Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Update: Apparently the project has spawned some local Pac-Man Copycats.

The Pac-Man Project.

While I appreciate their respect for history and the more dada-esque elements of the project, I have to believe that 10 or 15 years from now, some guy is going to be sitting around bemoaning the fact that he spent his college years making an Inky costume and crashing Chem lectures.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Leave it to Joss Whedon to come up with the best sci-fi/action-adventure movie of all time... and then have nobody notice.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Saturday, December 24, 2005

NORAD Tracks Santa, 2005

The Santa Cam and satellite imagery has been much improved this year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

GuitarJeff of Outland posts his latest tune on the kvraudio.com message boards: A NON P.C. Disco Christmas.
It's sad, but you really almost have to say "good riddance" to Tricky Dick Santorum. When he fails next November, he'll have only himself to blame: first for endorsing Specter and again for this.

Just don't tell Bill Shill that.
This observation has probably been made before, but isn't the Honorable John E. Jones, III doing exactly what people accuse the Church of doing to Galileo: banning folks from teaching science which those doing the banning consider to be inappropriately laced with metaphysics disagreeable to their worldview in an educational forum which is operated by the banners?

It's okay though, this is different: it's not the Church doing the banning this time, it's the Federal Government. Actually, I see that my analogie breaks down with the simple fact that, particularly at the time, the Church was considered an authority in both metaphysics and science wheras a Federal judge, so far as I know, is an authority in neither.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Follow this link to find an unforgettable rendition of "Oh, Holy Night!"

Make sure you stick around for the entire second chorus. It's a suitable payoff for what you have to endure before it. I almost have to believe, though, now that I've made it to the end of the tune this was done as a parody. If it wasn't, it's both wonderful and unpardonable.

I guess it's a matter of faith.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

UPDATE (12/18): And now, the answers. Also, for the record, Katie does not listen to the Hoobastank-Eyed Peas.

Oh, and I've been tagged by Katie!

I don't know any of her music because it's all stuff that the kids are listening to these days like the Hoobastank-Eyed Peas and stuff, so rather than embarass myself, I'll just post the first fifteen first lines my mp3 player gives me (30 seems excessive to me) and that's only of the tunes that have words and that I know. If you can guess them and/or who recorded them, that's fine (only one track per artist appears below, I removed duplicate artist's entries which is the only thing that saved all of you from the first line of "I Have Been in You"); some are surprisingly easy some are not. Anyway, I'll post the "answers" in the comments section in a week.

Out of 6,277 mp3s, here's what came up first:

  1. "Lonely nights, I cry myself to sleep; tell me what am I gonna do, 'cause it's always been you to dry my tears?"
    The Captain and Tennille, "Lonely Night (Angel Face)"

  2. "Cigarette holder which wigs me, over her shoulder, she digs me..."
    James Darren, "Satin Doll"

  3. "Cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan, cafe con pan!"
    They Might Be Giants, "Mr. Xcitement"

  4. "Baby please, please don't take your love from me, I am yours forever more until eternity."
    Donna Summer, "Heaven Knows"

  5. "I don’t have to sell my soul, he’s already in me. I don’t need to sell my soul, he’s already in me."
    Stone Roses, "I Wanna Be Adored"

  6. "I just want to feel safe in my own skin, I just want to be happy again."
    Dido, "Honestly OK"

  7. "Give me, your dirty love, like you might you surrender to some dragon in your dreams."
    Frank Zappa, "Dirty Love"

  8. "I would be so willing, to give you all I got, you're a special lady, forget me not."
    Earth Wind & Fire, "And Love Goes On"

  9. "Bad! The girl is bad! Bad! Bad! Bad! The lady is bad! Bad! She's bad!"
    Funkadelic, "Undisco Kidd"

  10. "I'd wash the sand off the shore, give you the world if it was mine, blow you right to my door, Mmm! Feels fine."
    Sade, "Paradise"

  11. "Try to forget torment, lying behind a smile, tears for sentiment, now I've done my time."
    Swing Out Sister, "Surrender"

  12. "I am a poet. I am very fond of bananas. I am bananas. I am very fond of a poet."
    Kurt Elling, "The Uncertainty of a Poet" (after Wendy Cope)

  13. "Tongue tied or short of breath don't even try. Try a little harder. Something's wrong I'm not naive you must be strong. Ooh."
    Kajagoogoo, "Too Shy"

  14. "There’s spring in the air. They’re sweeping the streets. Wind is a breeze. The sun becomes her he agrees."
    Metric, "Love is a Place"

  15. "You are so unpredictable, when I am not. You are so irresistible, that I can't stop. You say my name, and I start walking on heaven."
    Stevie Wonder, "Galaxy Paradise"
More New Music!

Last month I somehow won the KVRAudio music contest and my prize was Garritan's Jazz and Big Band virtual instrument collection.

This thing is awesome.. it's got drum sounds, a piano, basses, and, of course, what I've been wanting my whole life, realistic, playable horns. So anyway, I did this tune in about an hour or so tonight, just to try it out. Enjoy.

"Sins of Omission" (mp3 format)
Ghost Monkey Cop

Cop shows and cartoons about animals who solve crimes and are in bands were big in the 1960s. Also big were shows about ghosts and witches. D-list animation studio Banarama/Hibernia thought they'd do the industry one better and create a hip show for kids about a dead monkey who plays the marimba and solves crimes. They even got Charles Mingus' brother Billy Mingus to write and perform the theme song (with out of work lounge act Robbie "The Throat" Vertulli on vocals).

The creepy plot premise proved too much for even the rather permissive sensibilities of the baby boomers in the test audience and, perhaps also due to the suspcious and untimely drug-related death of lead animator "Trippin'" Joe Bostowiz, no further episodes were produced after the pilot (of which no known copies are believed to exist).

Only a single recording of the theme song lived on. And here it is:

"Ghost Monkey Cop! (Who Also Plays the Marimba)"

Saturday, December 10, 2005

They Might Be Giants has a new podcast!

Rare and new tunes. Stuff not even I'd heard before, some of it very, very funny (John Linnell's rendition of "It Was a Very Good Year"), brilliant (his "North American Turtle Songs"), and novel (the "Lounge" version of "Particle Man").

Check it out.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

For those of you who happen to have access to Michigan State's public television station, tonight they are airing a program on one of my grandfather's more famous statues.

The Sparty wikipedia page is also a pretty cool entry on the statue. Anyway, we'll be watching the program because my mom and aunt might be on it!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

You scored as Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones is an archaeologist/adventurer with an unquenchable love for danger and excitement. He travels the globe in search of historical relics. He loves travel, excitement, and a good archaeological discovery. He hates Nazis and snakes, perhaps to the same degree. He always brings along his trusty whip and fedora. He's tough, cool, and dedicated. He relies on both brains and brawn to get him out of trouble and into it.

Indiana Jones


William Wallace


Batman, the Dark Knight


Neo, the "One"


Captain Jack Sparrow


Lara Croft




The Amazing Spider-Man


The Terminator


James Bond, Agent 007


El Zorro


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

Hats off to Katie for directing us towards the test.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Katie of Doubleshot Thoughts (and just what is in that shot glass, hmmmm?) gets down with her bad self and delivers this PC version of "Goodnight Moon".

It will certainly exceed whatever expectation may have been created in your mind by my inadequate intro above. A++

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Listening to the entries for this month's KVRAudio contest, cheesy music, and this entry cracked both myself and 'Xander up.

Friday, November 25, 2005

SUSE Linux Update

So it's been maybe three days or so since I installed SUSE Linux on an old Windows 98 box I had lying around and so far I've...

1) Reconnected and mounted my old hard drive with all my old music data on it

2) Learned that I can't write to my external USB/Firewire drive because it's an NTFS disk and linux won't write to NTFS because it might wreck it

3) By randomly clicking on things, I've set up the linux box as a Samba server and gotten Windows XP home to recognize it as a network drive and so I've copied over all the data from the old hard disk to the external drive (connected to the XP box). Now I can put all my mp3s on the hard disk in the linux box.

4) Set up SHOUTcast server running on the linux box so that, within my home LAN, I can listen to streaming mp3s ("Radio Free Victor" is finally a reality).

Fun stuff.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I try not to blatantly link steal from Meredith anymore, but this one is just too, too good.

Mario Unleashed: Mario, Luigi, Peach (and Toad!) meet the Marimba at a High School Talent Show.

Quite simply the best thing on the 'net at the moment. Somewhere in Japan a man named Koji must be very, very proud.
I've had enough.

We've had a Windows 98SE machine sitting around for over two years now, literally collecting dust. The OS was completely hosed (it seemed to pick at random the screen resolution at which it'd boot, it would recognize any of my external drives, and even though the Ethernet NIC is good -- I know this because I booted it once with Knoppix, wouldn't recognize any sort of networking protocol under Windows.

So I'm installing SUSE Linux v10 from Novell. So far it's been going very smoothly. I disconnected the power from the additional drive I had in the box, just to be safe, though (even though you can set which disk it writes to, I didn't want to take any chances with my old song data). Anyway, fun stuff. I'm finally entering the 1970s.

Update: Okay, so SUSE is done installing and now it's downloading updates off the net. Already I love it. I can't believe I waited this long to download and install it and get some use out of this box (future video and music server/'Xander's sandbox, perhaps?). I can now hear in my head Denis' voice saying "Argh! I told you you were stupid. I kill you!"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The latest on Katelyn Sills' bogus expulsion.

Probably the most bald-faced and cowardly display of religious persecution in recent memory. The fact that it's being undertaken by an allegedly "catholic" high school against a Catholic student just makes it that much more scandalous.

My dance hit about the whole systemic problem is on its way. Music's 'bout done, just need some more words. It may be some more weeks, though, because this one is like over five minutes long.

Friday, November 18, 2005

They Might Be Giants has begun to post videos from their new DVD/CD release "Venue Songs" (songs written for each of the venues on their 2004 "The Spine" tour). Check out Albany. Both song and video are brilliant.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

We love Target, don't get me wrong. On our salary, undercut as it is by unrealistically high income taxes and the bottom dropping out of our country's manufacturing base thanks to our ungodly trade deficit, it's the only way we can afford imported and cheaply-made home furnishings and plastic doo-dads.

But I also likes it when people say "Merry Christmas" to me (the one nice thing, and I guess there may be others, about America moving towards recognizing Spanish as an official language and having to have all the signs and packaging labeled in both languages is that I have yet to see "Happy Holidays" rendered in that language), so I signed this petitiion. Since I value living, I'm not going anywhere near a Target or anything else retail that weekend anyway.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I guess since it's up at iTunes, the cat is out of the bag and I can spill the beans: Fr. Bryce is back: this time in convenient podcast form.

Lesser podcasts beware.

And thanks for the shout out, Fr. Bryce! You are The Padre.
I never ceases to amaze me how the web works. For some reason, just in the last two months, these four songs have become more popular (around 200-300 downloads a month each so far in October and November). What's odd is that these songs were never particularly popular when I first uploaded them (especially "Sing Me", which is probably deeper than anyone realizes). Who knows why people are listening to them now.




Here's another site we've been working on: Archived Assets.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The California Guitar Trio's Bert Lams has a 'blog. I'm pretty sure he's a far distant cousin of mine (he's of Flemish decent, his last name is Lams), but I'm not sure how we're related.

Anyway, that's a pretty good band site, there, with 'blogs and photos from every show they've done so far this year.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Here's a headline for ya...

Lams openly declares Maureen Martin brilliant.

As if anyone cared what I thought...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Walmart hates Christmas.

I mean really, really, really hates Christmas. And by extension, if this is true, Walmart hates Christians. So by extension, again if this is true at all, Walmart hates me and my entire family, so Walmart gets none of our money this year. It all goes to Costco. Sorry, rapin' corporate heirs of Sam Walton, but it is indeed a wide, wide world and if we want to widen our country's trade gap by buying cheap, imported Chinese goods, there is no end to the places from which we may purchase said goods.

Of course, the impact of their email is somewhat lessened by the fact that the Christmas colors are not red and white (those just the colors we wacky fundamentalists put on the candycanes so they remind us of hallucinogenic mushrooms) and I could go on but I just emailed Dan Fogleman and feel better now.
Cool story about the new mayor of Hillsdale, MI.

And now the wake-up call: when I started college at Hillsdale, hizzoner was 5 years old.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


My esteem for Patrick Warburton (video) has grown even above it's already very high levels. The only way it could grow from here is if he somehow wound up playing Ash's brother in an Evil Dead sequel.

Robert Davi also supported it. He was a great Jen'ai Commander in Stargate: Atlantis last season. I haven't played it, but I would imagine he was good in GTA: VC, too.

Anyway, check out the Proposition 73 page for some truly horrifying information (especially those calls where abortion "counselors" "counsel" 13-year-olds into covering up statutory rape). If you wonder why we're all so screwed, that's a big part of the reason why.
If you could find some way to bottle Stevie's MiniMoog bass sound in "So What The Fuss?" and sell it, you would make a FORTUNE. That track is like a master class in the tastiest synth bass, ever (sorry, Bernie).

Anyway, the whole new album is very good (kind of a weird meld of "Conversation Peace" and "Talking Book") and I'll have more to say on it soon.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

From Britain:

Metafilter at the end of the world.
Victor's Triumphant Return to Songwriting

After a brief hiatus, I am BACK. This is for the November, 2005, KVR contest the theme of which is "Easy & Cheesy in the Lo-Fi Lounge", so I present the nouveau lounge opus....

Bossa No. 6 [1:50, 1.69MB .mp3 format]

Yep. It's about a guy falling down the stairs. Deal with it.
Ray Kurzweil's nice tribute to Bob Moog.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

If this is as it seems the faculty of that school is guilty of the worst kind of moral cowardice and dickheadedness.

I am SO writing a song about this.
WWII as a BF 1942 chat channel

Link via Mark Shea.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

This 'Allowe'en, Meredith gave me the catchy and irreprehensible Glaucoma Hymn.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Ghost Whisperer is a very stupid show. Every time I watch it, I'm crying by the end. Stupid show.

You can play a nice drinking game with this show, though: every time Melinda (Jennifer Love Hewitt) blinks more than three times in rapid succession, take a drink. Every time Melinda expresses sympathy by pouting demurely, take a drink. Everytime Melinda smiles and looks away when paid a compliment, take a drink. I gaurantee you'll be smashed ten minutes into the show.

Still, you have to hand it to whomever thought up the best way to get guys to watch a "chick show" (much less one that is one of the Parents' Television Counsel's top-10 picks) is to put Jennifer Love Hewitt in either a bra, nightgown, or extremely low-cut evening dress at least four times per episode.
Whoa. Buzzkill.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Curt Jester is funny as ever.

I can't wait until I retire. Of course when I retire I'll probably have to go work in the Naqahdah mines or something....

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Okay, so Jackie and I watched this PBS Independent Lens P-Funk Documentary a couple of weekends ago. It was a very good documentary, focusing as much on the music as the (drug) culture of the group. Too bad it's not available on video (yet?). Anyway, watching this is partly what got me going on my new band/musical-movement/etc. project.
Be sure you leave some love in the comboxes on Katelyn Sills' weblog. Her moms stood up to whitey (i.e. the liberal intelligencia which usually populate these supposedly Catholic institutiions) and got a pro-abortion teacher removed from that Catholic school in Cali and now Katelyn is feeling the heat.

That 'blog rocks overall anyway but that Side Menu thing is freaking me out though.
Okay. How come nobody told me that the Stevie Wonder album I've been waiting 18 months for just came out? Thanks a lot, guys.

As it is, I think it's a shame that no shipping and handling robot could ever fully appreciate the juxtapositioning of the two other items in my order (to get the free shipping, y'all):

"If You Really Loved Me: 100 Questions on Dating, Relationships and Sexual Purity"
Jason Evert; Paperback; $8.79

"The Electric Spanking of War Babies"
Funkadelic; Audio CD; $11.98

Monday, October 24, 2005

Awesome viral marketing 'blog.

You have to go back to the January archives to fully appreciate the setup on this one. And if you can tell me what they're marketing, I'll give you a Slushie.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Yay! I just started a new band/world-changing musical movement/get-rich quick scheme. Unfortunately I don't have much more than a name at this point and a concept (of course), but that's further than I usually get these days (oh, and I registered a domain name, too, so you know I'm serious). Watch this space for developments.

And belated congrats to Britain and Abbey, the card is in the mail. Or will be shortly.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Having a cold is no fun (you'd think with all the zinc and vitamin C I take, and with my obsessive wiping down of every surface at work with disinfectant wipes and never opening a door without using a paper towel I wouldn't get sick, but I guess I shouldn't underestimate those airborne virii or the fact that I work in a big open room with 40 other people with recirculated air), but since you're stuck on the couch, you might as well play SOCOM 3. That's a mighty fun game. But I didn't realize that Shadow of the Colossus was going to be out this month, too, or I may have gotten that instead. Oh, well.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is the funniest thing I've read in probably two weeks.

Yes, the carpet bombing of the Smurf village was long overdue. I just never thought Unicef would bring this particular fantasy of mine to life in such a graphic way (probably only one of my readers remembers my wonderfully juicy "Smurfhunter" short story from high school -- yes, inspired by HeroMUD). Unfortunately, the best video of this ad I can find is here. Here's more better video.

I don't know. The video just doesn't seem to do justice to the occasion, for some reason.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oh and watch this space because soon I'll be posting one sentence reviews of all the new shows that came out this year of which we've happened to catch an episode or two.
Barb Nicolosi breaks 'blog silence to report her impressions from an early screening of The Lion, The Witch, Et Cetera.

And it sounds goooooooooooood. I really hope they managed to work Warwick Davis into it somehow, or -- dare to dream beyond all limits of reason -- Tom Baker, but I'll survive if they didn't.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Okay, it's been posted everywhere, but just to show I'm still a 'blogger:

Harriet Miers' 'blog

Monday, October 03, 2005

One of these days, Hisrich. When you least expect it. Possibly in your sleep...

Seriously. My glasses are not enormous... are they?
If the Bennett thing has shown us anything it's that the true American pasttime is making yourself busy being more offended than anyone else (yes, it's official: it's has replaced listening to New Orleanders complain about the weather).

Lest any of us forget that America is, having been founded by Puritans, still a very Purityrannical nation. Nothing none of us didn't already know, but it's still so sad that the thought police (or rather "thought-experiement" police) are still out in such force.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Itty-bitty Mini Reviews

Robots: amazing animation, truly amazing animation, and fairly-cool production design courtesy of Rolie Polie Olie (who thankfully did not write the story, because William Joyce can not write worth crap), but a rather clunky story and, I think due to casting more than anything else, somewhat dull characters.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: didn't expect much from this one, due to tepid reviews all around, but we wound up really enjoying this. It grabs you with the opening musical number and yeah, the story kind of goes down some dead ends, but overall there's enough there to make this enjoyable and worth watching again, which we will someday.

Go Fish (the band): if Rockapella and Take 6 ever got together and made babies, those babies would sound a lot like Go Fish when they grew up. My wife heard these guys in Texas when she was there for the Mothers of Preschoolers convention, and they're actually quite good... you know, for kids! And for adults too. Again: derivative of Take 6 in terms of the harmonies (good thing you can't trademark harmonies), but thoroughly enjoyable and, perhaps best of all, a little twisted.

Capcom Arcade Classics: easily the best of the whole retro-compilations to date, at least as far as I'm concerned. These are the games I cut my teeth on and, despite some obvious omissions, there's enough here to keep me busy for a very long time. Cool unlockables too.
Isaiah sings the Wild Grape Blues, courtesy of RAC.

I wish the music at our Church was this tolerable.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I suppose it could be worse. I'm not sure HOW, but it could be worse.

You are: A Hippie

You scored 54 Wisdom, 52 Tactics, 50 Guts, and 27 Ruthlessness!

You know nothing about tactics or war. You are docile and cowardly and the mere thought of violence is enough to make you wet yourself. Hate to break it to you, but chances are very good that you're not General material.... not even BAD General material. Hell you're probably not even a productive member of society. Why are you even here? Don't you have a peace pipe to smoke, or a war to protest or something? So here's to you and to whatever naive country that lets you vote....

Leaders who share your beliefs include: Jaques Chirac, Vladimir Putin and Gerard Schroeder

Which Historic General Are You?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Best Little A-Team Sound Page on The Internet

The A-Team theme sung in French!

Hilarious exchanges between Mr. T and Hulk Hogan!

Need I say more? Link provided by superfriend Britain.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mark Shea is right, this is funny (though it runs a bit too long).
Y'all be sure to check out Mark Shea's new podcast, Rock Hard!. It's definitely worth the time.

And I'm not going to say ONE WORD about that theme music. Except that, maybe, here's hoping that if everything goes well, they'll be able to upgrade from the free version of Acid.
Computer Programmer, playing around with Google Earth, finds heretofore undiscovered Roman Villa.

Link via my work friend Peter.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Because it's been a while...

Dr. Goldberg: As ridiculous as it sounds, it's called Dr. Goldberg because the following Dr. Pepper rip-offs are as ridiculous as it.
So I saw the new Revolution controller today (well, pictures of it anyway, since I don't live in Tokyo) and even with all the things that are going on in the world, I plotzed.

This truly has the power to change everything, as far as gaming is concerned. I admit, it's not going to appeal to anyone (read: the hardcore gamer) but while all you noobs are playing your Splinter Cell 8, I'll be playing some freakishly weird and innovative Nintendo game with my wife.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

"Oregon is bad,
Stop it if you can.
Here it comes,
here it comes.

Now it's after you,
Flee to someplace new.
Run away,
Run away."

- John Linnell

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Okay, I'll confess to wanting this. It'd go nice next to my Sledge Hammer: Season 1 DVD set.

Monday, September 12, 2005

"Hey, Hurricane Katrina Survivors! Who needs food, medicine, water, shelter, or clothing when you've got 'emergency contraceptives'?"

Of course if Planned Barrenhood really wanted to help female hurricane survivors they would have handed out .38 Specials and rape whistles at the N.O. Convention Center.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ever notice...

...that the same things that make your teeth white will make your eyes burn?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

My sister went to World Youth Day and all I got was...

...some pretty cool stuff, actually. A St. Michael medal blessed by the Pope and a cool bavarian pipe. Check out her photos here.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

September is International Piano Improv. Month

I so declare it. And what is more welcome than a nine-minute piano improv? I made this with the Virtual Piano from Art Vista. It's encoded in .ogg format (smaller - around 6MB - file size and it's still listenable) so get thee over to MediaMonkey.com and download the best media player on the planet, if you don't already have something that can play .ogg files.


I still don't have my 88-key, weighted, hammer-action keyboard controller yet, but I think I do all right with my old 61-key Roland Groovesynth.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint both missing in N.O.

Please pray for them and everyone else caught up in this awful, horrible situation.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The only thing cooler than being able to buy a Logitech headset for your PS2 so you can sing duets in "Karaoke Revolution 3" is the feeling you get when you realize you can use that same headset with your PC for all your VOIP needs.

Google Sidebar, Picasa 2, and Google Earth are all cool, too, of course and much cheaper.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Yes, it is my birthday, today (thanks for remembering!). And yes, this is the big three-oh.

Honestly, a part of me never really thought I'd make it this far.... Now what?

Monday, August 22, 2005

Rest in Peace, Dr. Moog.

May the Lord grant unto you a low-pass filter with the cutoff frequency set to 20kHz and may the perpetual light of a glowing tube amp shine upon you.

Thanks to superfriend and superdad Britain, for passing along the sad news.
So pray, tell us, Lefty Loony, what's wrong with JPII's Theology of the Body?

The complex issues involved in a response to the church’s position on artificial contraception are too complex to treat in depth here, but I would simply note that there are thoughtful theological arguments that take a different position, that note the need for couples to follow their consciences on how best to plan their families, that suggest that the church’s longstanding opposition to contraception relies on an understanding of sexuality that looks to the experiences of men more than of women.

Newsflash, Loony: speaking strictly from "experience," opposition to artificial contraception is infinitely more pro-woman than it is pro-man.

Anyway, I could have picked out any paragraph of this article to post here. I'm sure you'll all have fun fisking it yourself. Oh, well. From the author's own description, it sounds like this article was written by a tired fossil, anyway; far nearer, temporally and in terms of moral relevance, to the dustbin of history than the over 1,000,000 (including my sister!) who gathered in Koln yesterday.

Still, it's as true a saying today as when the snake first spake it: Follow your own consciences, kiddies, and ye shall be as gods.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Robot Love Update

I noticed that one of my Robot Love remixes from years ago was downloaded 174 times in July and I have no idea why. So it's time to take a trip over to Google and see what's new in the world of Robot Love...

Legal Pad Humor's clever animation

Oxymoronatron's "21st Century Robot Love"

and... whatever this is. Looks like a stuffed robot to me. Check out the other robots by the same artist. Also very clever.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

If you've got a three-year-old and all he wants to do is play Gameboy or PS2, you need to pick this game up: Cranium Cariboo.

Let me tell you: it's so cool to be able to play a board game with your son (who is three) and have him really get into it. It's probably just about the coolest thing imaginable (yes, even cooler than one of them new Mustangs).
One from Victor's Vault

Okay, I probably should apologize in adavance for this. Today I had the idea that I could hook up an old walkman to my portable mp3 player, dig up some of my old mix-down tapes from my 4-track tape-recorder days, and record (tape, old walkman, and low-fi mp3 player recording hiss and all) some of my old music.

I recorded it in the fall of 1996, when I was a senior in college. Up until this point only one other person in the world, besides myself, has ever heard this song (that's right, kids: this one doesn't even appear on the "Radio Victor" CD-R I put out in ought-two). In it, my alter-ego at the time, Mr. Straight Shots, comes to term with his funk nightmare. Listening to it now, I think it's quite brilliant, but maybe that's just because it bespeaks some pretty good times.

Yes, it's hissy almost to the point of being unlistenable, but until I dig out my 4-track recorder and make a decent mixdown of the tune, you'll have to live with it. I know you'll understand, Philothea: I just couldn't deprive the world of this track any longer.

Victor Lams (1996): "Straight Shots" (2MB mp3 file)

Maybe I'll dig up more of these tunes someday. I had a quite insipidly inspirational song, too, if I recall, entitled "Mellow-Day" that all my friends mocked.

Friday, July 29, 2005

You're free to disagree with me, but I'm thinking now that music encoded as OGG files tends to sound better than mp3 files encoded at a comparable bitrate. The bottom end just sounds a lot more punchy to me and there's greater definition around the high-range, too.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jayson Franklin, of The Catholic Cast, did a full-length podcast on Catechism Rock!, featuring an interview with me. I haven't heard it yet, so I probably say some really stupid things on it you won't want to miss.

Download it today and someday you can stand defiantly in front of my podium as I rum for the US Senate, boombox raised above your head, and single-handedly unmake my political career!
Our prayers are with Bob Moog who is suffering from, and receiving radiation treatment for, a brain tumor.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Quote of the week:

"Lock me in a room with a computer, an original San Andreas DVD and a binary-file editor, and I will be able to unlock the stuff in a matter of minutes," he said defiantly.

You had me at "lock me in a room with a binary-file editor".

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sorry I've been so light on the 'blogging lately. But if you're looking for a great PS2 game that you can play (co-operatively) with your spouse/children, you could do a lot worse than Lego Star Wars. The high concept for the game is this: let's do the three Star Wars prequels WITH LEGOS. So the characters are all made out of Legos and when they die they blow apart in a shower of tiny bricks (as does much of the environment when you hit it).

If you like Legos and could at least tolerate Episodes I through III (one of our reasons for getting this game is that we could figure out the story to Episode III without having to see the movie in the theaters or wait for the DVD), then you should definitely check this out. It's so cute and so fun.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Steve Greydanus really hated this movie.

Had the filmmakers deliberately set out to insult, demean, and trample upon Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s legacy, they could hardly have done a more efficient job. Yet with a production this thoroughly inept, it’s actually hard to know who to blame.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

More Cowbell!

Because, you know, sometimes you just need an electric cowbell that model other cowbells.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Tonight's episode of The Dead Zone ("Double Vision" which I guess this is episode three of season four, but the seasons are all like only eight episodes and run from June through August each year) was very "pro-life" I guess for lack of a better term. If I were Michael Schiavo and watching it I hope my blood would run cold: (SPOILER ALERT) they had a kid in a persistant vegitative state (brain dead, no hope for recovery) and the opinion of two psychics and a very pissed-off dad were able to change the mind of the mom who wanted to pull the plug.

Anyway, it more than made up for the crap-fest freak-show that was last week's episode.
I almost forgot: one of the coolest things about seeing Batman Begins in the theater (aside from the prominent placement of a 1992 Taurus in the feature) was the trailer for "Serenity". I'd already seen it online, of course, but on the big screen it looked WICKED RAD. Seeing all those characters really huge and the two space fleets... well, we'll probably see that one in the theaters.

But we also liked the preview for Disney's "Sky High". Bruce Campbell as a superhero coach. Yeah!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

We did something crazy last night and saw a movie in the theatre. We agree with Stephen Greydanus' assessment of Batman Begins just about word for word: a truly awesome movie in just about all respects, but you feel a little cheated by later the fight scenes (especially considering that, presumably, this movie had a much larger budget than, say, your average episode of "Angel" which still managed to show you more of the action).

Is it wrong of me to think that his role as Lieutenant Gordon might be one of Gary Oldman's best roles to date? I think the Victor who pretended to understand "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" would be shocked to hear me say that. He was just really good and inobviously cast in that role.

Anyway, it's a great movie; not just a great comic-book hero movie, but a great movie.
Some former co-workers of mine tuned me in to Kingdom Of Loathing. It's a fun, free, simple game that won't eat up all your time.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Just playing around with some of my new toys and whipped this up. It's an unofficial (noodling) Victor track so if you don't like it, that's fine. It's just me playing around.

Victor Lams: "Unofficial .mp3" 192kbps
I don't care what anyone says, Space Channel 5 is a great game on any system, in any age.

I always have a lot of fun with this one and it always cheers me up.
Some days it pays to just stay in bed get up early.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Amazon has pulled the release date (which they were reporting was going to be June, 21) for Stevie Wonder's new album. Target is less-optimistic (but perhaps more realistic), saying the album will be released January 1, 2010.

Of course this is to be expected ("Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants" anyone?), so I'm not that upset by it. In the meantime check out the video for the awesome "So What the Fuss?" at StevieWonder.net. It looks like it was filmed inside the "Songs in the Key of Life" album cover and -- thankfully -- it sounds like Stevie has rediscovered the real-live drum kit. And the Busta Rhymes-narrated version is good, too.
Happy Father's Day to all us dads in here!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Gaurdian Unlimited: Preschool of rock

"On some levels, kids are the toughest audience of all," confirms John Linnell of They Might Be Giants a few days later. The US alt.rock duo started recording music for pre-school children years ago: their first kids' album, No!, came out in the US in 2002. "Children do not observe any of the formal rituals of any adult audiences. They do not feel embarrassed by a complete lack of applause at the end of songs. They do not feel a need to face towards the stage. They are perfectly happy to talk throughout the quiet sections of songs and completely drown out the music. This is all just ordinary. We try to avoid doing kids' shows now, because it's kind of nerve-racking and demoralising."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Nothing much new to report this weekend (though I hope to finish up a new Catechism Rock! song this evening, after we get back from Grandma and Granda's pool). Why the dearth of creativity? It's too damn muggy in here.

"It's a good thing these aren't spraying liquid nitrogen, or you'd be frozen!" (8-year-old boy overheard when were at the sprinkler park (or "sprayscape") on Friday).

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou may be the most awesome movie I've seen this year. I was prepared for a meaningful exegesis on accidie, thanks to the Crisis review by Terry Teachout but what I wasn't prepared for was such a throughly entertaining film -- and Bill Murray's funniest and best role (that honor had previously fallen on Lost in Translation). Anyway, this is a great movie. I must admit to not being that great a fan of Wes Anderson's other films, but this one really did something for me. And the soundtrack was amazing.

So this one gets 100 stars.
We may never get the Olympics, but this trailer for True Crime 2 makes a compelling case for why Detroit could be the setting of the ultra-violent video game (gotta love those crime statistics).

If that looks like Detroit to you, why don't you guess the city?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

I can't say that these these hilarious faux-faux-commercials made me want to run out and buy a Mini, but they did make me want to buy a G-Whiz G-Force Indicator and Hey Horn (which, oddly enough, I think you really can buy).

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Here's a verse I remember aproximately from when my dad would recite it in my childhood years. You name the author and I'll be your best friend for a day:

"My feeling is of great ambivalence
While driving an animal ambulance,
Filled with malevolent elephants."

Thursday, June 02, 2005

For all you Harry Hamlin fans out there, there's L.A. Catholic (okay, that was a bit of a reach).

Anyway, anyone who can invoke my song about the flying house of Loreto as a wish to have Angels move the Raj Mahal (or Taj Mahoney -- I never got that straight) out of L.A. deserves a special mention on my 'blog.

Remember my 'blog? Good times....

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Parade of Unfortunate Star Wars Costumes

The funniest thing this week.

Yeah, I stole this from POF but because Meredith is a lawyer now she's probably okay with that.

I stole this, too. It's probably the scariest thing with puppets I've ever seen. Truly evil. The old guy on the side had better be a quadriplegic or else he's pulling a serious David Fury from that "Smile Time" episode of Angel.

Speaking of shows involving David Fury, I was sad to see Arnst go (up) on the finale of Lost but they did him right (for a minor character) in the flashbacks.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Woohoo! It's done!

It's an all new edition of The Catholic Cast hosted by me! There's a very good homily by Fr. Bryce (in honor of his late Weblog), music from Don McClane, and there's even a new "Catechism Rock!" in there, so be sure to check out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Woohoo! I'm doin the Catholic Cast this week. Should be great. I just don't know if the world is ready for it or not, though.

Look for it on Friday or Saturday.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Long Tail: Robot Child-Herders

Although it's fine at sucking up dirt, finding its way around the room and returning to its charging station, its real achievement is in not only getting the children to clean up their toys first but also tiring them out before bed.

This works with three magic phrases:

1. "Roomba's coming out tonight. Clean up your toys or Roomba will eat them!"
2. "If you can clean them up fast you can stay up to watch Roomba!"
3. "Here goes Roomba. Don't let him touch you!"
I don't care what anyone says: you've got to have Catholicae Testudines to 'blog from the Catholic Student Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.
Yo! Check out the latest Catholic Cast. I don't have any new music in it, but Jayson interviews the Catholic Mormon Podcast folks; I would SO desperately like to do their themesong, except I think it'd get 10 million Mormons angry with me (and the last thing I need at this stage in my life is any more mormon women missionarily dating me). Oh, and he plays some tracks from this band, Pierced, which has a really great sound -- very nice piano work and composition. They're a Catholic band, just in case you don't get that from their website. So I would say it's quite a good show and you should check it out.

And every time you vote for Jayson's podcast at Podcast Alley a crocodile doesn't maul someone to death.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tonight's series finale of "Everybody Loves Raymond" was very sweet and not what I at all expected (I thought Frank and Marie would move back to the condo... boy was I wrong).

Anyway, as a "status quo" finale where the entire cast doesn't die ("Angel") or form the United Federation of Planets ("Enterprise"), or get trapped in the Celestial Temple, indefinitely ("DS9"), or destroy the whole town ("Buffy"), it was a nice change of pace.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A fitting end to Enterprise this past Friday: we started watching the show at the end of the third season (and caught that season in repeats). It's pretty telling that the show wrapped up as little more than a footnote to a good The Next Generation Episode (though, since I missed the first few seconds, I thought we were in the future (like maybe stardate 62000 or something), but we were actually back in the Pegasus episode, which was cool). But it's pretty appropriate: it's a lot easier for me to cope, after the loss of Deep Space 9, by thinking that Enterprise was nothing more than some Newhart-ish holodeck program and not a real Trek series (though they did a lot in the fourth season that was cool: most notably explaining what happened to the Klingons' ridges between Enterprise and The Original Series... it even jibed nicely with Worf's reluctance to talk about it on that DS9 episode). Anyway, the finale did nothing for me so much as to make me realize how much I missed Riker and Troi and the whole TNG universe. When all is said and done, Paramount really screwed over the franchise with "Enterprise".

Oh and the "Catholic" episode of The Simpsons was very funny. Granted, it suffered from some common misconceptions of the Church, but if The Simpsons is a cultural barometer, then at least we know what areas we need to address.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Engadget.com: Watschendiskurs: robots on semiotics gone fisticuffs

Be sure to watch the video. I'm rooting for the pink froggie. And also I'm now not all that afraid of the coming robot apocalypse.
I promise you: Catechism Rock! will never sink this low.

Link via the Angry Twins. You should check out their thoughts on the Our Lady of China Cathedral in Taiwan.
Okay. As bad as colds are, migraines: much worse. Well, that was a fantabulously pathetic loss of a perfectly good day.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Rice: Gun Rights Important As Free Speech

Well, duh. Any talk of "rights" is pretty meaningless if you don't have any basis for defending those rights.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

"Purgatory" in high-quality .mp3 format over at Catechism Rock!.

You can also read the thrilling story of its conception, learn what role James Preece played at its bris (er....), and find out how it finally left the nest. And there's a never before seen LamToonS video clip there as well (it's jut an animation test, so don't get too excited).

I'd love to hear your comments! And don't forget the soothing lullaby of the Flying House of Loreto is now playing only at The Catholic Cast (Jayson does a very nice introduction to the tune for those of you who may not know that Mary's house was actually flown from Palestine to Italy by angels. And if you think that's improbable, just think: what would YOU do to save yo mama's house from marauders? Now: imagine that you're the Son of God).

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

New Catholic Cast!

Lots of neat stuff there, including a talk with the Catholic/Mormon Podcast People (I haven't gotten to that part yet, though). And there's a new Catechism Rock! tune, too ("Flying House of Loreto").

Check it out and then vote for Jayson's podcast on the Podcastalley.

Monday, May 09, 2005

It might be pretty sad to admit this but the funniest thing I'd seen in a while was the latest iteration (or "sketch") of Will Forte's "Oh, nooo!" guy on Saturday Night Live (but only because Fred Armisen's latest iteration -- or sketch! -- of Richie B, the deaf comic (and his interpreter Marcus) wasn't as funny as the original (being, as it was, a direct reproduction of the original but with different jokes (slightly))).

Anyway, who knew that having someone yell "Oh, nooo!" into a phone (or Will Forte for that matter) could be so amusing. Instant macro.
New 'Blog!

Okay, so it's my new 'blog but who cares...

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Eric Scheske on National Homebrew Day. Very nice and I might have to try homebrewing someday.... How does one go about homebrewing a vodka martini or a nice Chilean Cabernet Merlot?
That '70s Show: another fine piece by Mark Shea.
I completely missed it, but yesterday was my FOUR YEAR BLOGGIVERSARY. Yep! Four years! I'd like to tell you how many posts that is, but 'Blogger hasn't updated my profile with a new count in like a year so I have no idea. It's a bunch, though. I'll figure it out.

Anyway... I've been doing this for four years. Ugh.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Give your senators the finger. The BLUE finger, that is.

Yeah, I'm not 100% sure I get it, either. But it's for a good cause. What senator couldn't use more foam appendages?
I thought of something over the weekend and I realized how happy I am to be part Polish and part Bavarian: I'm 2-for-2 with the last 2 Popes. Now if the next Pope is Flemish (unlikely -- sorry Danneels) I'll have a sweep. Or hat trick. Or whatever you want to call it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Check out the latest Catholic Cast for some great interviews and some new music from me: something I'm calling "Catechism Rock". First up is "Purgatory" (which you may recall was an instrumental piece I did about 18 months ago. Well, now it has vocals). These tunes will be Catholic Cast exclusive for the first week or so, then I'll post them to all of my various and sun-dried music sites. I probably won't be able to do one-a-week as I did with the "Robot Love" album, but should be able to crank these out every other week or so. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Rocklopedia Fakebandica

Okay, this is awesome and I'm sad I've never seen it before today. Any fictional or fake band that I could think of is in the Rocklopedia Fakebandica. Try it out, you'll like it.
RC passed this story along:

Town May Name Street for the O'Jays (and confusion ensues). Hopefully someday we'll be able to tell people to take the The Ohio Players' Parkway to the Bootsy Collins' Ave. exit and then turn left on The O'Jays Boulevard.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mario A Capella

Worth watching all the way to the end. It gets really good right in the middle. Truly inspiring.

And while we're on a retro kick: Don't copy that floppy! (Funny, I don't remember the rapping guilt trip flying the plane in our pirated copy of Flight Simulator II). I guess the thought was that if a rapping PSA was more than 10 minutes long, the message would finally sink in. "Welcome to the end of the computer age. Muhahahahah!"
Once again, I bow to the master.

Jeff Miller's Ut Unum Sintrum (now with B16!).

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Another great Catholic Cast/The Disciple in which Jayson interviews the Pope... Pope Michael I, that is. Check out his new themesong, too (Jayson's new themesong, not Pope Michael I's. Although...).

Long live the Pope!

Of course in our Parish the only mention of Pope Benedict XVI was when Father inadvertantly slipped up and said "John Paul our pope" again and then stopped and corrected himself. But the Michigan Catholic newspaper did have a nice photo spread on our new Pope. It was cool to see a picture of Georg Ratzinger, who I gather is a composer. Hopefully we'll be hearing more of his music in the coming months.
What's in YOUR Thumos.

Another fine 'blog. I really should probably stick to making music. Or playing PS2.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

The message to the five-year-olds is clear: Have a temper tantrum, go to jail..

Okay... So there's one kindergarten student who won't necessarily believe what all kindergarten students are taught in public school: that police officers are your friends. But here's a question: what were (at least) three police officers doing in an elementary school kindergarten class? Anyone? Is that standard police procedure now? Can't stop the drugs or the gangs so stake out the kindgergarten classes for irate five-year-olds and the hospices for anyone trying to bring bottled water inside?

I swear: I NEVER want to live in Florida. By all accounts, that place is INSANE.
Oh, no! I've been found out. Katie at DoubleShot Thoughts left a comment at my favorite after-hours hangout, Pieces of Flair. That talking penis comment wasn't mine! It must have been, uh... some other et ceteran!

Your Linguistic Profile:

65% General American English

25% Upper Midwestern

5% Midwestern

5% Yankee

0% Dixie

Thanks to the wonderful Zorak for finding this. I had not been to her 'blog in far, far, FAR, too long.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Another reason (Mark Shea!) that MSNBC is cool.

Now if they could just drop Chris Matthews on his head from a great height, all would be right in the world. FWIW, I, for one, enjoyed "Conclave Puppet Theatre" on Countdown last night.

Anyway, I for one am very happy but not surprised. If Fr. John Neuhaus calls Cdl. Ratzinger in three days, it's going to be Cdl. Ratzinger (with)in three days.

Anyway, even though it's a little anti-aliased, this is my new desktop wallpaper.
Catholic World News: Benedict XVI at a Glance
Salt of the Earth: Current Amazon sales rank: #12 in books.

God is Near Us: The Eucharist, the Heart of Life: Current Amazon sales rank: #15 in books.

The Ratzinger Report: Current Amazon sales rank: #19 in books.

Viva Papam! Now hopefully everyone who bought the books actually reads them and the awful racist German hatenames he's been branded with can finally die.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The New Pope 'Blog was nice enough to send me a nice email, which is more than I can say for most of the other people I link to, so here's a link to their site.

Apparently there's a lot of information there and also a lot of speculation about who The New Pope will be (whence, I suppose, the name of the 'blog).
The Other Victor on "Dogville". Or, if you're pressed for time: a short capsule review.

Basically what I would say if I had the time. And knew film. And could write. There's a lot to unpack in that film and I'm sure if I could afford the time, I could spend many hours in my mind figuring out what it all means, but we're trying to potty train this week. This is why Victor's commentaries are so valuable. If you haven't seen the movie, though, set aside a hundred (well, okay three) hours to watch it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

And another one! This one is for Faynights:

bgcolor="#000000" width="100" height="30" name="faynights" align="middle"
allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
New 'BlogTone! (I'm getting back into making these). This one is for Vivificat.org:

bgcolor="#000000" width="100" height="30" name="vivificat" align="middle"
allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />

Friday, April 15, 2005

"Too bad no one's starved her to death! Ha ha ha."
This is going to be awesome V Smile Pocket. It looks like it's compatible with all the games that are out for the current V Smile console and in addition to having its own screen (hopefully backlit), it also has output jacks for a television.

The PSP may be the bees knees for folks without kids, but for parents of pre-schoolers, this is big news. Not sure what's up with this picture, though ("Dude! She's totally into me!").

Thursday, April 14, 2005

At least I'm not crazy.

Link via Poof.
For some reason I stayed up until 1am last night watching Dogville. All in all, and I mean this in the best possible way, it's a truly horrible movie (which of course was the point of the whole thing). Anyway, it's worth watching as an excercise in how we treat our most vulnerable citizens (answer: either with brutality or rational detachment). The whole wall-less, set-less production was pretty interesting and the cast was excellent (was it better than watching Joe Morton and Hugh Laurie on "House" this week, though? I think not).

Anyway, if anyone can get us a tape or DIVX of last night's "LOST" we would be extremely grateful.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Seriously, folks: check out The Catholic Cast (propose a new name for the cast and you could win something!) and not just because the April 5th broadcast features my music, but because by any standard it's a really great show. A lot of work goes into it, and the quality, scope, and depth of the podcast is first rate. Truly excellent stuff.

You could do a lot worse with a 1/2 hour.
Thanks to The Last Gentleman for pointing me towards this, the best tribute to the Pope yet, from Disputations.

At a time like this, we all share according to our means.

In a pousse cafe glass, layer the following from bottom to top:

Grenadine; red represents the martyrs' witness to the Gospel.
Blue Curacao; blue is the color of Our Lady.
Whipping cream, the papal white of purity.
Polish vodka, representing clarity of vision.

Drink it with a hearty "Vivat Papa!" and plenty of nolitetimery, or absence of fear.
This may seem silly to some of you, but you might want to head over to www.vatican.va and do a screen cap of their sedes vacans homepage. With any luck, it'll be gone soon and it might be a while before you get to see it again so get your digital piece of history now.
Cool Catholics in New Media

Check out Jayson Franklin's excellent "The Catholic Podcast" (the show's URLs would be a much better name for the 'cast, IMHO).

There are multiple streaming/download options as well as links to resources so you can make your own podcast if you want. I doubt that 6 million people in this country are really podcasting, like a recent survey suggests, but like 'blogging was five years ago, this is an exciting new trend in new media.

Now if somone could just find a way to add more hours to a day (I guess someone has and they're called methamphetamines, but I was looking for something a little less lethal).

Friday, April 08, 2005

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

They Might Be Giants: "Venue Songs"

At each stop of their 2004 tour, They Might Be Giants wrote, arranged and performed a brand new song dedicated to that evening's venue. Each song came together in one day as a surprise for the audience.

I broke down and bought the 31 Venue Songs for $9.99 today. Far from being the ephemera I feared they'd be, they're actually some of the most inventive work the group has ever done. Put this on your .mp3 player and the next time you hit shuffle, these tunes (each is only one to two minutes) will fit into those gaps between the Bootsy Collins and Nick Cave songs nicely.
Back in October, 2003, I equated Michael Schiavo with White Trash. It's interesting to read this now. I didn't realize at the time what a big bully he was, too.
KinkySweet Recordings presents Midnight Soul

I'm going to have to pick this up. After a few years, Soul music is actually becoming listenable again (Roy Ayers with Erykah Badu! and who knew we'd hear from Amp Fiddler, again, after that P-Funk show almost 10 years ago... on the other hand, I'm not sure what to make of any group? person? individual? who calls themself "Crazy Penis").
"The Bloodmobile"

This is an awesome fan-made video of TMBG's "Bloodmobile", which they (TMBG) recorded for a kids' science museum exhibit about the circulatory system.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Micro Reviews

Been a while since I've reviewed anything, so here's a bunch at once.

Cowon iAudio 5 flash-based .mp3 player: This is my first ever .mp3 player and I bought it because it was relatively inexpensive, small, recorded FM radio and voice (and line-in), and looked really cool. And also could be used as a USB jump drive for data. I have yet to be disappointed with anything on this device. It's awesome and comes with a lot of accessories. It plays WAV, WMA, mp3, and OGG files (no FLAC... yet, but I can live with that for now). OGG rules. Buy it at newegg.

As good as the headphones were that came with the iAudio, they didn't fit my earholes very well, so I picked up a pair of Sennheiser MX-500 In-Ear Headphones from Amazon.com because they were cheap and fairly well-reviewed. They just came today and I must say they are amazing, compact, and very, very comfortable. And I don't have to shove any silicone tubes into my ear canals, which always makes me happy.

Johnson Family Vacation stars Cedric the Entertainer and was on cable one night. It's a fairly entertaining movie. Nothing great, but it has it's moments.

Anchorman was very funny and had Fred Armisen in it. I like Fred Armisen. Also very funny with it's pseudo-pointless "Will Farrell" humor. I like Will Farrell humor, but what kept this movie from being really great was its near total lack of story. Still very funny, though. And now I know why everyone keeps going "WHAMMY!" all the time. Five beers.

Dodgeball was much dumber even than Anchorman, but I found it funnier (Six beers). Maybe I'm just into low-brow humor, I don't know. It was a really funny movie, though. I make no apologies for finding it funny. Even if it did have Ben Stiller in it (and he was actually funny, too, in parts... amazing).

The Bourne Supremacy is a movie many people said was better than the original. I say "Less Franka? Then there's no way it's better than the original!". Still a good movie, though.

Thunderbirds was directed by Jonathan Frakes which is why I watched it. 'Xander liked it too, and it has a lot of heart and some really cool "mechanical" effects (blast doors opening, huge airplanes, exploding space stations, etc.). Unfortunately it has nothing resembling dialogue, appealing characters (Ben Kingsley as the villian was pretty cool, though), tolerable acting, or ... well, the story was better than I expected. And there were tons of Fords in it (the evil henchman even drove a Ford-emblemed dune buggy, showing their responsibility to their corporate sponsors): the Fab-1 was based on a current-model Ford THUNDERBIRD (get it?) and in the hanger where they kept all the Thunderbirds (the planes) they had prominently displayed a 1950s Ford Thunderbird (get it?).

"Mary Lou Williams Presents Black Christ of the Andes" is a CD we picked up after hearing Fr. Peter O'Brien, Mary Lou Williams manager on the Catholic radio program "Notes from Above". Actually, I'd been meaning to pick up some Mary Lou Williams (check out the picture of her with Pope Paul VI on that link!) for a while, but the closest I got was John Hicks' fine tribute album Impressions of Mary Lou. Mary Lou Williams, it turns out, is a fine composer and excelliant Jazz pianist and anyone who either likes avant garde jazz choral work mixed with some straight ahead piano-trio sing or who is interested in further exploring the impact of Catholic artists on our culture should check this out. Next we'll pick up "Mary Lou's Mass". Definitely one of the the most underrated jazz composers and artists... at least in this day and time (can't say how she was received in her own time). I'd say her work is MOST deserving of a renaissance.

I was surprised to learn that James Darren did a follow up to his "This One's From The Heart" album of 1999. But in 2001 he released "Because of You", which just arrived today (Super Saver Shipping for the earphones above, you understand). I LOVED the Vic Fontaine character on Deep Space Nine and even before the series finale (which left me a sobbing mess), his version of "Paper Moon" in the episode entitled "Paper Moon" (where Nog loses his leg and becomes a holodeck recluse) made me misty eyed. Anyway, this more recent is definitely just a teeny little less Vic Fontaine and more James Darren interms of song choice (which has a few more surprises, drifting slightly further away from the Sinatra canon -- it's nice to hear "Blame it on My Youth" again... a song I learned to sing and accompany myself on the piano when I was in High School) and arrangements (which are very good). But that can be a good thing. So far, I knew exactly what to expect when I got this and I really like it.

What else... I guess that's it for now.
The Coolest Thing On the Web.

Yes, it's that panoramic shot (you need Quicktime) of St. Peter's taken on Sunday (probably?). Link from Fr. Bryce.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Now that I've had a chance to see it, I declare this music video by Denmark's late pop king Tommy Seebach to be great fun.

But now I have to ask -- What's better: Danish cheesecake or a cheesecake danish?
More folks pick up on Weigel's observation that the timing of the Pope's death coincided so perfectly with Divine Mercy Sunday.
Our cantor/piano player (for whom I desperately need to buy a metranome, and who once played "The Rainbow Connection" -- instrumental -- in Mass) suprised me today by playing and singing a Polish version of "Hail, Holy Queen" which is proper for Polish funerals. They also sang "Pie Jesu", and I was moved to tears (more by grief than by the music... a mixture of both). They're doing the some prayers of the holy office for the dead on Tuesday, so I'll probably go to that.

Anyway, JP II, we still love you.
ABCNews: Pope's Body Lies in State

(for some reason ABC classifies this as Health news). Anyway, don't be surprised if that body never decomposes.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Courtesy of CatholicExchange.com, Erin Berghouse's "Pope John II" in .mp3 format. It's a pretty good song, considering, so make a little Berghouse in your soul and download it and listen to it today.
And now I know why MSNBC's coverage was so good (some would say Fair and Accurate) last night: apparently Chris Matthews was on a plane to Rome. Now that he's there he can open his jerk face and say all sorts of stupid things -- and we can switch the channel back to Fox.
So much to think and pray about. Confession at Church today, which started at 3:30 Eastern time today, was packed. I told Fr. Paul that if we thought Pope John Paul II did a lot for the Church before, only imagine what he can do for us now.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. But I'm sure that's already been taken care of.
Junieblogtropolis for all the Junie Morrison fans out there.
A drum machine (step sequencer, really) for video clips?

Looks like a lot of fun.
USB Ghost Detector

"This detects invisible phenomena and so the system is confidential," he said. "This is not a game. This is a measuring device."
The music of Rhoby.

The 'blog of Gen X Revert.

Friday, April 01, 2005

MSNBC just put up a slide ("The Wisdom of John Paul II") with the (approximate) quote: "The vast cemetaries of the 20th century have been expanded to include one more cemetary: that of the unborn."

MSNBC is putting up pro-life quotes? What's going on here?
Someone sent me this link to a video clip of the Pope, so check it out.

It's probably the most schizophrenic webpage I've ever seen, but if they bothered to email me, you should check it out.

So far the best (most reverent and best perspectived) newschannel coverage tonight has undoubtedly been on MSNBC: George Weigel and Pat Buchanan in the same 1/2 hour!

Anyway, they played the recent clip with the doves and, maybe it's just a reminder of the importance of laughter, but I hadn't seen it in its entirety and watching it tonight, it made me laugh. In 100 years, everyone will know and appreciate Karol Woltyja's writings but we, today, have the access to appreciate something far greater: his wonderful sense of humor.
In times like these it's important for me to remember that the past, present, of the future of the Church is always in the hands of the Holy Spirit; and if you can't trust Him, then Whom can you trust?
While we wait to see what the web offers us this year, here's a good, classic article:

Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Well, I guess those bastard judges finally succeeded in murdering Terri Schiavo. They must be proud. Seriously: if that's all it takes to be a hero these days, why did we ever bother feeding our son?

Here are two phrases you have to promise me you'll use in at least two sentences this weekend: "Usurpation of judicial authority" and "impeach their murdering asses".

In so many ways this is a bigger disaster for our country than 9/11. We're not dealing with some fanatical foreigners spontaneously smashing a jet or two into a building. These are our judges, deliberately and for 13 days, in ruling after ruling, starving an innocent and not even sick human being to death.

Seriously, the time for reflection on the meaning of life and culture of bla bla bla this that and the other in this country is over. It's time to get off our butts and, to the extent of each of our resources, do something.

The Culture of Death spreads like a brushfire, and there's only one proven and effective way to fight a brushfire.
Hey! This is cool. Watch me nuke Fr. Bryce's weblog!

(The maggots are also cute).
It's hard to go wrong with a news headline like "GRENADE BOT BLASTS AWAY".

Link via Engadget, who also tells us that a community high school's underwater robot beat one from MIT.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Make your own Advance Directive before someone tries to kill you.

Fr. Bryce and now Peggy Noonan hit the nail on the head: the Schiavo-snuffers are in love with death.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Communicate with dolphins... in space! thanks to The Cracklebox.

Just discovered the Musicthing 'blog. It's very entertaining. They found The Tornado.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Background info on Michael Schiavo and Terri's "condition".

All of which points to that this wasn't just a collapse from bulimia as it's been reported in some places. Michael Schiavo is apparently a big, occasionally violent, bully.

Not surprisingly: Michael Schiavo has requested to have the body cremated immediately after Terri's death -- because she's afraid of bugs.

Honestly, he may escape justice in this life, but either in this one or in the next, these questions are going to be answered.
Subaru's RoboHiter

(Yes, of course there's no L in that name).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Whatever you do, kid, don't try to take Terri a glass of water.

So much for protecting the identity of juvenile "offenders". And I hope that cop's mom is mighty proud of her son for busting up the pernicious, one-member waterboy ring.

Say what you want, but that kid is a hero.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

And can anyone explain how anything called the "Libertarian National Socialist Green party" can also be called "extreme rightwing"?

Does this mean that Ralph Nader or any Candian PM for the past 50 years are conservatives?

Very, very sad. Though the story does contain one ironic phrase which would be almost funny under almost any other circumstances (like not after a school shooting and on The Simpsons): "It's hard though, being a Native American National Socialist."
Tonight Feminist For Life's Honorary Chair Patricia Heaton takes her plea to save Terri Schiavo to Entertainment Tonight at 7:30 p.m.


Ms. Heaton is concerned for Terri and all vulnerable people. She tells ET: "I think we've gotten to the point in society where you kind of have to prove your value. We're getting to the point where it's being said that it's okay to dispose of you."

Whatever you do, don't try to bring Terri a bottle of water.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Michael Schiavo descends to new lows.

Seriously, "worm" is a complete understatement when applied to Schiavo. Even calling him a "worm turd" would be an insult to nematodian feces. Heads up, anyone who can't lift their arm to shake Bush's hand: you're next. All in the name of "families" and "privacy" (I'm not sure how the federal courts could prosecute this guy now; his murdered grandparents probably watched "Bowling for Columbine", in the privacy of their own home, and said "if you ever do something like that, you'll do it over our dead bodies!" And hey -- they said it to a family member, it's their right, right?). Schiavo should take a page from the Scott Peterson playbook: it shouldn't take you 14 years to kill your wife (of course hats off to Schiavo for doing it in such a way that made him rich and gets him off -- so to speak).

Not a great man doesn't even begin to cover it anymore.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

My friend from college, Chad, who is now studying at Yale Law School, sent along a brief audio clip of one of my songs, which he played on a guitar and sang:

Chad sings "And We Lost..."

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone sing or play one of my songs and it was really weird to hear, especially since it actually sounds good when he does it. It's like looking into the mirror and being surprised at how good you look and then you realize it's someone else looking back.

For her part, when Jackie heard it she said, "Wow. It actually sounds good. All you need is for someone else to sing your songs!"