Wednesday, August 31, 2005

God Hates Fags...

...So he sends Katrina to New Orleans in some kind of revenge. This is fucked up shit. The important thing to note is the people who are making these suggestions that God is punishing New Orleans for being accepting of homosexuality aren't those on the fringe (relatively speaking, I mean). I wish I could say this was all surprising, but it's not. This is all too expected. It's exploitive, using the suffering of others to push a hateful agenda designed to discriminate against a minority groups. Unfortunately, in the world of religious extremism this kind of crap is just par for the course. I wish there was some kind of religious leader who could civilize these guys. It's getting beyond offensive at this point.


Lack of Updates

Sorry for the lack of updates, there is moving going on... so that is kind of consuming my time. I'll try to start posting again sometime today or tomorrow. Rock on.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Men Smarter Than Women...

...studies show!
The British Journal of Psychology claims that men are, on average, 5 IQ points smarter than women.
Research was based on IQ tests done on 80,000 people and 20,000 students.

Also noted from the study ... up to the age of 14, there was little difference between the two sexes.
Beyond that, it was found that twice as many men have an IQ of 125.

There were 5½ times as many men with IQ's of 155. The paper also points out that women at the same IQ are able to accomplish more than men "possibly because they are more conscientious and better adapted to sustained periods of hard work".

Naw, I don't really buy into these kind of tests, just thought it was amusing.



It's going up, up, up. As if our little excursion into Iraw wasn't enough, mother nature itself seems to hate America's dependence on oil. With Katrina hitting the Gulf of Mexico (source of 25% of the U.S.'s oil), oil prices are on the rise. The price of a barrel of oil hit $70+ today, a new record. Not to be Mr. Negative here, but we really should look into doing something about this. Maybe... I dunno... NOT USING SO MUCH FUCKING OIL. There are corn and soy based alternative fuels that are already being used in some states... and hybrids are starting to hit the market with more of a vengeance. There are mods for cars so they can run on vegetable oil and there are electric cars around for those that want them. Really, it's industry that needs to start getting on the boat. Factories just can't afford to use oil anymore. We need to start finding alternatives, and quickly. Katrina just highlights how difficult it will be in the years to come, even if we don't start any more wars.


Iranian judges have the right to bear arms...

Maybe we should try this in the U.S. In Iran, judges are going to be allowed to carry weapons to protect themselves from attacks, after a recent attack on a judge in Tehran. God, it seems like with all the hatred towards "activist judges" in the United States, this is something we should do in the U.S. We need something to protect ourselves against religious zealots... and their respect of life sure isn't doing it.


EDIT: Added source and fixed some spelling problems

Iraq Charter

The Arab League Secretary is calling Iraq's Constitution a "recipe for chaos" and Sunnis in Iraq are calling the constitution too "Jewish," saying that it denies the Arab heritage of Iraq. So, some people think the constitution will be too Islamic, and some people think it will not be Islamic enough. Some people call this compromise, but it's only compromise if both sides actually support the damned document, which doesn't seem to really be happening. But I'm sure we'll turn another corner soon... yeah right.


EDIT: Fixed for spelling errors

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The Thursday Bootleg

That's right, I'm doing it a day early. I'm having myself an extended weekend up in God's Country and so I probably won't have a chance to post the Friday Bootleg tomorrow. That means all you goobers get it a day early, and possibly a dollar short. Naw, I wouldn't do that. Anyways... you know what the world needs more of? Depeche Mode. Rock.

The Sox Game

What a totally miserable experience that Red Sox game was. The Sox are playing the Royals (the fucking Royals!) and Clement is on the mound. After three innings we have the 3-0 lead. Then, somehow, it all goes horribly wrong. Clement gives up the lead and we're tied. After some rain delays and, I shit you not, three straight innings where the Sox leave the bases loaded while failing to drive in one goddamned run, the 9th rolls around and it's still 3-3. Timlin pitches a horrible 9th but manages to get out of it. More miserable hitting in the 10th but Arroyo pitches a 1-2-3 inning. Still can't do anything in the 11th, and Arroyo loads the bases and the sac fly ends it all. And we lose. To the fucking Royals. Fuck.

Oh well, Schilling starts tonight and, frankly, I'm about equal parts nervous and excited. If Schilling is even pretty competent I'll be happy as hell, I just hope he's gotten better than he was at the beginning of the season. Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Some Music

Thought I'd post a little on some music I've been listening to. Really, just a couple things. First, I've been listening to the new Johnny Cash Box set, The Legend (which kicks total ass, by the way), and I finally got around to listening to disc 4, which is a best of his duets with others. On the disc are all sorts of great duets with the likes of The Highwaymen, June Carter Cash, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and so on. One of the songs, though, is the duet Cash did with Bob Dylan, Girl From the North Country. Now, if anyone has the Dylan album Nashville Skyline (as I do), on which the track originally appeared, they probably remember that particular remember that duet as, at best a rambling and drunken take on a classic song and at worst a painful butchering of a song by two otherwise brilliant musicians. I sort of oscillated between the two camps but never did appreciate the track. Even in the context of listening to in on the Dylan/Cash sessions bootleg, I didn't really "get it." But, when I listened to it on the Cash disc, it was like a whole new listening experience. I think I finally "got it." The trick is, when you listen to the song you need to think of it as findamentally a Johnny Cash song. Then everything fits. It doesn't work as a Bob Dylan song; it's not his style, and Johnny Cash has the more overpowering voice anyways. When that track is stuck in with a bunch of other Cash duets, it flows seamlessly. I wouldn't call it "brilliant" but it's definetly much closer to the quality you would expect from two greats like Dylan and Cash. Guess it goes to show context can be everything.

My other thing is a short shout out for the Dave Matthews Band, which I've been listening to recently. I've been a fan from way back but just kinds "re-discovered" them recently, or something. Anyways, they rock. I've also been listening to Dave Matthews' solo effort, which is amazing. "Gravedigger" is one of his most ass-kickingly good songs. Anyone who needs to be converted to Dave Matthews should listen to that and "Don't Drink the Water" (off of my favorite album, Before These Crowded Streets). Anyways, just wanted to say that people should listen to that song. For it is good.

More Sidebar Updates

Hey, just a few more sidebar updates:


Operation Yellow Elephant - from the mind of the General, OYE has it's own blog. Check it out and help support Freedom!

Surviving Grady - Simply one of the best Red Sox blogs out there. Hilarious and dead accurate, a must read for Sox fans.


Throw Paper! - try to throw paper into a trash can. So, so addictive.

Internet Radio Stations

Time for some more sidebar updateage. I've decided to list some of the internet radio stations (besides Air America) that I listen to. Internet radio is great because it's commerical free and you can get a lot better music selection than listening to the ClearChannel owned shitty radio that plagues the airwaves these days. Anyways, here's some radio stations (and what they play) that you might like, cuz I do:

Punk FM - Classic Punk Rock, circa 1976-1979

Scratch - Dub, Reggae, Rocksteady & Ska

TokyoNinjaRadioStation - Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Swing

TwangCity - Americana, Alt-Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Honky Tonk, Zydeco, Blues and Roots Rock

Also, here's an update to the games section of the sidebar:

Arcane - An "Online Mystery Serial," you investigate strange goings on in a Lovecraftian world.

Less Popular Than...

...Vietnam! With a president less popular than Nixon, now we have a war that is less popular with the American people than Vietnam was! In a recent poll, 50% of Americans say that sending troops into Iraq was a mistake while a comparable poll (both were taken during the third quater of the war's third year) during Vietnam shows 41% of Americans believing sending troops into Vietnam was a mistake. It would take another year before majority of Americans turned against Vietnam. Wow, hand it to this administration. They're like the Nixon Administration, but with a less popular war and less public trust. Wow.

(via Think Progress)

Jeezey Creezy

WTF? Does our government have no shame (answer: no)? Now they even have to politicize gravestones.
Nadia and Robert McCaffrey, whose son Patrick was killed in Iraq in June 2004, said "Operation Iraqi Freedom" ended up on his government-supplied headstone in Oceanside, Calif., without family approval.

"I was a little taken aback," Robert McCaffrey said, describing his reaction when he first saw the operation name on Patrick's tombstone. "They certainly didn't ask my wife; they didn't ask me." He said Patrick's widow told him she had not been asked either.
This is low. Politicize all sorts of crap if you want, but a dead soldier's gravestone? That's something a grieving family is going to have to deal with for the rest of their lives. This administration has no shame.

(via Greatscat!)

Hold on to Your Hat!

Really, hold on to it. According to news reports, the Antarctic ozone hole is growing from last year (although still not quite as big as 2003). It's expected to get worse in the coming years but should begin to get better in the coming decades. This as a result of many of the industrial chemicals that created the ozone hole being banned. Unfortunetly, until it starts getting better it's still going to screw up the environment and expose us to more of those sun rays we all shouldn't be soaking in too much. So, really, hold on to your hat. And sunscreen.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Rest for the Weary

No posts today as my brain is too tired to write anything worthwhile. I'll be back to the bloggin' thing tomorrow. In the meantime (on a related note?), amuse yourself with learning how much soda it will take to kill you: Death By Caffeine

Monday, August 22, 2005


President Nixon had a higher apporoval during Watergate than George W. Bush has now. Nixon's approval rating was 39% during the height of Watergate... Bush's approval rating is at the bottom-scraping low of 38%

(via Think Progress)

Do Women's Rights Matter?

Apparently, not so much... according to the GOP talking heads. They say that democracy can exist without women's rights and that if Iraq can have a government set up like that of the U.S. circa 1900 (when women weren't allowed to vote) we should be "thrilled." Read the full story here.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The rare Sunday Post

I usually make it a policy to take weekends off from the blog - although with a return to college in a few weeks I may start posting on weekends - but I had to give a quick shout out today. today would be Joe Strummer's birthday, one of the great musicians of our time. If you dig The Clash, give 'em a spin today...

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Friday Bootleg

You all know what time it is; it's time for the Friday Bootleg. It's hot, sunny and time for some ska! These guys are some of the best around, The Pietasters. "Murder Capital Soul/Ska"... doesn't get much better than that. Check out the boot here, and I hope y'all will enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

New England

I've been digging Big D & The Kids table lately. Ska man, it's all about the ska. Anyways, here's there ode to New England (actually, it's the Modern Lovers ode to New England but the last verse is by Big D & the Kids Table):
well i've already been to Paris, i've already been to Rome
but what did i do but miss my home
oh new england
i went out west to Californ
but i missed the land where i was born
i can't help it

oh new england

i've seen old isreal's arab plains
it's quite magnificent, but so is Maine

oh New England

now if you like Camden in North London
we got that spirit here in Allston
now many people ask "where you from?"
with a heartfelt smile i say "from Boston"
oh, New England
Yeah, I'm not actually from Boston... but 'tis a good song nonetheless.



Remember Afghanistan? It still exists, believe it or not. In fact, it exists like a fucking hellhole that seem to be on the verge of total collapse, at least according to the British government.
NEARLY four years after the defeat of the Taleban, efforts to rebuild Afghanistan face a “real and worrying risk of failure”, the British Government has concluded.

Terrorism remains an ever-present threat. Opium production is spreading. Large parts of the country’s infrastructure are in tatters and United Nations targets for improving basic services such as education and water will not be met.

Unless the Afghan Government delivers improvements the people could lose faith in their nascent democracy, according to an assessment by the Department for International Development .

It's important to point out that problems in Afghanistan aren't a result of the U.S. invasion, per se. Afghanistan has always been an unstable country where there is no national identity to speak of and people live very... well... backwards lives. After studying Afghani society (although I am certainly no expert), it is clear that the fundamental institutions and interactions that are prerequisites of a society trying to democratize, simply don't exist. And it's not likely they will exist anytime soon. But you know what will exist? A thriving drug trade:

With an estimated 40 to 60 percent of its GDP attributed to narcotics (IMF), Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state
Let Freedom ring.



Having love handles and hating "high society" bullshit isn't so bad after all!
Playgirl asked 2,000 of its readers what they find sexy in a man and the answers were surprising: 42% said they thought love handles were kind of sexy and 47% approved of chest hair.


Rich playboys need not apply - only 4% of women said the size of a man's wallet mattered. Metrosexuals are also out: 73% want a guy who is "rough around the edges."
I'm hardly as rough around the edges as a lot of guys, but I think I'd certainly fit more into that category than "metrosexual." I certainly think I'm more rough around the edges than I lot of guys at my college... but that's neither here nor there. The point is... I dunno. I guess the point is that as a guy you shouldn't feel obligated to try and be something you're not. Jeez, what an after-school special type ending.


(via Huffington Post)

Pats playing

Yeah, early isn't it? But tonight is already their second pre-season game. I caught some of the first game, and they looked sharp. I think that the Pats are going all the way again this year. The franchise is just such a winning machine. They do everything right. I probably won't blog extensively about the Pats, as I'm not nearly as big a football person as I am a baseball person, but I think I'll try and mention how the games went. Rock on.

Red Sox Lose...

..but life is still okay. Why, you ask? Because when the dust settled and all was said and done, the Yankees stayed 4.5 games behind us in the division. The Sox are still coming off a great string of victories, and a couple of losses to the very competent Tigers shouldn't be too depressing. Now starts a four game series with tha Angels - on their turf. It'll be tough but after that we can look foward to a series with the Royals. I think we'll at least split the series with the Angels and, worst case scenario, only take 2 games from the Royals instead of a sweep.

As for the Rockies, they've been hot and cold (more cold than hot) but it's still better than just being cold all the time. I don't hold any hope of them getting out of last place, but I find solace in the fact that next year will probably be better.

Edits throughout the blog

Hey all,

I just made a fuckload of edits to my posts throughout my blog archive. Basically just spelling, grammar, and formatting stuff - no big deal. Does this mean that my archives are error-free? No, of course not. But, hopefully the cringe-inducing stuff is mostly gone. Also, some of the formatting of posts have been cleaned up now that I'm more familiar with the blogger posting functionality. I decided that if anyone stumbles across the blog and starts perusing the archives, I didn't want to be embrarassed by my typos and poorly crafted sentences. It's important, you know, to try and strive for proper spelling and grammar. I'm hardly the biggest stickler on such matters, but I do try and make my posts reasonably correct regarding grammar and spelling. This makes for a better reading experience for you and a more rewarding posting experience for me.

RIP Esther Wong

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Esther Wong, who booked a who's who of punk rock and new wave bands at her popular Madame Wong's clubs in the 1970s and '80s, has died. She was 88.

She died Sunday at her Los Angeles home, her daughter, Melinda Braun, said Wednesday. She had suffered from emphysema and cancer.

Wong, who earned the nickname the "godmother of punk," showcased such popular groups as the Police, X, the Go-Gos, Oingo Boingo, the Motels, the Knack, the Textones and Plane English early in their careers, giving many groups their first major break.

That's a bummer, she promoted some damned fine bands. I, for one, am glad of the help she was able to lend to non-mainstream bands that kick some major ass (like Oingo Boingo!).



At least one Democrat is growing a pair. Feingold has officially come out supporting a specific timetable for withdrawl of troops from Iraq. He also criticizes Democrats for not standing up for what's right regarding the war. Rock on.

(via MyDD)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

New type of animal?

Well, "nearly new" anyways. A 525 million year old fossil that is defying conventional classification was found in China and seems most closely related to molluscs but has features (or lack thereof) that might put it in a category all on its own. Fascinating.


50 State Poll

SurveyUSA did an awesome 50 state approval rating poll on Dubya. Check out the results here but for now let's take a look at what are for me the most interesting states:

Colorado - Approve: 45%, Disapprove: 53%, Net 08/05 Approval: -8%
Maine - Approve: 40%, Disapprove: 58%, Net 08/05 Approval: -18%
Massachusetts - Approve: 32%, Disapprove: 64%, Net 08/05 Approval: -32%

I'm so proud of my states... check out the Kos entry for a more detailed analysis.

Nazi Analogies...

...they're wrong unless you're criticizing the left. You know, I never even thought about it but Think Progress points out that for all the shit that Dick Durbin got when he compared Guantanamo to Nazi prison camps, James Dobson not but a week ago compared stem cell research to Nazi medical experiments in World War II. And, guess what? People who criticized Durbin, like Tony Perkins, have supported Dobson's statement. Hypocritical to the core, that's the conservative movement.


Punk FM

So, I found this online punk radio station called Punk FM. It's kicking my ass right now. Seriously, it rocks. From what I've heard so far, it seems to all be that good old timey punk rock from the 70s and early 80s. Right now The Jam's "Down in the Tubestation at Midnight" is playing... does it get better than this? (Answer: yes, if they play The Clash). Anyways, check it out 'cuz this online station is "the bee's knees." Werd.

EDIT: They're playing The Clash now. Awww... snap.

EDIT EDIT: Spelling correction


Like most other guys, I have at some point been like "feminists... pfftt..." It's not like I think women should be treated differenly than men or any discriminatory crap like that, but comments like this
"Well, I'm a feminist, so I don't like men."
make it hard to feel like you can get on board. Know what I'm saying? Anyways, on a thread pertaining to said comment, some history of the movement was laid down and it's worth reading. So, here it is:
fem·i·nism n.
1. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
2. The movement organized around this belief.

And at one point it was also called the Civil Rights Movement, this mostly refers to First Wave Feminism. Your gripe is most likely with what's called Second Wave Feminism which sprung up in the cultural revolution of the 60's and 70's. This is also the school of the thought the moronic girl quoted above belongs to. This movements makes many 'baby with bathwater' type mistakes such as discriminating against men, eschewing stay at home moms and 'girly' things, as well as integrating things such as marxism and such into the belief which were not there and do not belong. These are your crazies.

Not to say the 2nd wave had nothing to offer. But for every sensible Gloria Steinem there's always at least one crazy Scum Manifesto bitch who makes everyone look bad.

3rd wave feminism is the name the current movement has taken, they differentiate themselves mostly with the revival of 'girly' things as acceptable. They attempt to harmonize the desire for equality of oppurtunity with the desire to do things that previous generations of feminists spoke against. They want equality but also the freedom to like men, wear makeup, and be stay at home moms if they want to.
Anyways, the poster also pointed out a cool "third wave" group called, believe it or not, Third Wave Foundation. Point yo'self there.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Poor, poor residents...

The resident's near Bush's ranch are complaining about protesters. Of course, the news about the resident who ran over the white crosses is well known, but there's a lot of general discontent between the protestors at the Crawford Ranch and the residents in the area. Maybe instead of blaming protestors for excercising their first amendment rights, they should take issue with the president who makes such protests necessary. Just a thought.


P.S. The CNN article is worth reading since it's a classic example of how bullshit the whole "liberal media" myth is.

EDIT: Spelling correction

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Friday Bootleg

Another week gone by, another Friday Bootleg is here! Today we're going to bust it out new(ish) school with The Strokes. Some unreleased songs and demos from a top-notch band, what more could you want? Well, how about some sweet NationStates action? Okay, I'll give it to you.

Some friends and I have started our own region in NationStates, that of J.A.Z. (Just Against Zombies) where we hope to have fun and fight against the zombie threat. If you'd like to join, just send a telegram to Benthan and I'll give you the password. If you don't play NationStates, you should check it out. It's fun, free, and doesn't consume too much of your time!

Well, I'm out of contact for the weekend and most likely won't be posting again until Tuesday. Once again, I'm off to God's Country for some relaxation and fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No Updates Today

Sorry folks, couldn't get online today and I won't be on enough to post anything of worth tonight. In the meanwhile, I recommend reading selections from Rory's Blog (link on the sidebar), there's good stuff there!

EDIT: Well, here's a little sumthin sumthin. Some short but sweet lyrics, how y'all should feel about the blog:
Come and relax now
Put your troubles down
No need to bear the weight of your worries
Yeah, let them all fall away.
- Dave Matthews Band, "Pantala Naga Pampa"

EDIT EDIT: Spelling correction

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ancient Monks

I like to think of myself as a bit of a history nerd, so this strikes me as pretty cool:
Renovators working in an ancient Egyptian monastery have unearthed the oldest example of a building housing Christian monks, a member of the restoration project near the country's Red Sea coast told Reuters on Monday.
Nothing else to that really, it's just interesting and it will be likely be pretty remarkable what they find.


Digby Rocks

So I added his blog, Hullabaloo, to the sidebar. Check it out.

Tort Reform... lame. I wish people would stop with the fact-free assertion that "frivilous lawsuits" are doing a goddamn thing to drive up insurance rates. It's based on people's bad (and wrong) impression of lawyers and intellectual dishonesty of the highest order from those that tout tort reform as anything that would help the average consumer. Quoted below is part of an entry from Think Progress. Make sure to read it all because it's just that damned good:
It’s no surprise that the WSJ doesn’t actually cite the study that backs up these dubious claims. On the contrary, the New York University Law Review published a comprehensive study of 22 states found that “the imposition of caps on noneconomic damages has no statistically significant effect on overall compensatory damages in medical malpractice jury verdicts or trial court judgments”.

In fact, the caps are sometimes the cause of the problem. In what has been described as the crossover effect, researchers have found that “[where] noneconomic damages are limited by caps, plaintiffs’ attorneys will more vigorously pursue, and juries will award, larger economic damages, which are often unbounded.”


Hockey, eh?

Haha, this cracked me up... had to link to it. Does this make anyone else feel a whole lot safer?


What's the matter with NARAL?

Basically, they can't see the forest through the trees. Or, so says Kos. The argument goes that NARAL's tactic of supporting pro-choice candidates no matter what party they are from hurts the progressive movement in the short run and the pro choice movement in the long run. The problem isn't specifically with NARAL, but with all "single issue" organizations. They lack the desire to create a cohesive progessive movement and hurt themselves and others by putting hyperpurity over pragmatism. Be clear, this does not mean that women's issues are unimportant or less important than anything else, but that ultimately groups like NARAL hurt themselves and women in the end when they aren't "team players." Anyways, read the article and mull it over. It's food for thought.

Not Hillary in '08

Well, let's hope. I really don't like her. Her policies seem to slide to the right every day and she says idiotic things about video games (even The Economist called her a right wing loon on that one) and immigration. Besides that, there's the pragmatic reason to hope that she won't get nominated: she will alienate all Republicans and Independents. Well, not all. That's unfair. But, for whatever reason, a lot of people really hate her (as opposed to my mild disgust). Better to pick someone that could appeal to non-Democrats (*cough*Wesley Clark*cough*). But, who knows. 2008 is still a long way off. I guess what I'm saying is that you should all just go read the My Left Wing post on why Hillary is an unacceptable '08 candidate. Yeah, that's what I'm sayin'.

EDIT: The Economist article is for subscribers only, FYI

EDIT 2: Made a tiny grammar correction. I'm getting sloppy (sloppier). Ah well, so it goes. Also, I'd like to make it clear that even though I dislike Hillary, I'd vote for her if she won the party nomination because, well, I really don't want to see another Republican president and I believe in supporting the party when the time comes.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Windows Vista Feature

I think Longhorn Blogs does such a good job updating all us common folk on the features to be found in (what I think will be) the exciting new Operating System from Microsoft that I haven't really posted anything about it. But, if you want a sample of something we may be seeing in the future, check out this wicked cool new feature called "Meeting Space."

Peter Jenning R.I.P.

better eulogies can be found just about anywhere, but I still wanted to mention the passing of Peter Jennings. His style was one of (if not the) best out there, and while I have grown to abhor the mainstream media, he always provided a level of comfort and quality (particularly his coverage of 9/11) that I find unsurpassed. He will be missed.

EDIT: Link

Biden is Pretty Cool

Liberal Oasis has a good post on Joe Biden; basically, yesterday he went on Fox News and declared that he did not support the building of permanent military bases in Iraq - something that Joe Lieberman supports and Hillary Clinton "might" support. This is something that clearly differentiates him from the Republican Party and is nudging me a little more in my support for his presidential candidacy.


The Minutemen

No, not the kickass band... the crazy anti-immigration yahoos. Orcinus has a story that highlights the dangers of this extreme anti-immigrant posturing. "Mainstream" groups getting hijacked by neo-nazis... maybe this should give people who support this kind of militant anti-immigration pause to reconsider their position. Read all about it.

(via Eschaton)

EDIT: More on Immigration

Found this map on My Left Wing. Check it out and read the accompanying post on Howard Dean's comments on immigration. Worth your while.

Some stuff I've been digging...

Occasionally I like to do a roundup of stuff that I've been into lately... maybe give a recommendation here and there. I like to think of it as a public service, or something. Get people on the right track who are looking for things to watch/read/play/listen to/whatever. So, here's a few things that are out there and that I'm out there with:

Star Wars: Republic Commando (video game) - This game rocks. I'm playing it on my PC and it's wicked fun. Good first person shooter, set in a part of the Star Wars universe that I haven't really experienced in a video game - that of a clone. You play as the leader of an elite squad of clones in the pre-Episode III era. The graphics are good and it's pretty violent. There's neat little touches throughout the game too. For example, throuhout the game you "see" through a helmet and occasionally enemy blood (or whatever) will splatter on your helmet. When that happens a little electric wiper will come and clean your helmet allowing you to see clearly again. It's stuff like that which makes this game worthwhile and fun. Good for fans of first person shooters and/or Star Wars.

Mr. Show (tv show) - My girlfriend and I have been watching this lately and it's pretty damned funny. Good sketch comedy - seems kind of like an American Monty Python in format style. Guest appearances by folks like Jack Black make this a wickedly funny show. Check it out.

Ska (music) - Just the genre. I've always loved it and I've been listening to it a bit more again lately. People who write off this kind of music as just a fad from the 90's a) have no musical taste and b) don't know shit. The music has been around for decades and has had several "revivals." The music is often catchy and upbeat, and may even get me to dance a little (rare feat). Pull out your old ska albums and give 'em another whirl, you'll be glad you did.

Gore Vidal & H.P. Lovecraft (books) - Just finished reading Julian by Gore Vidal. Damned good book. It's a work of fiction but based in history, it explores the era of the Roman Empire when Christianity was being established and the emperor (Julian) who tried to re-instate the old gods. Engrossing, funny, and engaging; the book speaks volumes about our current society. I've also started reading some H.P. Lovecraft and let me tell ya, the guy could write one scary mofo of a story. Maybe it's extra creepy since his stories take place basically where I'm living now. Anyways, if you like good horror (if you like Edgar Allen Poe, you like good horror) then check out his work.

EDIT: Fixed for spelling errors... hehe, sometimes I can be like Fox News

Music Players

Just wanted to hammer out some thoughts I had on music playing software I've been using... maybe help a soul out who might be thinking about which software to use to play mp3s, cds, etc. In the last year or so I've used 3 different audio programs to play music on my computer and I thought maybe I'd share my thoughts on them, and give a final recommendation on which to use (i.e. I'll tell you which I've decided to use). Note: this analysis is for PC users; I don't own a Mac and have no interest in finding out what works well on them.

iTunes - I know that everyone seems to think this proggy is the "bee's knees" but I really can't stand the fucking program. I used it for a while and there's almost nothing about it that I liked. Okay, so it has a nice sharing feature for networked computers. That's kind of a neat novelty but when I want to listen to music, 99.9% of the time I want to listen to MY music so the sharing feature is hardly compelling. The other features seem to basically be ripoffs of things that Musicmatch was doing before and better for the PC. Oh, and if you let it, iTunes will totally fuck up your mp3 files. I had that happen to me and had to spend literally months trying to fix everything - and when all was said and done I was missing mp3s. Also, iTunes uses those progress bars that don't indicate progress; I hate those. And, for PC users, iTunes is a ridiculous resource hog - moreso than Musicmatch (which I didn't think was possible back in my young and naive days) and way more than Winamp. Basically, I hate iTunes.

Winamp - Ahh, sweet delicious Winamp. One of the most widely used music programs, and wicked free! Ever since version 5 came out, Winamp has been able to provide pretty good musicing with negligable resource use and neat customization features. I'm still not a huge fan of its library functionality and tagging files is just not very fun. But, it supports audio playback for about 80 bajillion formats so I still use it when I want to play a flac or shn file. I recommend this program for people that hate spending money on things. P.S. the randomize playlist function really sucks on Winamp, heads up.

Musicmatch - I know, I know. This program sucks right? It's the shitty free software than comes on every computer. Well, I'll bet you never bothered with the version that costs monies! That's right, I own a pay version of the program and I love it! You know all those things you like about iTunes? Well, Musicmatch Pro does them better. It's library functionality is wicked powerful and it's so easy to tag files now it's not even funny. You can also rip and burn cds, and it has really nice encoding options (the mp3pro encoder is hot shit). It's got a partydj function like itunes and it uses less system resources! Also, it looks better, in my opinion. iTunes is boring and bland (much like Macs) and Musicmatch has a much better design. So, if you're willing to pay then Musicmatch is your golden boy. It's mine.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Friday Bootleg

Another Friday, another bootleg. We're now in August and for these long, hot day we need some appropriate music. So, I'm throwin' some Jack Johnson at ya. Lot's of live shows to enjoy while lounging the day away. Enjoy!

In other news, I know that updates have become somewhat intermittent but I plan on returning to a more regular updating schedule next week. In the meantime, it's off to some weekend camping!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Red Sox Win!

It's been far too long since I wrote something about the Red Sox. They're hot at the moment, winning 6 straight games. Ahead of the yankees by 3.5 games, they're sitting pretty... at the moment. The O's have cooled off in a big way (they've only won 4 of their last 19 games) and while the Jays seems to have hit a bit of a hot streak, I doubt it'll last long. The real trouble will come from the Yanks but their pitching staff is still pretty iffy, whereas the Sox seem to have pretty much fixed their problems. This should be a good month for the Sox.

EDIT: As for the Rockies, their tragedy continues overall, but they had a sweet victory last night. Cheers, guys!


I've always wanted to know. Guess I'll have to buy the book.

Three Time Loser

Bush is a three time loser. Backing Rove, Palmeiro, and "intelligent design" (which from here on out on this blog will be always called "creationism," because that's what it fucking is). As a baseball fan, my jaw literally dropped when I heard Bush defend Palmeiro. Steroids is a serious problem in the sport, and for Bush to defend someone like Palmeiro who is literally killing the game is inexcusable. It also highlights his crazy worldview where everything is true because he wants it to be. This basically sums up Rove and "Creationism." The creationism one really annoys me, because it's couched in rhetoric that it has no right to use. Whether people like it or not, a science class is supposed to teach scientific theory. It's not supposed to talk about superstition and faith. Leave that to Humanities and Philosophy classes, which is where faith-based theories of creation belong, if they must be in the school curriculum at all. And nothing really needs to be said about Rove that hasn't been said before. But yeah, Bush lives in his own world and Palmeiro illustrates that perfectly.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Windows Authentication

One of the most recent Windows Updates is an authentication verifier for Windows Update. Now, of course I'm not suggesting anyone out there uses less than legal copies of Windows, but if you don't want to have your copy of Windows "verified" every time you try and get security updates (for privacy reasons), then follow these instructions:
(in internet explorer)
tools >Manage Add-ons >
Look in the "Show" box
Select "Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer"
Scroll down to "Windows Genuine Advantage" and disable it.
Just a little heads up.

EDIT: Spelling correction