Thursday, October 23, 2008

I can understand why people like Sarah Palin

After having a sinister mastermind like Dick Cheney in the White House, I can understand why it might be comforting to some to have a vice president that's a complete idiot.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Some art stuff I like

From time to time I would like to share an artist that I like. Today I will share Sandow Birk. Brik does parodies of classic works. I discovered Birk from his work on Dante's Inferno. Birk took the classic images created by the great Gustav Dore and put a updated spin on them. as seen below:

In the original piece we
have Dante and Virgil descending into the depths of Hell. In Birk's piece, the two authors gaze down at Los Angeles. Simply brilliant.

Be sure to check out Sandow Birk's site for more beautiful art.

And just because he's the man, here are a couple pieces from James Jean.

The Great Schlep

No, I'm not Jewish, but I still think this is brilliant.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Hiatus Continues

Day 18 of the Great October Music Ban. The iTunes playlist is slowly getting whittled down, but I definitely won't have it finished by the end of the month. I still have 2213 songs to go. There hasn't been too many of the moments where I kick myself for not having listened to something sooner. I was really hoping to have my socks blown off on an hourly basis here. There's only been some mild cheating. I picked up a couple free digital download cards from Starbucks and I downloaded the songs, but the only reason I did was to try my hand at iTunes on my iPhone. I didn't listen to either song all the way through. I also downloaded a four track Mountain Goats EP because I was nervous it would only be available for a limited time. Oh, and some guy posted the two new Decemberists singles on his blog, and it's only a matter of time until he's forced to take them down. However I have not listened to any of the stuff yet, and won't until November.

I'm finally hitting that point where I don't search out meaningless purchases. Typically I would troll Pitchfork or go straight to the music review sections of Entertainment Weekly or Paste.
Or maybe it's just that I've been considering my purchases more carefully. Or maybe it's just that when I do find myself peeking there hasn't been anything that interesting. I do have a list of music to investigate come November 1st though. Mostly compiled from listening to the NPR podcast All Songs Considered.

It's been good though. It's a project. It's something to do. It's a bit daunting, and the fact that I won't complete it is a bummer. I haven't had any opportunities to go back and re-examine things like I hoped because I'm too busy listening to the new stuff still. And there are times that I feel like I'm just listening to some of the stuff so I can check one more song off of the playlist and I'm not really giving it a chance at all. Well, at least I'm trying. Sort of.

There are too many new albums coming out I want in the next couple of months, it's unlikely I will extend the project. Probably after Christmas.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Great Pumpkin

Ah, Fall. A magical time of year. I can finally wear pants outside without my gentlemen parts becoming a sweaty mess, spider season is coming to an end so I no longer have to wave my hands in front of me like an idiot everwhere I go, and the impending doom known as Christmas is right around the corner. In the spirit of this colorful season, this past weekend Leslie and I drove up to Dawsonville, Georgia to visit a pumpkin patch. It's simple pleasures like pumpkin patches that I often take for granted as an ex-New Englander, forgetting that Leslie has never experienced such things growing up in Orlando.

The pumpkin patch was at Burt's Farm, about an hour and a half or so from Atlanta. We spent a good hour walking around the patch, marveling at all the different kinds of pumpkins that we never knew existed. $70 and heavy wheelbarrow later we wrapped it up. Overall it was a really great trip.

What I didn't expect was that Leslie and I would be what I have dubbed as, 'geographically profiled.'

When we first got to Dawsonville, we were concerned the patch might not take cards so we decided to stop at a gas station for some cash. I went into the station and asked where the ATM was only to find it was down. So we went across the street to another station. As I was walking in the employee was putting an 'Out of Order' sign on their ATM. Frustrated, I asked the cashier if I were to buy something could I get cash back. She looked at me frustrated and replied, "No sir, we're outdated," in a not-so-pleasant Southern twang.

Later in the afternoon when we were leaving the patch we stopped at a bait and tackle shop for some lunch. We looked around the shop, which was about the size of our bathroom, and ordered a couple hot dogs. When the cashier rung us up Leslie was surprised how inexpensive it was and remarked, "$4.50? That's it?" to which the cashier replied, "Yup. This ain't Atlanta! Yuk! Yuk!"

I really got the impression that these folks were thinking, "You f_cking city folk, only coming around for your f_cking pumpkins." I guess wearing my shorts and a t-shirt and driving a Honda kind of gave us away as anything but local. It was humorous that we got pegged right away in town. I'm sure this the time of year for having lots of loud and bousterous strangers in town, but it's not like Leslie and I are from New York City and we went to the deep South. These people live an hour away from the major metropolitan area we call our home!

It's cool though. I'm more then happy to have them stare down their nose at me while I take advantage of their agricultural superiority. They get my money, I get their pumpkins. Seems like a fair trade.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A List of Words I Never Want to Hear Ever Again


Pork Barrel

Tax Cuts
Wall Street
Offshore Drilling
My Friends
Alternative Energy
Pallin' Around with Terrorists
Moose Dresser
Liberal Media
Bridge to Nowhere
Updated on 10/14 with recommendations from my pal John

I probably should have probably named this 'Words and Phrases'. Oh well.

Expect updates...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Playcount is 0

There are so many awesome features that Apple offers via iTunes and your iPod. One of my favorites are Smart Playlists. You can go into iTunes, set a couple parameters, and iTunes will create a playlist based on your specifications. For instance, say you want a playlist of just albums that came out in 2008, just plug it in there and booyah! It will also automatically update whenever the items in your library change, such as music added or dates they were added, etc. And there are tons of parameters to choose from.

Being that I'm on a mission to listen to all of my unheard music, I made a Smart Playlist to include anything in my iTunes library that I haven't listened to yet. It went to work and put together a play list of 2613 songs. At an average of 10 songs an album, that's over 260 albums worth of songs that I haven't even listened to! Do you see how this has become a problem?!

Most of the unheard music is stuff that was given to me from other folks. It's not like I buy CD and load it into iTunes and forget about it. When someone hands you a dozen albums all at once it's not uncommon for a couple to slip through the cracks. However 260 albums slipping through the cracks is a bit much. There are a few albums i just haven't listened to in their entirety. Some of the albums I've listened to tons of times on CD but since getting added to my iPod have gone unheard.

Day two without searching for new music.