10/31/2005

so today some kids came around to trick or treat, and we had a lot of candy. But what's the deal with people? We were the only house on our block, on either side of the street, to give out candy. And I walked around the neighborhood to go to my pal's house, and I didn't see a single other house that looked like they were open for trick-or-treating. I don't understand why people don't do this - it's fun for kids, fun for the candy-passers-out to see all the kids in funny costumes, and good for the neighborhood, sense of community and stuff like that. I know there are lots of organized trick-or-treats at the mall and places, but those are pretty lame. It's much more fun seeing the inside of random people's foyers, seeing who dressed up and who didn't, who put some scary decorations out, who has the good candy, who gives up crap like toothbrushes or pennies, and who are the Halloween Scrooges and don't do anything. And tonight, pretty much everybody was a scrooge. Even if you're not expecting many trick-or-treaters, and I wasn't, how difficult is it to get a bowl of candy and sit on your stoop, or put a pumpkin on your doorstep, turn on the light, and come to the door when happy little kids ring it. What are you doing that you can't turn away from for a couple hours to make some little kids happy?
so I saw that movie Dig! the other day, it was pretty good. If you haven't seen it, it's a documentary that follows the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, two bands that were friends with each other and eventually drift apart. The Dandy Warhols get famous while the Brian Jonestown Massacre don't, mainly thanks to the bizarre behavior and drug use of their lead singer, Anton Newcombe. He's the focus of the movie and is portrayed as a crazy jerk - almost comical in his bizarre ramblings and so on - I don't want to spoil some of it. And he's actually not the guy with the big sunglasses on the cover, which I assumed before I saw the movie. That guy, Joel Gion, is the tambourine and maracas player and is a pretty funny guy.

I'd heard a lot about the movie before I saw it and had heard some the Dandy Warhols, including in concert once, and they were pretty good. I didn't know much about the Brian Jonestown Massacre, other than their name being kind of funny. I liked most of the movie, but the fact that lots of people in it kept saying Newcombe was a musical genius and such was weird, mainly because they didn't play much music by either band. Anton says on the band's website that he doesn't agree with the movie, since it shows him in a bad light, but whatever. Even so, it's an enjoyable movie if you know their music or not. It also reminded me of a lot of really good Dandy Warhols songs I'd forgotten about. And the keyboard player for the Dandys is pretty hot, and she plays topless at the beginning of the movie. Nice.

anyway, here are both bands' websites. The cool thing about the Brian Jonestown Massacre's page is that you can download a lot of their albums for free. That's something I appreciate, even if they didn't actually start a revolution, as Newcombe says a bunch of times.


Brian Jonestown Massacre

Dandy Warhols
so I read that Tennessee may offer Elvis license plates. Pretty sweet. I wish I still had a car, since my car had Tennessee plates. Here's the article, and a link to the design of the plate.

Tennessee has some pretty neat (and pretty dumb) vanity plates. I like the Arts ones, which is a cat playing a sax, or a fish. Kind of a funny thing to have on your car. The agriculture one is cool too, and my parents have the Watchable Wildlife and the Retired Air Force one. Most of them are for some charity. Some I have never seen, like Pearl Harbor Survivor and Bosnia Veteran and Enemy Evadee (whatever that is). In fact, the only Google results for Enemy Evadee are Tennessee license plates. Pretty weird. And there must be like 3 people in the state with Pearl Harbor Survivor plates. Here's the page with of all the vanity plates, and apparently a new design for the state plate (upper right of the page.) I like it.

10/28/2005

so I bought Zapp & Roger's Greatest Hits the other day, it's pretty cool stuff. Zapp was a 70's electronic funk band with four brothers named Troutman (and Bootsy Collins, among others) and Roger, one of the brothers, also did some solo stuff, so the greatest hits CD is some of both. But anyway, I like it. They use a lot of vocoders and synthesizers and have some cool bass lines. Their big hits were "More Bounce to the Ounce" and "So Ruff, So Tuff," which is what Pedro's cousins play in their low rider in Napoleon Dynamite. They also did the original version of "California Love," which is cool - Dr. Dre and Tu Pac use the bass and the part that goes "California knows how to party... in the city, city of Compton" etc in their version. Unfortunately, that is on Volume 2 of Zapp's greatest hits, which I don't have. They also did some covers which are decent, like "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and P-Funk's "Chocolate City," but some of the other covers are pretty lame. But anyway, something I never knew until I was trying to find some songs to download, is that a few years ago, Larry Troutman shot and killed his brother Roger, then himself. Pretty crazy. Apparently they had some kind of feud about business, and probably some family issues. The San Francisco Weekly has a good article about the group, it's a pretty intersting and sad story. Wikipedia has a page too.

10/25/2005

so today I realized I eat a lot of Zatarain's mixes, so I thought I'd say I like em. Zatarain's (pronounced zatteranns, I think) are these Cajun dinner mixes, you cook some chicken or sausage or beef, add some water and butter and simmer it, and you get some good shit. They have a lot of unusual Cajun stuff on their website, like mossy oak fish mix, whatever that is, but I like the rice ones. Caribbean rice is good, as are jambalaya, and I just had the Chicken Creole Mix today, good stuff. Pretty much all of them I've had are good. The pasta ones are tasty too, especially the alfredeaux sauce pasta (get it, cajun alfredo). Unfortunately I don't see that one much. So whatever, I recommend them. Easy, cheap, filling, and tasty, and there are vegetables.
so myself and a top secret operative found the location of the Playboy Mansion : 10236 Charing Cross Rd, Westwood, CA 90024. Below is a picture of it from Google Earth. It's in Google Maps too, but Google Earth gets much better resolution. The circled area is the grotto.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Click it for a bigger version.

Pretty cool. I guess some man made structures aren't visible from space. Silicone ones, I mean.

And here are the Google Earth and Google Maps sites for those curious.

10/24/2005

so I was wondering the other day why there weren't more movies about Vikings. I think Vikings are really cool and interesting, and they'd make a great epic-type movie. Searching IMDB, the only semi-recent Viking-related movie I found was the 13th Warrior, which I have seen and is pretty enjoyable, but that's more of a cut-up-some-monsters kind of movie, rather than historical stuff about Vikings. I'm thinking an epic with different plotlines, starting with guys at a monastery in England getting raided by Vikings, some political wheelings and dealings by Vikings both in Scandanavia and Europe, the exploration and colonization of Iceland and Greenland (and even North America), and other raids and things. I mean, the Vikings were interesting folks, they conquered or settled a lot of land, like most of England, Normandy (they were the Normans), Iceland, Greenland, as well as being the founders of the country of Rus, which later became Russia. And with lots of swordfights and ocean voyages and such, it'd be really cool. You could have some hot blonde Viking-looking women too, who could be eye candy for the dudes, and the soundtrack could be by Sigur Ros and the Album Leaf. I'm thinking it'll be the same kind of movie as Last of the Mohicans or Lord of the Rings, Braveheart or Master and Commander. I'd go see this movie.

10/22/2005

so I saw this the other day: Fantasy Curling. As in fantasy football, but curling, the sport where they throw the big heavy things down the ice and use brooms. I guess every sport has a fantasy game now. I want to find fantasy buzkashi.

10/20/2005

so I read today that NBA has a new rule making players dress "business casual" and forbidding them from wearing visible jewelry, like gold chains and medallions and stuff, while on "team business." I think this is stupid, the NBA is not middle school. If a player wants to wear a chicken suit or a shako or a medallion that says "I Like Waffles" or whatever, who cares? It doesn't interfere with them taking a plane to the next game or talking to the media, so what does it matter if it they do it? It's their personalities and should be their right. I liked it when Dennis Rodman would wear weird crap. What a pointless rule. I guess they're trying to make people forget about the Pacers brawl fiasco by trying to get rid of some of the vestiges of hip-hop culture or whatever, but a dude in a suit isn't going to make me forget players fighting in the stands. And despite the fight, I'm still going to watch the games, whatever players wear before and after them.

10/19/2005

so if I were a city planner or mayor, one of the first things I would do would be to make rules about street names. I hate stupid ones.

Street names must be different - I hate in the suburbs when there are fifteen streets in a subdivision with minor differences, like "East Hills Way," "East Hills Lane," "East Hills Drive," etc. How confusing is that? "Ok, so turn left on East Hills Way, then go past East Hills Drive and.. no wait, East Hills Parkway..."

Themes - Most themes are stupid, but if you're going to use a theme it can't include the same word, such as "Harbour View Drive," "Twin Harbour Drive," "Harbour Park Lane" and so on. Just because "Harbour" is in a different place in different names, it doesn't mean it's not confusing or dumb. And Harbour? What is this, Canada? These are in Farragut, Tenn. If I ran a town, you've got to use American spellings of words, you won't be able to trick dummies into thinking their subdivision is nice because they live on "Honour Way" or "Labour Terrace" or some crap like that.

Street types - I also hate stupid types (or suffixes, whatever) like "Court" and "Cove" and "Terrace" and "Crescent" and so on. In my town, we have only street. Say that with a Russian accent. But really, cars don't drive on coves or terraces, they drive on streets. There are lots of things to name a street, you shouldn't have to just change the ending. How about Presidents? Historical figures in that area? Local geographical features, mayors, whatever. "Green Cove Green Way Green Street Green Boulevard" is just lazy.

More about themes - I hate it when people name stuff for their kids, like "Aimee Way" and "Amanda Boulevard." Show your kid you love them some other way, and name the street "Jefferson Street." And how stupid would it be to live on "Michael Vick Way" or "Phil Fulmer Boulevard" or something in 20 years? Proper names are not good.

And don't use stupid themes - Trees are ok. Presidents are fine. Kinds of dogs or flowers are not. "Daffodil Street"? Come on. And try to avoid the nouns. Naming streets for farming implements is pretty retarded, even if you do live near farms. My house in Knoxville is near Hitching Post Drive and Wagon Tongue Lane. That's dumb. And that map also has a stupid subdivision with streets named for famous horses: Secretariat, Seattle Slew, etc. Come on, Foolish Pleasure Lane? That is ridiculous. I've never even heard of that horse, but whether it's a famous horse or not, it's a terrible street name. Who approves this crap?

And if you're making a subdivision and run out of names, maybe you have too many little stupid cul-de-sacs. Buy maps of Charleston, New Orleans, and Boston for some good ones. Colonial street names are usually good and normal sounding.

I found a couple of articles on street names, one from Wikipedia and one from Texas A&M called "How are subdivisions named?" It's pretty interesting. I like this example from the A&M artilcle, it makes me want to punch this guy:

Obviously, the names of family and friends are the source for other subdivision names. There’s Christopher’s Cove, Suzanne’s Court and Julie’s Walk. Michael Shelton, developer of MJ Ranch, proudly named the subdivision after his wife Mary Jo.


Man, how much would it suck to have to live on Julie's Walk? I'd hate to call somebody and have to tell them my address. "uh... 6 Julie's Walk." "What? Who's Julie?" "No, that's the name of the street that I live on." "It's a walk?" "Yeah, but it's a street. Look, it's 6, then the name Julie, apostrophe S, then Walk." "Okay." "Now to get here, take a left on Hailey's Cove, then..."

There's also the subdivision name generator, which is pretty funny.

10/18/2005

so I'm going to see the band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah tonight, or as I like to call them, Crap Your Pants Say Yuck. They're kind of the new buzz band, and they got a really good review from Pitchfork, but I could care less, as half the time Pitchfork's reviews are nonsense. But in any case, I'm looking forward to it, I hear they put on a good show. I guess I'll see how it is. And Stereogum had an entry of how they got their name: it's from some graffiti.

so i was browsing the web the other day, and found this, probably the best Mr. T Halloween costume ever. He even has the van. I was Mr. T a few years ago, but it was nowhere near this cool. It's some German guy apparently, I tried using Google and Babelfish to translate, which are both cool sites, but it was all gibberish. Here's the guy's blog entry about it.

10/15/2005

so I read on Friendster of all places that there's a new Manu Chao album out. French Amazon has it as a book and CD combo, which seems pretty cool, but the page is all in French. According to Google, the name translates to something like "Siberia Was Told to Me" although the last word, conteee, seems to have an extra e. Wikipedia has an article about the album too, and says it's a pun. I guess puns don't translate. There's a version on the normal Amazon, but it seems like it doesn't have as many tracks or the book part. But anyway, I hope it comes out here, I like his stuff. The Wikipedia page says it's been out since 2004 in France and maybe elsewhere. Thanks random people on Friendster who are friends with Jumbo Slice.

10/14/2005

so i've seen some funny websites and such recently.

Stuffonmycat.com i might have mentioned before, but it's very funny - pictures of people putting stuff on their cats.

my coworker Matthew sent me this funny old ad for cigarettes starring the Flintstones. Mom and dad! I want a cigarette!

The devilducky site itself is pretty cool and has a lot of videos, such as a clip from the Smurfs Unicef commercial (article about it here)

A great blog from MIT about advertising, really interesting stuff.

And from that blog, you can buy masks of the weird Burger King king guy. I guess he would be called the Burger King.

10/13/2005

I spoke to the Samurai today


shawsamurai
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I saw the samurai guy again today after work at the Shaw Metro and decided to say hey. He said his get-up was African. but on to the story- I caught up to him as he was walking out and said "hey, I like your outfit." He ignored me for a sec, or maybe didn't notice I was talking to him, but said thanks. I asked him if he wore it to work and he said "no, I work as an instructor at a military facility, it's a suit and tie kind of place, so I put on my African clothes when I leave. It's my traveling wear" or something along those lines, which I thought was pretty cool. He also said he had some mud cloth for when it gets cold. (The first result on Google for mud cloth is a Smithsonian page about African clothes with a snippet from a neat song, so check it out.) By that point we were about up the escalator so I said cool and have a good day, and that was that. hopefully I can see if he would do a full interview, like why he wears it, what's it's based on and so on. So that was pretty neat.

In other news, I saw on Stereogum that there is a Commodore Music Store now. Like the Apple iTunes music store. I thought it was a very funny joke at first, but apparently it's legit, although the prices are in Euros. What's next, Amiga? Colecovision?

10/11/2005

so I was thinking about doing a review of some local pizza delivery places, and also thinking about shitty local commercials, and the first thing that came to mind was Manny and Olga's Pizza. Their commercials are pretty bad, with all these really unflattering shots of disgusting looking pizza, subs, and salads that looked like what might occur after a night of drinking. Then, to top it off, there's a shot of a photo of some other food, which is pretty funny - they were too lazy to actually make the food, so they just filmed a photo of it. Then the tag line is "We deliver... very late!" with the "very late" part sung really high.

And on to the review - the only good thing about the pizza is that they deliver very late. The sauce is pretty bad, weirdly sweet tasting, and I could only eat a few slices before getting tired - usually I finish off 3/4 of a pie or more. It wasn't that great of a deal either, $17 for an extra large 3 topping (which is not really that big) and a medium one topping. I'm not looking forward to having it as leftovers. Chicken was good as a topping, but still, the sauce was bad. I remember why we used to have a pizza hierarchy when I was at GW - Papa John's until it closed at midnight or something, then Pizza Movers until it closed at 1 or 2, then finally Manny and Olga's. Or maybe Pizza Movers and Manny and Olga's were reversed. But for my money, no delivery pizza can beat Duccini's, which doesn't have a website.

But anyway, here is Manny and Olga's website, unfortunately without the bad commercial.

And here's Pizza Movers too, at least the Arlington location. I like lame song it plays. I'm not sure what it is supposed to be, but that xylophone is rocking out.

10/09/2005

Metric and Most Serene Republic


metric
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I went to see Metric and Most Serene Republic at the 9:30 Club tonight. I've always heard Metric was good in concert, and Most Serene Republic has a pretty great band name. Metric didn't disappoint, but Most Serene Republic were pretty bad. I sort of liked their songs on their website, but they're very annoying performers. I get the feeling the band has been friends since 4th grade, and they're those annoying kind of friends who have all these exclusive hilarious inside jokes. They probably name their little group with some clever name like "the Salon" or an acronym of their first names. The lead singer was a spazz who sort of looked like me, but I hope I am not anywhere as annoying as he is. The rest of the band (except for the girl guitarist) rocked out way too much, to music that really didn't lend itself to rocking out. Music wise, I guess you could say they are a noisy, Canadian version of Architecture in Helsinki, which means they are sort of too cutesy and have twice as many band members as they need. They seemed like pretty good musicians, the drummer especially seemed to be a good drummer, but didn't ever play a regular beat, he just sort of banged stuff. I wish they'd go back to San Marino. But enough with the harsh review. Because Metric was great. They were tight and catchy, and the sound was booming, the bass was really shaking me. They also had a good light show going on, which wasn't over the top and really complimented them well. Emily Haines, the lead singer, she's a really good, likable frontwoman, or whatever you call female frontman. She danced around and made poses and has a great voice, pretty much the opposite of the Most Serene Republic frontman. The rest of the band were fun to watch as well, and were solid perfomers. You could tell they'd been doing this for awhile, and they sounded great. They tore the place apart during "Combat Baby," which I guess is their biggest hit song, and the encore was probably the best encore I've ever seen, it was a lot more hypnotic and swirling than the rest of the set. I feel like a lot of bands play one big song and sort of phone it in during the encore, but they were spectacular. I only knew maybe two or three of their songs, and still thought they were great. My pal Rae saw them a few days ago and has better photos and a video too.

10/06/2005

so my pal Jenny sent me this link to all the commercials for Eastern Motors, which are terrible commercials. Unfortunately, the best part, Lavar Arrington's bad lip-synching, isn't as noticeable here as when it's on TV, but it's still funny to watch. They also have the song available for download, but I don't know why someone would want to download it. On second thought, I think I might put it on every mix CD I make.

10/04/2005

Rap Snacks


rapsnacks
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I saw these Lil Romeo chips at the hot dog stand near my work. Pretty funny stuff. The back says "The New No Limit/Universal Records presents Lil' Romeo. This prodigy to Master P is not only a soldier in training, but also his son. Following in his father's footsetps there is No Limit to his Universal appeal. With the release of his sophomore album, Game Time, Lil' Romeo is next in line to destroy the competition with his smash hit '2Way.' Album in stores June 2002!"

The last line worried me, since that might mean these are 3 year old chips. Or, since I see them a lot, maybe they just never updated the bag. They taste fine though - actually pretty good. Not that I want to be seen buying Lil Romeo chips all the time. What's odd is I've never seen any other rappers on bags of chips. You'd think Snoop Dogg chips or Lil Bow Wow or somebody would be popular too.

I know I was talking about selling out earlier, but man, If I were in a band, I'd love to be on a bag of chips. I wouldn't sell it at concerts though, just random places, hot dog stands, bodegas, vending machines, etc. Can you imagine buying Weezer chips at the 7-11 or something?

Also, I don't think you can be a "prodigy to" somebody. I assume they mean protege, but you still can't be a protege to somebody. This bag of chips needs a better copy editor. I will contact them about it via their awesome website, (no joke, it's awesome), www.rapsnacks.com


Update: Apparently there are also Dirt McGirt (aka Ol Dirty Bastard) Sour Cream and Onion chips. Man, I want some of those. However, he hasn't used the name Dirt McGirt for awhile, so they must be old too. Plus, RIP ODB.
so I thought this was pretty hilarious. Oh no!! It's Typhoon Longwang!!!

Typhoon LONGWANG has hardly shown the sign of enlargement, but it seems to be stable in its size, and the eye has been visible like a pinhole. It looks that it is now more strongly spiralling, so it may become a little larger in the near future. If this typhoon keeps the current westward motion, it will approach Sakishima Islands and Taiwan in a few days.

10/03/2005

so my boss forwarded me this news article about Morgantown, West Virginia and West Virginia University students. The parts that stood to me are

Morgantown led the nation in the number of intentional street fires between 1997 and 2003, with a total of 1,129 set. This is also during a time when Morgantown led the nation in reports of sexual abuse of animals, with a total of 24,989 reported cases.


and

Residents have until Friday morning to remove the specified items. Those who refuse to comply with the order will receive not receive their weekly food stamp allotment, and their furniture will be loaded into dump trucks and hauled away...


First off, sexual abuse of animals - who keeps statistics about this? That sucks. And food stamps? Geez. I think they need to give more financial aid or something. It sounds like Morgantown is as nice a place as Canton, Ohio.
so i was checking out news articles, and I thought this was sort of an unfortunate headline:


"Colleges offer students oral HIV tests"


Also, it looks like Google has a new search engine for blogs, blogsearch.google.com. For example, if you put in sufjan stevens 930 club the first result is me. Pretty cool. I'm not really sure why you'd want to use this as opposed to regular Google, but oh well.