Archive for June, 2009

Farrah & Michael

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Celebrity deaths seem to cluster together; and today, it was Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. We’ve know for months that Farrah’s health was bad, but Michael Jackson’s heart attack was stunningly sudden.

I disagree with the title he gave himself, The King of Pop (although that act was the perfect embodiment of his almost total self-centeredness), but there’s no denying that his cultural impact was huge.

I was going to embed one of his videos here, but none of his videos on YouTube allow embedding (again, a reminder of how everything was always about HIM), and apparently his lawyers have managed to take down all “unofficial” postings of his videos.

This could be an indication that his biggest legacy is a portrait of a once-great artist who became totally wrapped up in himself until the very end.

Farrah, on the other hand, has always been known for her generosity, strength of character and willingness to work with others.

Here’s the news report of her passing, and a quick review of her life:

Hometown Boy Makes Good

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I’ve mentioned this guy before, so you know the drill by now: Up-and-coming country singer Jake Kellen, I went to high school with his mom and his uncle (who is also his producer), I went to college with the guy who financed his first album, blah blah blah.

Anyway, Jake has a new album coming out, and here’s the video for his first single!

Back to the Bjork

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

It was about four years ago that I started becoming fascinated with Iceland in general, and that bizarre crazycakes entity known as Bjork in particular.

Today I remembered that SNL recently did a news segment with Her Wackness (played by Kristen Wiig) explaining Iceland’s economic crisis, and I realized I haven’t checked out Hulu in a long time, so hey: Two birds, one stone, no waiting:

The absolute bestest part: “Right now, Iceland gets all of its revenue from three sources: Fishing, dragons, and screaming.”

Ha ha ha haaaa! That’s pure comedy genius!

Because it’s Bjork all over.

Don’t believe me? here’s her “Bachelorette” video; discruminating film enthusiasts will detect Michel Gondry’s fingerprints all over it:

Work it out, Chicago style

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

The Blues isn’t my favorite musical genre, but I have a new favorite workout song: The Blues Brothers’ Sweet Home Chicago! Check it out, especially the killer trombone solo that starts at 3:57:

That solo is true vindication for everyone who was a trombone geek in high school.

Like, um, me.

Pony Up!

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I’ve newly discovered this great girl band out of Montreal (hey, you know me and girl bands!): They’re called Pony Up, and they’ve got a really great sound. Check out this cool song of theirs (but warning, the video’s kinda twisted, although the beginning with the ambulance reminds me of the classic Bjork videos by Michel Gondry):

GREAT band name, btw … Check out more of their songs on MySpace

Music Blogs

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

A couple of music blogs I just discovered on Twitter: Blalock’s Indie Rock Playlist, and Whisper All the Notes in My Ears.

Over the past year, DJing in Second Life, I’ve been exposed to a lot of Indie & Alternative music, and I’m liking a lot of it (especially the girl bands) every bit as much as my native classic rock. And blogs like these are a great place to dive into the subject, especially Blalock’s, since he has huge lists of recommended music.

So check ‘em out.

Cruise

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

The Spook spammed all his friends with this, so I thought I’d pass it along: Somali Cruises.

“We sail up and down the coast of Somalia waiting to get hijacked by pirates. We encourage you to bring your ‘High powered weapons’ along on the cruise. If you don’t have weapons of your own, you can rent them on the boat.”

Sign me up!

Various things

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

No one thing worth posting, so here’s a bunch:

Thanks everybody who welcomed me back in my comments! I’ll really try to post more.

It’s June in Dallas, so of course it’s HOT AS HELL, plus it’s miserably humid.

Just worked six days in a row, finally get one day off tomorrow.

Last night I rented “He’s Just Not That Into You” for The Wife to watch while I was at work today, but I didn’t watch it.

I repeat, I DID NOT WATCH IT.

If you want to see more of my posts, friend me on Facebook, because I got my screen name now: facebook.com/brykmantra , of course.

And the only reason I’m active at all on Facebook and Twitter is because I got a widget to make my Twitter posts show up on Facebook. Two birds, one stone, no waiting.

But as it turns out, thanks to Facebook I’m in touch with old high school friends and acquaintances, most of them for the first time in MANY MANY years.

But not many relatives, for some reason, just my cousin’s daughter Sherilynn.

That reminds me, my wife said that my cousin (Sherilynn’s aunt) left me a message today, something about a bunch of other cousins getting together in the Dallas area. I guess I need to listen to the message …

Speaking of cousins, our old blogging pal Gigglechick has been having some intense cousin problems

Anyway, here’s a cool video I discovered during the winter when my blog was busted. Put on your headphones, turn off the lights, and enjoy!

Utility Breakdown

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

The past 24 hours haven’t been great for our dependence on public utilities and the like: Last night we lost power for about an hour last night because of the storms, and about an hour after it came back on, we lost cable for TWO hours.

Then this afternoon as I was heading to work, I noticed that there was water gushing up between the seams in the stream in front of our house.

I’ve seen this before. In the more than 10 years that we’ve been in this house, there have been about six times that they’ve had to shut off the water and dig a hole in the street to fix the water lines. The last time was about three years ago; it was cold and raining, and at about 9 in the evening one of the utility workers knocked on our door to warn us that they’d be shutting off the water in 30 minutes.

The time before that, we found out by hearing the jackhammers and pumps at 3 o’clock in the morning, but I suspected earlier that something would be happening, since I saw water flooding from another house’s water meter flowing into the gutter.

And thus I was right: About 5, the work crews showed up and tore the part of our lawn next to the street.

Fortunately, they got it fixed in just a few hours, but it’s odd that all these utilities broke down within a 24 hour period.

Then, add to that the fact that as of tomorrow, thanks to our Wise Benevolent Protectors in the federal government, you’ll no longer be about to watch TV from an analog broadcasted signal. Our bureaucratic overlords have determined that nobody needs to watch TV in a place where the TV isn’t hooked up to something.

We’ve got one of those digital attennas on our breakroom TV at work, and it’s crap-diddly-tastic, It only picks up half of the broadcast channels, and most of those are unwatchable because of the picture freezing and skipping.

And why is the government so hot on having everyone have digital TVs?

Remember the old Yakoff Smirnoff joke? “In Soviet Union, TV watches YOU!”

It turns out that there are theories that the reason for DTV is to give the government two-way transmission capabilities.

In other words, to keep an eye on us while we’re keeping an eye on Real Housewives of Orange County.

Yeah, they can’t keep the water, power or cable going, but they’re trying to run a video feed from each of hour houses.

I’m Back! Again!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Okay, I finally got my WordPress upgraded to version 2.7.1, which means my blog FINALLY shows up again! As you’ll recall, I couldn’t even edit anything on my blog for 6 months, and for much of that time, the thing wasn’t even readable. The folks at Lunarpages helped me fix it, but just over 6 weeks later, all that was showing up was my shamrock background and the photo of my cool metal logo at the top of the page.

This time they told me that it was because I was using a really, really old version of WordPress … and, well, BUSTED! Yeah, I haven’t upgraded my WordPress since my first installation, which was, oh, about 4 years ago. So I guess I was due for a change. But backups and file replacing makes me nervous, so I’ve been putting it off.

So I finally did it. So shut up. And so maybe it’ll be a while before my blog fails to show up again.

Or not: As soon as I got 2.7.1 installed and I logged in, the admin page says, “WordPress 2.8 is available! Please update now.”

Sheesh. There’s no stopping this damnable treadmill of blog “progress”.