Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mike Judge Has A New TV Show: Silicon Valley

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The creator of Office Space, Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill has a new (live action) TV show on HBO called Silicon Valley.

The first episode is up free:

I’ve seen about half of it. It’s reasonably funny, but some of the geek characters are a bit too cliched…

Swell Documentary on the Making of Paul Simon’s Graceland

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Dwight’s linking of this piece on accordions got me listening to my favorite album featuring accordions, Paul Simon’s Graceland, one of the all time great albums. I was vaguely aware that a 25th Anniversary edition had come out, and poking around online I find that a documentary on the album had come out last year, all of which is available online.

If you like the album, ths documentary is well worth your time.

Aaron Allston, RIP

Friday, February 28th, 2014

I’m floored by the news that Aaron Allston just died from a heart attack at age 53. I knew he had health issues, but had no idea any were that serious. I used to run into him fairly regularly at Indian restaurants in north Austin, as well as at cons and parties. Aaron wrote mostly media tie-in work, but I enjoyed the stories of his I read.

I should probably finally get around to reading Doc Sidhe, his Doc Savage pastiche…

Dream Diary: My Non-Shootout With Michael Jackson

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

I dreamed I was in the process of buying a bank. One customer I knew was telling me she was going to sue me, even though I didn’t even own the bank yet. I think she was doing it out of spite.

Then I was riding in a car with someone I think wanted to sell some sort of service to my bank. While we drove I was worried about what level of fractional reserve the bank should have in these tough economic times. (Yes, I dreamt about fractional reserve banking; I’m just a wild and crazy guy). But then the guy driving drove up and over an unfinished overpass, despite my warning, and we landed with a crash in a closed Target parking lot at night.

I was walking along after that, and I had to go into a convenience store to use the bathroom (yes, one of those dreams), but I was worried my dog would run off while I was inside.

Inside it was more like a hotel or bank lobby, and when I went into the restroom, it was some sort of cave (more like a video game cave than a real one).

For some reason, Michael Jackson was holding a ridiculously long antique wooden rifle on me, something like 15-20 feet long, saying he wanted to die as a woman and as a defender of the Alamo. (I guess he was channeling Phil Collins here.)

The gun was so close to my face that I swept the barrel aside with my left hand while I pulled my own gun out of my pocket with my right. But I couldn’t fire it because there was a beef jerky packet stuck to it that prevented operating the trigger.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson had turned into a friend of mine, and not only was the rifle he holding normal sized, but it turned out to be made of beef jerky packets connected together in the shape of a gun as well.

Then I woke up.

Shoegazer Sunday: Silvania’s “Trilce”

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Silvania is Peruvian duo currently resident in Spain (and not a manufacturer of inferior lightbulbs). “Trilce” is from the “floaty, spacy” branch of Shoegaze.

I hope you like religious statuary…

Why Sports Parody Is Impossible These Days

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Though this happened last year, with the Olympics starting it’s newly relevant again: Canadian curler gets two year ban for steroids.

Still waiting for that chess steroid scandal…

Dream Diary: Intimations of Doom

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Not a lot of news on the personal blogging front, so I’ll put down last night’s dream. which was interesting not only for multiple dreamed disasters, but also because I remembered long stretches and multiple scenes of it.

First I dreamed my family and I were all living in a spacious glass-walled condo (we never lived in any type of condo), when three assault helicopters surrounded the building. Since they were flying at exactly our level, we came to the conclusion they were spying on us and closed all the drapes/blinds. We also worried they were eavesdropping on us, or had tapped our (landline) phones, so we went out for Chinese food.

At the Chinese restaurant, we hadn’t even been seated when I noticed a tornado off in the distance, shouted to alert the restaurant of this fact, then made my way to an inner corner to duck and cover. I remember that corner seemed unused and trash-strewn. (I dream semi-regularly about tornadoes, though thankfully I’ve never seen one in person.)

Later I was walking toward downtown Austin, when I looked up and saw debris floating in the air, and realized a large bomb had come off. Troops were coming in on one of those large street overpasses Austin doesn’t have, and I quickly turned and walked the other direction for fear of being blamed for the bomb. (I put this down to watching videos of the situation in Ukraine.)

Next I was in a building and realized that the political elites had all left earth for another planet, that the infrastructure on this one was starting to fail, and two women were there for vaguely menacing reasons, trying to get me to go somewhere. I tried to convince them that the situation was a great reason to have sex, but they weren’t buying it. I also remember speaking at a meeting/rally on the problem, where I was trying to work the word “sabotage” into the description of the problem, so I could then introduce the Beastie Boys and get them to play that.

Finally, I remember driving up to a beach house in my uncle’s car, driving into the garage, then through a second space, an finally into a third space that opened out into three separate parking spaces lobes, each on a sort of upward slope. I remember thinking it was a lot of space for a garage, and worrying since his car had no reverse. But once inside it was some sort of townhouse and wasn’t on the beach, where I was waiting with other people for friends to show up. Then I had the usual “I’m naked” moment, but I wasn’t sure whether it was time yet to go out to my car and get my clothes.

Then I woke up

The Longest Version of U2′s “Bad” Ever

Friday, January 10th, 2014

“Bad” is my favorite U2 song. This version, recorded in East Rutherford, NJ, on April 15th, 1985, is far from my favorite, but at 18 minutes and 17 seconds its certainly the longest. It has a winning batshit crazy intensity, with Bono throwing in riffs to “Waiting For My Man,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “Hide Your Love Away” and “Sympathy for the Devil,” plus freeform lyrics that seem to have improvised on the spot, since they show up nowhere before or after.

And it all pretty much works against the base “Bad” riff.

Come on down…

Library Additions: Dan Robertson’s The Ideal, Genuine Man inscribed by Stephen King

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

While it’s gotten much harder to find undiscovered gems in used bookstores thanks to the Internet, there are still bargains to be had if you know what you’re looking for.

Take, for example, this:

Robertson, Dan. The Ideal, Genuine Man. Philtrum Press, 1987. Second Printing of the first edition hardback (numberline starting with 2 and “Distributed by the Putnam Group” on the copyright page), a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a slight indention and 1/16″ closed tear along spine. Signed by Robertson and inscribed by introduction author Stephen King: “1/29/88″ then further down: “To Lady Pat and/Sir Barr/all best,/Stephen King”//.

Ideal Genuine

Ideal Genuine Sig

Friends tell me that King used to regularly attend SCA events on the east coast (which is where his cameo in Knightriders came from), and the inscription suggests that this might have been inscribed to someone King knew in that context.

Philtrum Press, of course, is Stephen King’s own press, and he did initially tour with Robertson (a writer King long admired) to promote the book. So I always check copies when I come across them. This one I found at the Half Price Books on outer Westheimer in Houston for $18, minus roughly 25% off thanks to a coupon for the day after Thanksgiving.

This is, I think, the 6th book signed Stephen King book in my library, but the first I’ve found cheap in a used bookstore…

Shoegazer Sunday: Golden Garden’s “Ghostwood”

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

I was in the mood for something mellow, and Golden Garden‘s “Ghostwood” admirably fits the bill, even if the video comes in almost entirely on the cheap side of the “cheap but arty” continuum.

Lead singer Aubrey Rachel Violet Bramble (if in fact that’s a single person’s real name and not a real name + fake name combo) has the most obvious “little girl” voice this side of Alison Shaw of Cranes.