Friday, September 30, 2011

Demotivational Friday

    Listen.  I'm not anti-Star Wars.  I love Star Wars.  But do we really need yet another re-release of the DVD's?  So it's got a few more minutes of deleted scenes.  So Leia and Han get kissy kissy.  So what.  Shouldn't all this have been included in the first release?  Or the second?

    But now, if you replace the ugly old emperor with the above-pictured Sith Lord.  Now you got my interest.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Edgar Allan Pooh

    I'm sure the sequel will be Murders in the Roo Morgue.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    Ka was a wheel, its one purpose to turn, and in the end it always came back to the place where it had started.  So it had been and so it was now; Susannah was once again facing the bear, and her face said she knew it.

(from The Waste Lands by Stephen King)

The complete review is here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

ASU 43 - USC 22

    You!  Yes, you!  Yer going down, suckah!

    And they did.  I stayed up way past my bedtime Saturday night to watch this glorious ASU victory.  First time we beat the Trojans in a dozen years.  Even longer since we beat them here in Tempe.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vinyl Giveaway #3

   Time to get rid of another stack of LP's that are sitting on my computer room floor and have been converted to MP3's.  The usual caveats apply.  Most of these are $1-$5 used acquisitions, so expect scratches.  AFAIK, none have backward skips (I tossed those); and very few have forward ones.  The LP's are free, but they need to be picked up by next Saturday, when I take the remainder to Rockzone.

    Drop me an e-mail if any of these tickle your fancy.  I'll divvy up albums that more than one person has an interest in.

01. Petula Clark - Portrait of Petula Clark
    Easy-listening stuff, but a nice selection.
02. Silver Creek - Silver Creek
   A one-LP group that shooda done better.  Kewl Orange Blossom Special rendition.
03. Allan Sherman - My Son, The Celebrity
   Yeah, he's the "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda" guy.  But that's not on this LP.
04. Chilliwack - Opus X
    Album #10 from a Canadian prog band.  "Whatcha Gonna Do" got some air play.
05. Jimmy Dean - The First Thing Ev'ry Morning
    Might have his signature on the back.  An otherwise terrible album.
06. Rare Earth - In Concert
    2x-LP  Kewl album design - in the form of a backpack.  Good music too.
07. Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams
    Has "Heard It In a Love Song" on it.
08. Andreas Vollenweider - White Winds
    Ambient music from an electric harpist.  How kewl is that?!
09. Bill Monroe - The Original Blue Grass Sound
    The father of bluegrass.
10. Ronnie Milsap - One More Try For Love
    Nice, but nothing special.
11. Lone Justice - Lone Justice
    Maria McKee's first group.  This was their debut LP, I think.
12. Kenny Rogers & The 1st Edition - Something's Burning
    Pop music sweet enough to make you gag.
13. Leon Russell & Marc Benno - Asylum Choir II
    Leon's done better; Leon's done worse.
14. Walter Murphy - A Fifth of Beethoven
    Half disco; half rockicized classical music.  The disco half sux.
15. Sheena Easton - You Could Have Been With Me
16. Tom Paxton - The Compleat Tom Paxton
    2X-LP.  Live.  All his hits.
17. The Limeliters - Tonight : In Person
    Kingston Trio wannabees.  Which is not a bad thing.
18. Black Oak Arkansas - I'd Rather Be Sailing
    In immaculate condition, but the worst rock-&-roll album ever.  Ask me why.
19. Chilliwack - Chilliwack
    2X-LP.  Some of their early proggy stuff. 
20. Roger Miller - Dang Me
    His debut album.  Good stuff.
21. Allan Sherman - For Swingin' Livers Only
    Jewish-humor songs.
22. Chet Atkins - This Is Chet Atkins
    2X-LP.  A fine guitarist.
23. Pure Prairie League - Live Takin' The Stage
    2X-LP.  A nice live album.  With all their hits.  Both of them.
24. Don Nix - Skyrider
    Not his best.  But I am a huge Don Nix fan.
25. Mike Oldfield - Airborn
    2X-LP.  An early re-issue of some of his songs.  Includes Tubular Bells.
26. The Earl Scruggs Review - Strike Anywhere
    A bluegrass band that sings songs about Muhammed Ali.  Kewlness.
27. Three Dog Night - It Ain't Easy
    My favorite 3DN album.
28. Tommy - The Soundtrack
    2X-LP. Elton doing Pinball Wizard.  Clapton on it as well.
    Warning : This one is excessively scratched.  I'll probably toss it.
29. Smothers Brothers - Tour De Farce
30. Smothers Brothers - Golden Hits, Volume 2
    See above.
31. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - The Best Years of our Lives
    A British glam band that I'm partial to.
32. Bee Gees - Horizontal
    Their first US album, I think.  Has "Massachusetts" on it.
33. Four Tops - Anthology
    3X-LP.  Good stuff, but way too much Motown for one sitting.
34. John Denver - Back Home Again
    I'm learning to like JD.
35. Beck-Bogart-Appice - Beck, Bogart, and Appice
    Three guys that you really should wiki.
36. Blue Oyster Cult - Blue Oyster Cult
    Decent, but doesn't contain "Don't Fear The Reaper".
37. Dan Fogelberg - Nether Lands
    Nice story-telling songs.
38. Stealer's Wheel - Stealer's Wheel.
     I'm still not learning to like Gerry Rafferty.
39. Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction
    Is there a reason why Barry deliberately sings off-key?
40. Lindsey Buckingham - Go Insane
    A nice effort.
41. Leon Redbone - From Branch to Branch
    A white guy singing Muddy Waters era blues.  Kewl.
42. Procol Harum - Exotic Birds & Fruit
    No hits, but nice.
43.  Rare Earth - Band Together
    Lounge Music stuff from their later years.
44. Isaac Stern60th Anniversary Celebration
    Classical violin.  Excellent.
45. Berlin Philharmonic - Dvorak Symphony #8
    Hey, I love light classical music.  Back off.
46. Chris Rea - Deltics
    A fantastic guitarist that no one knows.
47. Josh White - Archive of Folk Music
    40's folk/blues music, issued soon after his death.
48. Ned Kelly Soundtrack
    Mick Jagger, Waylon Jennings, and Shel Silverstein team up.
49. The Highwaymen - The Highwaymen
   No, not Willie and Waylon.  This is the 60's group who did "Michael Row the Boat Ashore"
50. Bonnie Tyler - Secret Dreams and Forbidden Fire
    Bonnie roolz!
51. Bonnie Tyler - The World Starts Tonight
    See above.
52. Chet Atkins & Hank Snow - Reminiscing
    Easy listening, but finely done.
53. Hoyt Axton - Joy To The World
   Debut album, I think.  Eclectic mix of songs.
54. Ozark Mountain Daredevils - OMD
    "If You Wanta Get To Heaven", et. al.
55. Chad Mitchell Trio - Singin' Our Mind
    More Kingston Trio type stuff.
56. Jean-Luc Ponty - Cosmic Messenger
    Excellence in ambience.
57. John Mayall - The Turning Point
    White-boy blues.  Nice.
58. Ozark Mountain Daredevils - Sidemen From Earth
    Good stuff.  What ever happened to these dudes?
59. Lindisfarne - Roll On, Ruby.
60. Harmonium - L'Heptade
    Obscure French-Canadian prog-ambient band.
61. New Christy Minstrels - Tell Tall Tales
    Happy folksy 60's stuff.  I like them.
62. Blues Project - Best Of...
    Excellent honky R&B.
63.Smothers Brothers - Curb Your Tongue, Knave!
    See above.  Way above.
64. Marshall Tucker Band - Running Like The Wind
    No hits, but nice nevertheless.
65. Barclay James Harvest - Best of...
    Early BJH stuff, actually.  A proggy folksy rock band.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The sky is falling...

    WTF?!  Some people are actually worried about (debris from) the satellite hitting them tonight?  Peeps, we need to talk about statistical odds.  It's why I don't play the lottery.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    "I really have only one question," Hemberg began. "What do you think it is?"
    "You're of course wondering what I'm doing here."
     "I would probably put it more forcefully," Hemberg said. "How the hell did you end up here?"
     "It's a long story," Wallander said.
     "Make it short," Hemberg replied. "But leave nothing out."

(from The Pyramid by Henning Mankell)

The complete review is here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


    Damn, dudes.  Was it something I said?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Limitations of Science

    If you haven't found Jesus & Mo yet, you really ought to.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Talk Like A Pirate Day

    One of my favorite holidaze is September 19 - Talk Like A Pirate Day.  I find it amazing that it has not yet been recognized as a national holiday.   Next year I might even dress the part.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A child's prayer

    Sent to me a long time ago by my friend, Buffy.  Who cared deeply for those poor ladies. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    It was something everyone who lived in Berlin seemed to experience.  You began to think differently about whom you met for lunch and for that matter what cafĂ© or restaurant you chose, because rumors circulated about which establishments were favorite targets of Gestapo agents - the bar at Adlon, for example.  You lingered at street corners a beat or two longer to see if the faces you saw at the last corner had now turned up at this one.  In the most casual of circumstances you spoke carefully and paid attention to those around you in a way you never had before.  Berliners came to practice what became known as "the German glance" - der deutsche Blick - a quick look in all directions when encountering a friend or acquaintance on the street.

(from In The Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson)

The full review is here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

RIP - Carl Oglesby

Carl Oglesby
b.  :  30 July 1935
d.  :  13 September 2011

    Carl Oglesby was a powerful speaker for the Left Wing, and was president of the Students for a Democratic Society (better known as "SDS") 1965-1966.

    SDS was a high-profile student political force when I was a freshman at Penn State (1968).  That year, students took over the Dean's office at PSU, and occupied it for several days.  I'm sure SDS was a major player in the protest.

    Alas, my main aim my freshman year was to get as drunk as I could, and as often as I could; and it's hard to protest when you're passed out on the floor.  To boot, my political leanings were decidedly right-wing.  By the time my politics changed leftward (1971), SDS was kaput, Oglesbly had been kicked out, and I had transferred to ASU.

    So this is more of a requiem for SDS, using Carl Oglesby's passing to put a face on them.  They did influence my life, but not until my junior year.

   We'll leave you with a quote from him.  There were quite a few to choose from, given his mastery of speech-giving.

    "It isn't the rebels who cause the troubles of the world, it's the troubles that cause the rebels."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Parallel Universes

    There's Time Travel and there's Dimension Hopping.  Both of these are fairtly straightforward, once you get the hang of it.  But visiting Parallel Universes is a bit trickier.  You're there, and you're there also.  But one of the you's isn't you, cuz he/she was subject to a different set of events following a spin-off at a Key Historical Juncture.

    That's how Parallel Universes come into existence, you know - at critical points in History.   In theory, there are an infinite number of PU's.  But when you're in one, with another you, it's dreadfully diffucult to make a jump to yet another PU.  And you really don't want to get too far away from your Home Reality.

Monday, September 12, 2011

You spell "Serena" : b-r-a-t

    Ah, Serena.  Classless you were.  Classless you are.  Classless you shall forever be.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    "Well, Citizen," Yorrov-Voppov said, "the present signals are clearly coming from as upper-atmosphere vehicle which is circumnavigating the planet.  The question is, undoubtedly, where did this vehicle come from?

    "As I see it, there are two possibilities; either it came from somewhere on this planet, or it came from somewhere out there."  He gestured in a vaguely upward direction.

    "Continue," Karv-Torov said, not visibly impressed by the analysis so far.

(from First Cycle, by H. Beam Piper & Michael Kurland)

The full review is here.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Demotivational Thursday

    Sad.  Really sad.  Pathetically sad.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

In your dreams

    Yeah, this happens a lot in my dreams.  When I'm not driving aimlessly on a road that goes nowhere.  Or waking up in my underwear in a public place.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Book Excerpt for the Day

    ...anything else was so small and trivial it didn't merit attention, except as a component of the most beautiful day either of them could remember.

    "It's so normal," she said at last.  "That's why it's so special."

    At which point an engine revved wildly in one of the buildings.  They turned to look, and saw an elderly Ford Cortina, draped in cobwebs and plastered with mud and straw, burst through the side of a long, wooden shed, scattering splinters of plank and weatherboard like confetti.  It raced across the yard, swerved to avoid a parked tractor, scrunched its offside wing against a wall, backed up, hit the corner of a barn and stalled.

    It appeared to be being driven by chickens.

(from Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages, by Tom Holt)

The complete review is here.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Happy Labor Day!

    It's been a pleasant 3 days.  Liz's annual Labor Day Weekend PAH-TAY was Sunday.  And anytime you don't have to go to work on Monday is simply fantabulous.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Grammar Nazi

    Yes, I'm a grammar nazi.  I try my best to keep it under control, but sometimes it just bubbles out.  Like when a report from an engineer I work with says we can do a project cheep.  Or our lab ran duels on a certain test and were very precise.