euro-Disco techno music, and a flying airship? I'm guessing it would look a lot like LazyTown, which premiered on Nick Jr. this week.

It's a pretty cute show thanks to the set design and goofy European sensibilities (whenever that music starts with the "utz-utz-utz-utz" bass drum, I can't help but laugh). Also, as Jackie pointed out, it has the distinction of being the only kids show on television with a a decent villian (the actor playing Robbie Rotten must be a pretty good physical comic, too, even though I can't find anything on him on Google).

See for yourself in this music video.

"When I move,
I'm feeling all right.
Bing! Beng! Bang!
And I'm ready to go.
Jump high,
From left to right,
And you'll be going strong!"

Thursday, August 19, 2004

I found the link to in the recently-visited list of our web-browser and I was really excited.... For about five seconds, until I clicked on the link.
I also love that picture Drudge keeps running of Hanoi Kerry. It makes him look like the elusive Yeti. Well... even MORE like the elusive Yeti than usual.
BBC News: A woman who {bumped uglies with] US presidential hopeful John Kerry says she [was convinced] to take down [a very embarassing website].

This is the purpose for which web cache was invented.

At least we now know whatever gave Kerry the idea that he could possibly be the next president:

As a homicide detective, Nora Davis must solve a rash of murders and disappearances on the planet Earth2. Nora, along with her brother Remy and her partner Preston, are youth-geni, the youth of the genetically engineered. Born with superior traits, the three must use all their resources in an effort to save their planet.

Earth2? Hmmm.. maybe this is where Edwards' other America is located? I wonder if Barak Obama thinks he's youth-geni or not? Actually, this book might provide a lot of insight into the Democratic party as of late, if only I could convince myself that it wouldn't be better for everyone involved to just flush the $8.50 down the toilet.
He's a Democrat! He's Pro-Bush! And, most importantly, he's Pro-Life!

I might have to actually watch some politickin' conventioneerin' TV in the next few weeks, just to catch this guy's speech. But I'm not watching Guiliani, Schwartzenegger, or the other guy who's supposed to be a Republican who's speaking at the Convention but who I can't remember right now, because they'd all make me barf.
WorldNet Daily: Aborted baby's head left inside woman, Couple horrified to find face of child after returning home

Just when you think abortion couldn't get any more horrible, there's always another reminder just a click away. Caution before clicking on that link as there's a photo of the face a page or so down.
Just in case you wondered why there really hasn't been any good new music released in the last three years or so....

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Classic et cetera Retrospective Repeat

Blog! The Musical

Originally aired May 23, 2003. Remix "So What"

Here's what will happen: over the next five months, we'll offer a track a month from "A New Kind of Blue," in the same sequence they appear on the CD. This month it's "So What." Next month it'll be "Freddie Freeloader." We'll continue like this until the entire album is remixed, creating a third-generation Kind of Blue. Among other prizes, the winning remixes will be included on a compilation CD.

Randy Brecker on trumpet, Victor Lewis on drums... you bet I'll be remixing these. Especially "Freddie Freeloader". I thought that song was the bomb, back in High School.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Another Human Person

Mazel Tov to Zorak and O.O.!!!

I'm not Jewish, I just like saying "Mazel Tov!". Nice ultrasound picture, there, too. A couple of weeks back a couple who knows Jackie from her Marian Catechist program asked me if I wouldn't take a few of their ultrasound tapes and digitize them so they could show them on a computer at a baby shower some co-workers were throwing for them. It turns out these coworkers weren't even "personally opposed, but..." so they figured this might be a good, non-con-fron chance to spread the word about that Gospel of Life thing.

Well, I took the three ultrasound tapes (six weeks, ten weeks, and twenty weeks) put them into a nice DV presentation, put some music from Mozart's Coronation Mass behind it and burned it to DVD and also to Windows Media, just in case. They were very grateful, but really I just like having these opportunities to play with my toys.

I got word back about a week later that the video had been a big hit. The co-workers had never, ever seen an ultrasound and were really amazed at the motion of the baby, even from ten weeks. They were not as amazed as I was: NEVER SEEN AN ULTRASOUND. I could understand it if these folks lived 60 clicks outside of Burundi, but these people work in Troy, Michigan. In the United States. In the 21st Century. How can you never have seen an ultrasound?

The more I learn the more I begin to suspect that most people I disagree with aren't terrible people, but are just ill-or-non-informed (unhappily, most are also really dumb and won't listen to me, but that's another issue). I suppose that's the most diabolical trick of all: to have technology which is so ubiquitous and which so unequivocably (and if I spelled both of those two words correctly, I should get a gold star) demonstrates that the child in the womb is "Another Human Person" (as the little DV opus was entitled) and yet have people still so ignorant to it.

Is the effort now not to cloud a person's mind to the truth so much as it is to never have them happen upon it?
The Rome Depot.
I keep getting McGreevey and McSweeney's confused.
The Mighty Barrister asks if I've seen "The City of Lost Children". I assume he means "La Cité des enfants perdus". Actually, I made people hate me when this came out (and I was in college) because I got the videotape and forced people to watch it (I had the apartment off-campus, so if folks wanted to drink and watch movies, they had to do it at my place). Anyway, it's because of this movie that I went on a big Ron Perlman kick in 1996 and endured the awful "The Last Supper" just to see him come in and kill all the stupid liberals at the end (oops. Belated spoiler alert).

Anyway, I also thought I'd go on a big Jeunet et Caro kick, too, only they'd only made one other movie and it didn't have Ron Perlman in it so I didn't see it. Ron Perlman was in their "Alien: Resurrection" movie but that was all "Huh?" I guess Joss Whedon wrote that movie which is why they made fun of it on "Angel" (in season 3. Fred's mom tells Cordy that Fred's dad liked all the Aliens movies except the last one, which didn't make any sense).

Anyway, I notice that Jeunet tends to use a lot of the same actors in his film, just like the Coen brothers, so I thought I'd put together a set of Jeunet : Coen Bros. actor analogies:

Jeunet actor : Coen Bros. actor
Dominique Pinon : Steve Buscemi
Jean-Claude Dreyfus : Jon Polito
Serge Merlin : Charles Durning
Ron Perlman : John Goodman

And there's probably more but this post is pretentious enough as it is.


Sunday, August 15, 2004

Neither HellBoy nor Looney Tunes: Back in Action were as bad as I thought they were going to be. Actually, prepared for the worst, I actually enjoyed "Back in Action". Most of the gags were funny (especially appreciated all the 1950s sci-fi monsters in Area 52... and particularly the Daleks!!!). It's probably a better movie than it had any right to be (and it had Ron Perlman and Robert Picardo in it).

"HellBoy" was a bit of a brain salad. I didn't put the second DVD in, so I don't know if there are 50 deleted scenes on it that make sense of the story, characters, plot, etc. or not. Plus, HellBoy's one liners should have been a LOT more funny than they were (the "the woiks!" line was the only one that made me chuckle). But it was still cool to see Perlman in the title role of an action movie (I can't believe he's 53!).

So next up is "Shattered Glass" which we'll probably see tomorrow or the next day (or really anytime before next Sunday at noon).
You know the Church is in a bad state when the new Rite of Exorcism for this country consists only of the words "Vaminos, Swiper!" repeated over and over again.

Oh, maaaann!

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Picked up Voxengo's Voxformer vocal-strip effects plug-in this weekend and remixed Coloring Monsters. The lead vocal sounds much better now, I think. I even pushed it up in the mix where vocals should be (you might have noticed that I tend to bury my vocals, which is what most folks who home-record their own vocals do). Maybe I pushed them up too far. I'll give it another shot, anyway...

Update (08/15/2004): Re-tweaked the mix, yet again...

My next tune will be out either tomorrow or next Saturday. It's funky, and NOT a kid's song.
It's about time!

U.S. Military Clears A-Team of Charges

Thursday, August 12, 2004

We're pleased as punch that Michigan native John Heffron was named Last Comic Standing on NBC. He's really funny (and he gave a shout out to Michigan last night, before he won).
TMBG on Conan, Friday night.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

NPR: Human Plant Life Is Sacred

Here's a fitting juxtaposition of two stories NPR has run (so far) this week on "Morning Edition". The first, which ran on Monday, about "stem cell research", trumpeted science the technology industry's latest triumph: feeding embryonic stem cells with human placenta cells (instead of the industry standard of mouse skin cells). From such grisly irony new lines of stem cells have been produced, but, alas, these new lines will never receive federal funding (until Kerry is elected) because Bush decided on his own that killing human beings for personal gain or profit is murder. Although they didn't even imply that these "stem cells" were culled from human beings who had been destroyed (of course they didn't mention that to harvest embryonic stem cells you need to kill the person they belong to). Nor did the report even mention adult stem cells, which have been shown to be as effective as embryonic stem cells and don't result in killing anyone. The interviews in this story are positively ghoulish.

Compare this "Health" story to one which ran this morning about an Alaskan weed known as "Devil's Club". Apparently the "First Peoples" in the area consider this plant to have great medicinal purposes, but are reluctant to share their knowledge of the plant. The NPR story uses the word "sacred" multiple times to describe the plant and even uses the phrase "you don't harvest devil's club, you apologize for taking it" in the course of the story.

So the big ethical dilemma here is not is it permissible to slaughter baby persons to advance medical goals but can a weed be harvested over the objections of "First Peoples" to advance medical goals.

Good to see NPR has their priorities straight.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004


I did an audio capture of probably my favorite funny Michele Norris Fawning Interview Moment to date (from NPR's "All Things Considered" -- the tile of which program is itself a truth in advertizing lawsuit waiting to happen):

Michele Norris - "Caught Up in the Motion of the Stroke" (very short mp3 file)

Here's the complete interview (for as long as it lasts). Of course Michele Norris doesn't go down on everyone she interviews. Listen to her "interview" Alan Keyes. Note the distainful way she uses the honorific "sir" (and note the way Keyes turns it back around on her) and the way she contentiously interrupts him, repeatedly. I can imagine the inner-dialogue before this interview: "Okay, Michele. Pull yourself together. You're interviewing evil incarnate, but you still have the upper hand, it's your show. Just get out there and show your friends in your 'Pals of Abortion' support group what you're really made of."

NPR is crazy stoopid.
Ye Olde Curte Jestere serves up the funniest campfire song parody ever. Jeff Miller, I salute you.
Reuters: Cuddling Strangers Latest Craze for Singles

It's not about sex and all about the touchy-feely experience of snuggling up to perfect strangers wearing pajamas.

The grab fests are called cuddle parties, and since they started in New York in February, hundreds of people have paid $30 each to touch and embrace others in intimate gatherings.


But the rules are clear. The PJs stay on the whole time and participants are reminded of Rule No. 7: "No dry humping!"

Okay, if "No dry humping!" is rule number 7 on the list, do I even want to know what rules 1 through 6 are? Maybe "No erections!", perhaps?

"We've never used it," said Mihalko, who said sexual arousal does occur, and that participants shouldn't be turned off or scared by erections. "They happen."

Apparently not. Still, I think the world is quietly, yet desperately, screaming for an "Erections happen!" bumper-sticker.

Well, okay, maybe there's a rule in there about no amorous bovine behavior. Then again...

Participants team up into pairs and to ensure the boundaries of what is permissible are clear, they practice saying "no" to the question, "May I kiss you?"

(Aside: many girls I knew in college apparently went to the same orientation session).

An introduction to cuddling ensues, first by hugging three people. People then get in a circle on their hands and knees, rub shoulders and moo like cows. After a bit of swaying, everyone falls to their side, which puts them into an easy cuddling position.

Okay... I can understand the appeal to selfish and unmarried people whose lives are so devoid of any sort of meaningful relationships that they think it's a good idea to go to these things but mooing like cows??? Who thought that one up? And what sort of person hears that idea and thinks it's a good one?

These New Yorkers are crazy (tap, tap, tap)!
So when you self-inflict a wound to get a medal, is that now considered "committing Herry-Kerry"?

Sunday, August 08, 2004

From "The Sneeze": Ask Dr. Michael: The 8-year-old Advice Columnist.
Best example of the Robot Love theme ever!

And probably one of the best robot-themed entertainments out there. This one definitely gets the Robot Love seal of approval: DannyBot: The Film.

Also check out DannyBot, The 'Blog.
My dad took 'Xander, my sister Maria, and myself to Willow Run Airport today to see Thunder Over Michigan, a great big fly-in of all these wonderful WWII fighters and bombers.

'Xander loved the propwash generated by the B-17 (click video to play, right-click and unselect play to pause -- sorry, but I didn't want to spend all afternoon figuring out Flash video just yet ;)...

But he wasn't too crazy about when the 11 fighters who all took off together decided to all test their smokers all at once:

Anyway, 'Xander had fun.

Just an image, not a movie

Saturday, August 07, 2004

We saw the new (ok, recent) Peter Pan tonight. It was wonderful, complex, and wonderfully complex. The cast and story and effects were all excellent, so A++++. And, of course, I was bawling at points through it. The story of Peter Pan is one that's always haunted me, since childhood, and usually I do my best to ignore it (because, let's face it, growing up, putting your dreams aside, and then, what's worse, asking someone else to do the same thing on your behalf, are things you don't really want to think about) but this version was fair to all the central themes of the story, and again, was funny, entertaining, and (again) made me cry.
A frightening look into the creative process...

I was not inspired enough to create a new tune today, so I began looking through the folders of my hard-drive for old tunes I'd been working on but then stopped working on. I found quite a few (some I'd started in January, when I began and then kind of stopped for no reason other than I got too busy with work, my Secret Project), so some of those will be finished up over the next few months. So this is something I haven't done before: I'm posting some unfinished songs in various stages of the creative process (none have vocals, because that's usually the last thing I do. One of them, Untitled 2 -- which, spoiler alert! is about the Flying House of Loreto -- is almost entirely finished, vocals written, and all I need to do is record them, or have someone who can actually sing record them). So here's four for you... 1 and 2 were done earlier this year and 3 and 4 were done last week and this week. Like I said, all are at different stages of the process (4 is bascially just a chord progression I'm playing around with -- maybe it's meant to be the bridge for number 3?).

The working titles for 1 and 3 are "King of Bugs" and "Falling Apart" and you already know that number 2 is about Loreto. But these are just working titles...

Untitled 1 (mp3)
Untitled 2 (mp3)
Untitled 3 (mp3)
Untitled 4 (mp3)

Anyway, next paycheck, I'm picking on Voxengo's Voxformer FX plug-in which should make my vocals sound better (yeah!). Then I'll start recording more vocals, unless anyone else can sing and can record vocals.
I have to admit, I was as surprised as Pete Coors says he was.
I hope whoever came up with the jingle for Hefty Zoo Pals (click on the two "TV Commercial" graphics to hear the jingle) got paid a million dollars. That's the most effective jingle I've heard in years. I don't think we made it all the way through the commercial, the first time we heard it, before 'Xander had it memorized. He sings it all the time. So it's a good jingle and I hope the guy who wrote it was well compensated.

Friday, August 06, 2004

We're home-town proud that John Heffron has made it to the final-three on Last Comic Standing. He's a rare thing these days: a gen-X comic who's actually positively funny (and not merely cynical).

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Two very funny links from POF:

The Sneeze is very funny and very multimedical. Read it and you will laugh, as I have laughed (giant giraffe balls, always amusing... on this tip, I believe only Britain was around when I wrote the alternate version of a certain shirt website).

I don't know who this guy is, but he's my new cartooning hero: Spamusement. Very clever cartoons. Someone put him in the New Yorker, if he's not there already.
Peasant's Quest is out!!!

Update: Beatened! With a final score of 144/150 and two inventory slots not filled. I'll have to go back and see what I missed. The final showdown with Trogdor was pretty cool.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Why do I get the feeling this will soon be made into a film entitled "Miracolo" directed by and starring Roberto Benigni as 27-year-old Italian Point Guard Massimo Bulleri.
Here's a new source of nightmares for you...

zynaddsubfx: this looks quite cool -- an opensource software synthesizer which runs as a standalone app and which may not be used "to make music that is against God and Jesus Christ".

Monday, August 02, 2004

As a dad, I have a lot of great ideas for kids' stuff. But I don't want people to steal my ideas or think of them before I share them with the world, so here are two I'm logging for future development. To paraphrase a great wannabe fairy: These are the magic ideas that Victor thought up himself. Please, don't steal them.

I really, really want to play those anti-social and violent video games. But with an impressionable two-year-old in the house, I cannot play them in good conscience (and don't give me that "after he goes to bed" nonsense. Everyone knows that just after the kid goes to bed, the exausted parents do too). So what if there were a game that featured wide-open enviorments and game-play, sort of a toybox where your character could run around, accepting missions whenever you felt like it, acting irresponsibly but it would be okay because this game would feature not drug lords or prostitutes but Jim Henson's lovable muppets... we would call it "Grand Theft: Elmo".

My other idea was inpsired by that psychopa--, er photographer who had the idea to stick kids in vegtable outfits or ... well, I'm not sure I want to know what this is meant to evoke. Is that a baby in your unitard or are you just happy to see me? Okay, I'll quit. Anne Geddes makes some beautiful photographs as well as some comfortable designer babywear (though not made from real babies -- unlike her photographs -- as I learned by visiting her website). So, anyway: I got to thinking, we, as an American people, have had a varied and rich historical background as our narrative tapestry. Why not make our children aware and a part of this history as early as possible by staging re-enactments of famous historical photographs starring babies (and if you expect the following links to actually feature these photographs with babies in them, you will be disappointed. I'm not Allah, for crying out loud). Just think: your newborn triplets signing over Eastern Europe to Satan at Yalta. Or how about commemorating some sibling rivalry by remaking this classic? (though I'm not the first to recommend photoshopping that picture (before Photoshop even existed, I might add). The point is that if you're creative, there is some real money to be made.

In the meantime, though, I'm going to stick to catching lightning bugs with him. I became convinced tonight that if anyone even thought of the very idea of catching lightning bugs on a warm summer evening with their son, abortion would be non-existent in this world.
A very excellent and mature episode of "The Dead Zone" tonight ("Speak Now"). I think in terms of story and theme (having to do with marriage, about which this third season thus far has had a lot to say -- all of it "pro"), as mature as "In The Bedroom", but with less grisly murder and more Uzbekistanian firefights. So check that out when it re-airs, Wednesday at Midnight (is that Tuesday night? I don't know).

Unfortunately Kate Warner shows up again next episode...