Archive for July, 2007

Musical Weirdness

Monday, July 30th, 2007

I’m not sure what to think about this. He’s got a good voice, but the lyrics are lame and repetitive, and watching the guy sing it is just WEIRD.

Anyway, judge for yourself:

(Link via Attack of the Show.)

Summer Music Sampler

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Want lots & lots of good free music?

Shut up, of course you do.

Indie label Labrador has released their 2007 Summer Sampler of a whopping 68 songs, and it’s really great.

You can download it here; I highly recommend it.

Don’t worry, even though the label is in Sweden, all the songs I’ve listened to so far (I’m about halfway through it) are in English, except for the first four, and they’re are very listenable, a nice mix of light alternative styles.

And, unlike some indie samplers where they feel obligated to throw in some rap or metal (and you know how those Scandinavians cherish their death metal), I haven’t come across any of that, so you can listen without fear.

I actually found out about this great sampler in an article on Techdirt, when they were making a point about how file-sharing can actually be used to help the music industry, contrary to the ridiculous claims made by the money-grubbing RIAA. Labrador actually asked people to upload/seed the files to Pirate Bay and other BitTorrent networks, to relieve some of the stress on their servers.

Most importantly, the company realizes that giving away generous numbers of samples is good for business, instead of making fans pay through the nose for every song.

Anyway, here’s the complete track list:

[Ingenting] – Här Kommer Solen
[Ingenting] – Julia
[ingenting] РPunkdr̦mmar
[Ingenting] – Släpp In Solen
Acid House Kings – Do What You Wanna Do
Acid House Kings – Say Yes If You Love Me
Acid House Kings – Sunday Morning
Acid House Kings – This And That
Acid House Kings – This Heart Is A Stone
Aerospace – Tenderness Is The Plight Of The Weakerthan
Aerospace – The Only Things We Share
Afraid of stairs – Not Today
Airliner – Everything That’s You
Chasing Dorotea – The Anchor Song
Club 8 – Love In December
Club 8 – Missing You
Club 8 – Saturday Night Engine
Club 8 – Spring Came, Rain Fell
Club 8 – Whatever you want
Corduroy Utd. – Daddy’s Boy
Corduroy Utd. – Here Comes The Summer
Douglas Heart – A Question Of Gender
Douglas Heart – Always no
Douglas Heart – Smoke Screen
Edson – On Last Song About You Know What
Edson – Sunday, Lovely Sunday
Edson – When the mind suffers, the body cries out
Irene – Baby I Love Your Way
Irene – Little Things (That Tear Us Apart)
Lasse Lindh – Bruised
Laurel Music – Dreams And Lies
Laurel Music – Sacred Heart
Leslies – Dear Friend
Loveninjas – I wanna be like Jonny C
Loveninjas – Keep Your Love
Mondial – Stand By Your Story
Pelle Carlberg – Go to Hell, Miss Rydell
Pelle Carlberg – I Love You You Imbecile
Pelle Carlberg – Riverbank
Ronderlin – Reflected
Sambassadeur – Between The Lines
Sambassadeur – Kate
Sambassadeur – New Moon
South Ambulance – Die 5 Times Times 5
South Ambulance – Hanging in a tie
Starlet – I’m Home
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Funeral Face
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Loop Duplicate My Heard
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Rent A Wreck
The Legends – Call It Ours
The Legends – He knows the sun
The Legends – Hide away
The Legends – Lucky Star
The Legends – Make It All Right
The Legends – Play it for today
The Legends – There And Back Again
The Mary Onettes – Lost
The Mary Onettes – Void
The Radio Dept. – The Worst Taste In Music
The Radio Dept. – Why Won’t You Talk About It?
Tribeca – Solitude
Tribeca – The Sun Always Shines On TV
Waltz For Debbie – He Loves Anna
Waltz For Debbie – Once Upon A Time
Wan Light – Landmarks And House
Wan Light – That Grim Reality
Wan Light – The Astronauts
Wan Light – Two Words Away

Those of you who know me personally can just hit me up for copies; for the rest of you poor saps, you definitely need to download these songs, if only to fill the sad, bitter vacuum in your life from not knowing me personally.

You’re welcome.

Success!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2007

We had our ISO 9001:2000 audit today, the thing that my project team has been working so hard toward for the last couple of months, and we passed! That is, the auditors finished their extensive three-day audit, and are going to recommend us for certification to their company (and so far none of their recommondations have ever been overturned). We still have to do some work to answer some of their observations, but at least the hard part is done. Everybody at the plant has been frantically cooperating with us for the two weeks (while also trying to get our products made and out the door), but when New Boss in Training makes the big formal announcement at the company luncheon tomorrow, I’m sure he’ll make us the center of attention.

At first I was wondering why I was made a part of the project team, since, out of the four of us, I was the only one with zero experience in ISO and QMS.

In the past few days, though, I’m beginning to understand why I was chosen: Because the team needed some with NO NEW IDEAS to argue over. All three of my teammates, plus NBiT and the consultant, have been debating what would be needed for the audit.

They needed someone with no idea at all what was going on, and could just contribute productivity.

And that was me.

To be fair, I’ve also been at the company longer than the rest of the team plus NBiT put together, so I had some useful knowledge of how the place worked.

Mostly, though, I left the informed panic to everyone else, and it turned out that I was right to be calm.

It also helps that I’m just naturally relaxed these days, so while everybody was running around stressed out, I was able to put everything in perspective.

I told them the secret to my serenity: All they had to do was 1) Grow a tumor the size of a tennis ball; and 2) Have half a lung surgically removed.

After that, it’ll be a long time before anything as trivial as audits and the spectre of failure and unemployment can ruffle your feathers.

My advice was little consolation to my teammates, but it’s true: Once you stare Cancer in the face, and Cancer blinks, you can take on anything without losing sleep.

Anyway, we’re proud of our little accomplishment, and glad that we’re finally to the point where we can relax a bit.

Unfortunately, we still have to work, so that part kinda sucks.

A Full Year of Destruction

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007

What does the future hold for this mighty beast?  Probably more stuff to tear up!

It was exactly a year ago today that we got little Bristol Bratboy Desctructo-Dog. Join us in celebrating 365 days of hilarity and wreckage by viewing all of his pictures, his Trail O’ Destruction during the first month we had him, and his current favorite hobby of shredding my pants and shoes while I’m wearing them.

Bonus: Go to the Dog section of this blog and read all about Bristol, as well as Schotzy, Molly, and anything else canine related.

Okay, ONE more video thing …

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Note to self -- buy some looser shorts! Move over, Dramatic Prairie Dog — you’re last month’s news!

This week’s Internet video remix sensation is Big-Eyed Guy,just a guy in the audience at a Vladimir Putin press conference. But because he happened to sit near an attention-getter (a young man who tossed out some leaflets, no doubt political in nature), he’s the web’s newest star.

Lucky him.

Anyway, here’s a shortened version of the whole video:

And here’s just a small sampling of the fun that’s being had at his expenses, including not one but two Futurama references (Hypno-Toad and a brain slug).

Meanwhile, Leaflet Boy is probably saying, “Hey, why’s HE getting all the attention?? I went to all the trouble to print and throw leaflets — he didn’t do anything but look constipated!”

Yeah, well, that’s the breaks, kid. To get noticed in Information Age 2.0, you have to dance around or make a goofy face.

Or at least make an effort to hurt yourself. Next time throw leaflets from a rocket-powered skateboard; maybe you’ll make a dent in world consciousness as well as your own skull.

Video Things …

Sunday, July 15th, 2007

Yeah, I’ve got things going on right now — but none of those things are as interesting as VIDEO … !

So let’s see some:

I watched the E3 coverage on G4 this week, but, surprisingly, the thing I got the biggest thrill out of was the opening of the Microsoft press conference, when a band introduced only as “five Halo fans from Libertyville, Illinois” rocked out the Halo game theme song. It was really cool, with blue lights and an electric violin reminiscent of Kansas (from their “Point of Know Return” album); bonus points for having the rock violin played by a wild-haired girl.

It turns out that their playing of the song at a high school talent show had been a big hit on YouTube for a couple of years now (first I’ve heard of it, probably because I’m not a Halo fan) and was noticed by Microsoft, and now they’re one of the hottest searches on the Internet.

Anyway, here’s their E3 performance:

Here’s a better sounding “studio” version (although without the wicked cool blue lights:

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Jake Kellen’s mom had asked my mom if I had quit blogging (answer: no, not really). I realize that a few of you don’t know who Jake Kellen is, so here’s a nice little promo video:

Next up: We keep waiting for signs that the Internet is changing the way political campaigns take place, and here’s an interesting twist. Joe Biden’s campaign has a video on YouTube whose main focus isn’t to preach the candidate’s message (although they do get to that eventually), but rather to serve as a tutorial for making and submitting a question for an upcoming debate for which CNN has solicited input from the public. In fact, a lot of the video is a pretty good lesson on just making a video blog entry.

Check it out:

Here’s something else that I’m embarassed that I’m just now finding out about: An ongoing online short-comedy series called Goodnight, Burbank:

And finally, by way of our bud Newcastle Steve at Look at This … Waterskiing Monkeys!:

In Memory, 1 Year Later

Monday, July 9th, 2007

It was one year ago today that we lost little Schotzy. He was 16 years old, and had had a good life, so it was just his time to go, but it still hurt us terribly.

We got him when he was about five years old, from a family with four kids under the age of six, and the mom with severe health problems. We fell in love with that little clown-boy immediately, and he continued to brighten our lives for 11 more years.

A couple of weeks after he passed away, we adopted little Bristol, who’ s a laugh-riot in his own right, but of course Schotzy can never be replaced, and we still miss him.

You can see more pictures of him here.

Independence Day — Enjoy it while you can

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

There’s a great (fake) article in this week’s The Onion:

Revised Patriot Act Will Make It Illegal To Read Patriot Act

WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush spoke out Monday in support of a revised version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act that would make it illegal to read the USA Patriot Act. “Under current federal law, there are unreasonable obstacles to investigating and prosecuting acts of terrorism, including the public’s access to information about how the federal police will investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism,” Bush said at a press conference Monday. “For the sake of the American people, I call on Congress to pass this important law prohibiting access to itself.” Bush also proposed extending the rights of states to impose the death penalty “in the wake of Sept. 11 and stuff.”

Our American rights and freedoms are getting whittled down a little more every day, so maybe it’s time to acquaint yourself with the Bill of Rights while we’ve still got one — and while they still let us discuss it.

First Amendment – Freedom of religion, speech, press, and peaceable assembly as well as the right to petition the government.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment – Right to keep and bear arms.
A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment – Due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, private property.
No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and other rights of the accused.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail, as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment – Powers of states and people.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

I should point out that the descriptions beside each amendment above are not part of the original Bill, nor are they my words. I copied them directly from Wikipedia.

One more thing: Name the movie in the screenshot at the top of this post (hint: It’s a musical, and it’s not “Boy Meets World: The Movie”).

Shiny!

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Thank You, Thing!

No, this isn’t a scene from The Addams Family, it’s a shot of my shiny new power supply, which I’ve spent the last week shopping for, ordering, waiting for, trying to install, getting an adapter for, and finally installing. Whew.

I’ve been having component problems for a few months now, and finally narrowed it down to a problem with my old 400-watt power supply, possibly due to the new graphics card I bought just before Christmas.

Yes, I ask a lot of my computer systems, and the strain was too much for the power supply to bear.

So I got a new one, which is 600 watts with dual-rail technology, and really shiny and cool.

Too bad my case is opaque.

I need to do something about that …

Anyway, for more pictures of this geek beauty, I’ve got them posted on Flickr.