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:

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allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="" />
New 'BlogTone! (I'm getting back into making these). This one is for

bgcolor="#000000" width="100" height="30" name="vivificat" align="middle"
allowScriptAccess="sameDomain" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="" />

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 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 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, 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