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Quarter Life Crisis

Friday, November 28, 2003
Does anyone out there own an SACD yet? Does anyone even know what they are? OK, I'll tell you what they are. (I got a sampler disc in my most recent issue of Rolling Stone.) The acronym SACD stands for "Super Audio Compact Disc". It's going to be the new form of audio playback for the next several years. Now don't worry, you don't need to trash your regular CD player to use them, most of them (the ones marked "Hybrid SACD") will still play just fine in any standard CD player. What's the difference you ask? Well physically, there is no difference. They are still the same size and shape as any regular CD or DVD. The big difference is in the resolution of the digital audio and the way the audio can be played back. Standard CD's, tapes, and vinyl have always reproduced music as a stereo image; two sides, a left and a right channel. This gave audio engineers a great advantage over the old "mono" recordings because it more accurately represented how humans hear sound. We have two ears, so why not have two separate sources of audio feeding those ears. For those of you who aren't familiar with what stereo recordings actually do, sit down in front of a decent stereo and plop in a Beatles album (or any good rock album for that matter). Now close your eyes and listen for the "location" of each instrument. Meaning is it coming from the left side or the right or does it seem to come right from the middle. Sometimes you may hear a guitar coming from way off to the right side, or you might hear the drummer play a drum roll that seems to "pan" or move from the left side to the right side. That's what stereo does. Add in some well calculated reverbs and delays and you have a rich sounding realistic recording. But I digress. The new SACD's will take all that a step further. True music surround sound. I know you can pop a regular CD in your stereo at home press the Dolby Prologic button and listen to music in a simulated surround sound environment, but the new SACD's are actually encoded in 5.1 surround sound. So you can listen to your favorite music in true surround sound! Imagine listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" swirling around your head! This gives pop/rock/rap music producers the ability to have instruments coming out of nowhere and surprising you in the rear channels or panning around your head. In classical music or jazz, it will enable the feeling of a more "live" performance because the reverb will be more accurately reproduced in the rear and center channels. The other big advantage of the SACD is its super high resolution. A standard CD is recorded at a sampling rate of 44.1khz at 16 bits, or 44,100 "samples" of music per second where each "sample" is represented by a combination of 16 ones and zeros (binary code) for the digital block of information. This allows only frequencies below 22.05 khz to be recorded (half the sampling rate frequency, see The Nyquist Theory) This is called PCM or Pulse Code Modulation. The SACS's are recorded in DSD or Direct Stream Digital. It's complicated as hell to try to explain, but basically it eliminates the low sampling rates that cause loss of high frequency audio and does so without quantization. The "sampling" rate (if you can call it that) for the SACD is 2.8224 Mhz or 2,822,400 samples of audio per second with individual bits representing the audio rather than in 16 bit blocks! That's amazing! There are currently over 500 titles already out on SACD format. Most of them are older albums that have been remastered into the new format from the original multitrack analog studio tapes. Unfortunately these albums will never get the full benefit of SACD because they were never recorded with any idea that this would even ever be possible. A lot of the newer music being recorded will now be recorded and mixed down into the 5.1 format giving producers and engineers a whole new bag of tricks to work with and a new philosophy on recording music. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 27, 2003
Just wanted to make a few quick restaurant recommendations to everyone. Next time you get a hankering for some kick ass Italian food, and you don't mind paying a bit more than you would at the Pasta House or Olive Garden, check out these two awesome joints:

Trattoria Marcella: I only have one thing to say about this place; awesome. Let's put it this way, the Lasagna entree comes in a 7" x 9" pan. That's like 3 meals in one entree.

Gino's Ristorante: Just went here on Saturday for the first time and had one of the best dishes I've ever had. Six, two oz. Veal cutlets stuffed with prosciutto ham, mozzarella cheese, and covered in a lemon sage sauce. Bad ass! Also split two excellent bottles of Reisling with the folks I was with. An enormous menu too.

I also went to a cool new sushi bar in downtown Clayton recently called:

Miso: This place is really cool. Very trendy and upscale atmosphere. A nice quiet restaurant upstairs with a very cool lounge and bar downstairs. Great laid back electronic music and cool house drinks served by a great staff. Get dressed up and check it out.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Got to see another awesome Blues victory last night as they came from behind in overtime to win 4-3 at home against the Boston Bruins. Down 3-2 with only 55 seconds left in the game, the Blues pulled Osgood and headed down the ice with the puck. Keith Tkachuk got nice pass from the side of the net and lifted it just over Felix Potvin's glove with only 29 seconds left in the game. In overtime Osgood made a huge save with just over a minute left and the rebound headed out to Doug Weight who basically skated in untouched and let a quick wrist shot go from the top of the circle to beat Potvin on the far side. Blues win, in OT, at home, against the best team in the East. Shweeet!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
If any of you baseball fans out there didn't already know, the Cards traded first baseman Tino Martinez to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays this week. It was a move I fully expected to happen. In return we picked up 25 year old right handed pitcher Evan Rust and a player to be named later. Rust has shown pretty decent numbers for being on a team that is pretty much a good minor league team (as Liam said). It would have been nice to pick up a lefty though. I assume Pujols will move to first, or maybe even Eduardo Perez which would put a little more power in the lineup. This move also frees up a bit more salary for the team to utilize to get a good starter. Hopefully enough that they can keep Jim Edmonds here. I liked Tino a lot as a Cardinal. The bottom line though is that he just wasn't doing his job.

A quick check here about my blog status. I was wondering if anyone was actually taking advantage of the whole "Music of the Moment" feature over in the column on the right hand side of this page. Has anyone actually downloaded any of these songs I have made available? I thought this would be a good idea when I first set it up, but I haven't gotten any feedback on it. Please leave a comment here and let me know if anyone is actually using it. Otherwise, I don't want to waste Dave's server space.

I'm sure everyone has heard by now that Whacko Jacko has been arrested again for child molestation. Now, while there is no arguing that he is certainly one of the greatest performers ever to live, there's probably little to be said against the fact that he is almost certainly a child molester. How could anyone that is that fucking strange not be a child molester? Click here to see his mug shot. It may be one of the strangest looking photos of a human ever taken.

In case any of you hockey fans out there didn't already know, the Blues General Manager Larry Pleau has been named as the General Manager for the 2004 USA world cup hockey team. It's good to see him get some well recognized credit for what he has done here with the Blues.

Sunday, November 23, 2003
Wanna hear about something really odd I just did on Friday night? Too bad, I'm gonna tell you anyway. Drinking with teachers you had in Jr. High. Yep, you heard me right. After the shows got finished on Friday night at the Jr. High, all the teachers involved in the production invited me out for a drink with them at T.J. Wings, a small neighborhood bar near the school. I must say, teachers are totally different once you get them out of a classroom setting. Drinking like fish, smoking like a chimney, and cussing like a sailor. It was strange enough sharing a brew and some nachos with your 7th grade drama teacher without all the crazy shenanigans that went on there. If you really wanna know, ask me.

Saturday, November 22, 2003
So anyone besides me going to watch history tonight. The NHL will play it's first outdoor hockey game ever tonight in Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium in front of over 55,000 fans. The largest crowd to ever watch an NHL game. The temperature is expected to be around 7 degrees F (or -14 C). The Oilers are taking on the Canadiens in this first for the NHL and they hope to make it an annual event between several teams each year. Obviously there won't be any such games in Florida or Phoenix.

A big congratulations to Nick and Erin for taking that next big step and getting engaged! Hopefully the next year of your lives is filled with fun, anticipation and excitement as you plan for the big day. May both your lives be filled with happieness for years to come. Love you guys.

Friday, November 21, 2003
Man am I lucky. Two days in a row with beautiful weather and I get to work split shifts both days. I'm helping the kiddies run lights and sound out at my old Jr. High School for their fall student showcase which is basically a glorified talent show. It's fun though I guess. I get to step away from the office for a while and essentially teach kids about what my job encompasses and how to use the equipment and the principles behind them. But I digress. I am working in the offices in the morning and then out at the shows in the evening. So I've had two kick ass days off in the middle of the afternoon in a row. Yesterday I had a great time, got a bunch of errands run, drove around in my car listening to some good classic rock (I haven't listened to my classic rock CD's in forever), washed my car inside and out, got to lay around in the sunshine for a while. Got some new headlights for my car, the Sylvania Silverstar halogen bulbs that are as bright-white as you can get without switching to a HID lighting system like they have in all the import luxury cars. Pretty neato stuff. Today I think I am just going to eat some lunch and take a nap in the sun before I go back to work this evening. After all it's Friday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Beer, it's what's for dinner. And according to the Beer Quiz, I'm having Budweiser.

Budweiser. King of Beers. You are as American as
they come my friend. Nothing against those
pussy light beers or worse yet, imports, but
you would rather have a diesel. Now get in your
pickup, drive down to the general store and get
yourself a rack.

Which Beer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, November 18, 2003
Fro:Boy informs me of a damned travesty. They have cut most (or possibly all) of the Saruman scenes at Isengaurd from the beginning of the Return of the King. Sweet lord that sucks! These were originally intended to be tagged on the end of the Two Towers (as they were in the books) but were cut because they drug out the end of the movie after the climax at the battle of Helms Deep. I agree that it would be odd to have 7 - 10 minutes of wrap up after the battle and would probably confuse the audience. But these are some important plot points that we are missing out on here. Peter Jackson did give a reasonable explanation for cutting the scenes, which does make sense, but it's too bad they even got to this point. They should have plopped the scenes in after the battle of Helms Deep but before the Frodo and Sam vs. Faramir scenes at the end of the second movie. That way you still get a bit of suspense at the end of the film. There's already an online petition gathering strength to get the scenes put back in the movie. I don't know how effective it will be but I guess it's worth a shot. At least they will surely be included in the extended DVD cut though. I wonder how they are going to explain the Palantir now.

Well last night was interesting. On my way home from the Majestic at about 2:00 AM last night, I ran into some problems, literally ran into them. I had been raining so hard here for so long that westbound highway 40 was totally impassable. It was a damn lake. Once I made it on the highway, after barely making it through the flooded Kingshighway on ramp, I rounded the corner just past the Science Center to see three cars screeching to a halt and three cars a few feet ahead of them going pretty much no where. Once I pulled up to see what the hell was going on, I realized that the entire width of the highway was covered in like two feet of standing water for at least 30 - 40 yards in front of me. It looked like something out of a disaster movie. One of the cars was a Camaro that was pretty much up to his windows in water. No way I was even trying to get through that with my little Civic. So before anymore cars had the chance to roll up behind me, I threw it into reverse and headed for the shoulder. I then proceeded to drive backwards on the shoulder of the highway in the pitch black pouring down rain against the flow of traffic after I had been drinking all night. People were honking at me like I was an idiot but it was all worth it to see those same people slam their cars into that lake at 40 MPH or so. Dumb asses. I must say I am a pretty skillful driver. I made it all the back to the Kingshighway on ramp from where the lake was (just before the Hampton exit) and I stayed on the shoulder the whole time. Then I backed up the Kingshighway ramp all the way up to the top, tossed it in drive, and headed home. The rest of the trip was still a bit crazy. Constant hydroplaning and low visibility, not to mention two or three accidents, but highway 44 was in way better condition. I would love to seen what the 40 & 170 interchange looked like. That area floods even in a light drizzle.

Monday, November 17, 2003
Did I ever tell anyone about my affinity for a certain type of female pop singer? I don't know what it is. Most guys drool over Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, or Jessica Simpson. I can't argue that they are all (in the ladies man's voice) "very sexy ladies". But I go for the more toned down natural look. Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, Natalie Imbruglia, etc. I don't know if it's the attainable girl next door look, the fact that they are all petite, or brunette, or if it's because they all write and play their own music (which to me, is very sexy in a woman). Probably a combination of all of the above. I even seem to enjoy their songs more than I normally would that type of music. Just had to get that off my chest.

Last night on Sports Plus I saw an interview with my boy, Cardinals centerfielder Jim Edmonds. He's been the subject of some pretty insane trade rumors lately, which I've already discussed here and here. When asked if he was willing to take a pay cut to stay in St. Louis, he basically said that he already had. He stated that he told Walt (Jocketty the Cardinals G.M.) that he was willing to give back to the team more than 50% of what he was contracted to make if he could stay here in a Cards uniform, and if the team would use that money to go out and find pitching. He was then asked why he would so such a thing especially since he has two young daughters in LA where he may be eventually traded too. His response was that "he absolutely loves this town, and the fans". He also stated that he has made a ton of great friends here and that he adores the tradition of Cardinals baseball. That a boy Jimmy. For my money, you can play here till your 50 years old if you want.

Also, keep your fingers crossed that Pujols wins the NL MVP over that whinny bitch Barry Bonds tomorrow.

I just went up to the store to get some dinner and bring some soup to my mom since she wasn't feeling well. Instead of going through the express lane, I decided to try the self checkout lane where you scan all your own stuff. It severely "rocks the Cazbah" (sorry for stealing your recent 80's punk rock reference Liam). If you have half a brain, more than a 6th grade education, and an ounce of computer knowledge that is. I obviously had no problems with it since I am really good with computers and gadgets, but there were some bumbling idiots there who I guess didn't quite get it. It's not perfect though, I almost had to flip my Tippin's key lime pie upside-down to get it to read the bar code since it was on the top of the pie lid. This would have been bad since it had whipped cream all over the top of it. And I don't recommend using it if you have a lot of produce items or other things without a bar code since you have to do a search and find in a book for the item code and then weigh it using the built in scale. Probably more trouble than it's worth. Maybe they could just have product stickers next to each type of produce with a bar code that identifies each type of fruit or veggie when you weigh it. Other than that, it was perfect. Faster than waiting behind old ladies digging for change in the express lane, and it takes credit, debit, check (you have to give it to the self checkout attendant), and even accepts cash like a standard vending machine. Hopefully as the rest of the world becomes more computer literate more of these things will pop up here and there.

Took the same animal quiz that Liam did. Apparently I'm ....

What Is Your Animal Personality?

brought to you by Quizilla

Does that description remind you of me? I can't really tell whether that's accurate or not.

Ummm....this, is bad. Really bad. I'm not the type to subscribe to conspiracy theories or to believe in all the Armageddon bullshit, but this event seems to have substantial evidence from credible sources that it may actually occur, and possibly sooner than later. If it does, life on earth will most likely survive, but it will never be even remotely the same.

What the hell am I talking about? A "Supervolcano" that resides quietly underneath Yellowstone Park. A giant cauldron of lava about 25 miles wide by 50 miles long that has been festering for the past 640,000 years under the surface of the earth. It apparently erupts once every 600,000 years and is now 40,000 years overdue. Estimates say that the next eruption will certainly take place relatively soon (geologically speaking, which means within the next 100,000 years) but it could happen at any minute. Since science has never been around to witness an event of this nature (the last supervolcano to blow was 75,000 years ago in Sumatra and nearly wiped out humans) we just don't know what kind of warning signs to expect.

They say that the next eruption will be approximately 2,500 times as powerful as the Mt. St. Helen's eruption. That's about the same force of a mile wide asteroid hitting the earth and would have similar catastrophic effects. It would be the loudest sound humans have ever heard. The eruption would most likely kill every living creature within 100 miles in a matter of hours and within 500 miles over a matter of days. Outside that, most of North America would be covered with a layer of ash ranging anywhere from five inches deep up to two feet deep depending on the winds and the distance from the source. Acid rain would begin to fall in abundance and breathing without a dustmask anywhere around here would become a thing of the past. Over the course of the next few weeks after it blew, the dust, ash, and vapor would circle the globe and begin to block out light from the sun which would drop the average temperature on earth about 21 degrees. Nuclear winter. Most plants and animals would die, agriculture would be all but wiped out, food would have to be grown in labs. Clean water would be worth its weight in gold. You get the idea. Humanity would of course survive but not without a ton of problems, chaos would rule for a long while.

So what's the big deal? Why even worry about it? Well like I said, we don't have a clue what the warning signs are. But there is some strange stuff going on in Yellowstone these days and it could be a precursor to the big "bang". For instance, there were 64 earthquakes recorded in Yellowstone park in the month of October the largest I think was a 4.4 on the scale. Lots of small earthquakes usually precede any volcanic activity. The ground at the park has risen an average of 17 inches over the past century. Seventeen inches in a hundred years is a lot for the earth to move in one spot. There is also a huge bulge at the bottom of Yellowstone lake that is 7 city blocks long and over 100 feet high that seems to be slowly increasing the average water temperature. New geysers and mud pits are apparently springing up around the area at alarming rates. Not to mention that Steamboat Geyser which hadn't erupted for over a decade (since 1991), has done so now 6 times in the past 18 months and with increased water temperatures. Also the ground here has risen 5 inches just in the past few years. The kicker is that roads have been closed all over Yellowstone Park due to the fact that the surface temperature of several roads there has reached over 200 degrees!

Now before you write me off as a crazy person let me explain myself a bit. Do I think that this thing is going to blow? Eventually yes. Do I think it will happen in the next 100,000 years? Certainly yes. 10,000 years? Most likely, yes. In our lifetime? Highly doubtful but still very possible. The truth is no one knows, just like the whole "will we ever get hit by an asteroid" thing. But it really is interesting to think about.

By the way, I'm not going to list every reference link as to where I found info about this since there were so many out there. Some more reputable than others. Try googling "Supervolcanoes" and "Yellowstone" and you should find most of the same information I did. If you want a link to a specific piece of info that I found, send me an email or a comment and I'll do my best to find you the link.

Saturday, November 15, 2003
I dare you to take the 80's lyrics quiz, and see if you are a radical dude or a bogus poser. I looks like I am one rad dude, man. It's harder than I thought it would be though. Best of luck. Here's what I scored:

Probably from watching too much VH1.

Friday, November 14, 2003
Watch and laugh.

Thursday, November 13, 2003
So about two weeks ago, when I was racing to the hospital cause I thought my appendix was going to explode, I got a speeding ticket. It pissed me off pretty bad to say the least, especially since I was only going 10 MPH over the limit on the highway and it happened to be in the city (where cops almost never write minor traffic violation tickets). But I was the end of the month so I guess the bee-otch had to meet her quota for the month. Skank. Anyway, she writes me this ticket in spite of the fact that I am pretty much about to vomit all over her. Then she asks why I was speeding and if something was wrong. I said, "Well yes, in fact, one of my organs may explode inside my gut at any moment now and I was trying to get to the hospital before said organ exploded." She asked if she should call an ambulance for me and I said no since I didn't want to have to pay mucho dinero to take a 10 min ride to a place I could have already been at had I not been stopped in the first place. After all that she handed me the ticket anyway. I guess she thought my story was bullshit even though I had a bottle of Pepto and my insurance provider directory on the front seat. To make matters worse, in the city they keep your drivers license when they write you a ticket.

So now I'm getting to the point. I recommend that everyone out there go get yourself a state issued photo ID. Basically a "Non-Drivers" license. Since gas stations, grocery stores, and bars only accept photo ID's for purchasing cigs and alcohol. So not only does this chick write me a wuss ticket, but takes away my privilege to drink and smoke at the same time. I remember on Nate-Dogg Miller's 21st birthday I had my license taken for a speeding ticket a few days before, and I had to plead with the doorman at every bar we went to so I could even get in. Even though I had both the speeding ticket and my old expired drivers license on hand. So go pick one up for yourself just in case. It was only 11 bucks here in Missouri and it only took about 10 minutes to have done (which may be a world record for the DMV).

As a side note to all this, it takes 10 days for the ticket to appear on the computer system in St. Louis City. Today is the 13th and I got the ticket on the 30th of last month. Add 3 - 4 days for first class mail to the original ten and that would explain why I got NINE pieces of mail today, all from traffic law firms. I think that's the most mail I've ever received in one day. Whoo-hoo!!

Finally, justice has prevailed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Wow!! Here's something I didn't know. The standard search bar on the regular old Google web page is also a calculator. Just enter any mathematic equation and hit search. It will calculate the formula for you. And I do mean any equation. I will do weight and measurement conversions, calculate hexadecimal and binary math, trigonometry, chemistry & physics formulas, logarithms, Roman numerals, and tons of other stuff. It's pretty handy actually. Check it out here for yourself.

I think I already know what I'm doing on Friday night, and hopefully some of you will join me. I'll be heading across the street from work to The Billy Goat Restaurant and Bar to see some kick ass live music. The evening opens up at 5:30 during happy hour with The Drew Johnson Band, followed by Seth Horan former bassist from Vertical Horizon at 7:30 and then Rodney Branigan at around 9:00. For those of you who haven't seen either Drew Johnson or Rodney Branigan, I highly recommend it. Drew is local and plays some good jazzy, bluesy, DMB style pop folk. Rodney plays what some know as "Acid Folk" or as he calls it "Full contact folk music". Let's just put it this way, I guarantee that less than 5 minutes into his performance (as long as you are there for the very beginning) you'll be blown away. So if anyone is interested in going, let me know.

Hey, look who else has a new blogger now..... It's my good buddy Chris!! Soon you'll hear great tales from that far away mystical land we call Washington D.C. Read about Chris's adventures with crooked politicians, shady crack dealers, and gay child molesters as he enlightens us with his awe inspiring narrative. Each new day adds a new chapter to the wondrous saga. Welcome to blogging Chris!

I do a lot of my banking online at Commerce Bank. I just found out they have new feature that lets you see an image of both the front and back of the checks that you have written when you are looking at your online statement. This pleases me greatly since I record all my transactions in Quicken on my computer and I never write anything in my check register in my checkbook. Looks like I can do this with all the checks I deposit too, as well as my deposit slips.

The weather here so far today has been crazy. When I woke up this morning it was misty and gray but warm (about 63) and humid. At about noon when I went outside to have a smoke the sky was clearing and it was sunny and breezy with low humidity. The temperature had jumped up to 68 by then. The winds were still coming out of the south for the most part but every once and a while we would get a huge gust from the north which seemed to knock the low lying clouds that remained in the sky off their course for a few seconds. Now it's totally clear but much more windy than it was. Looks like a cold front is moving in. The temperature is supposed to plummet any minute now. Can't St. Louis just find a weather pattern that it can stick with for more than a week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003
Back on October 2nd I posted about some of the new CD purchases that I had recently made. I only did the first four that I bought and neglected to review the other five because they were too new and I hadn't really formed an opinion about them yet. Well Saturday I went out and bought four more new CD's so I guess I'll go ahead and review the other five now:

A Perfect Circle - Thirteenth Step: All things considered this one is a pretty decent buy. The album as a whole is better than their first with each song being enjoyable on about the same level. Less filler on this album than there seemed to be on the first one (Mer de Noms). However the downside it that there are less stand out songs. Songs from the first album like Judith, Hollow, and Orestes were unique and there was something about them that made you want to listen to them a thousand times. The tracks on this album don't have that flare. The album also seems to go nowhere really. It stays musically within the realm of the borders it sets for itself. I'd say 3 out of 5 for this one.

Fuel - Natural Selection: Much like the Perfect Circle album, this one is a strong album without any real stand out songs on it. I have a feeling that I'll listen to this one a bit more often than the above mentioned album due to it's easy pop listen-ability. I like every song on the entire album, and that in itself is saying a lot. Not to say that there is anything particularly amazing on here though. A good natural progression from their last album, Something Like Human, "Natural Selection" has some good pop ballads as well as some heavier tunes. A couple of the songs that I enjoy the most sound almost like 80's hard rock throwbacks in their style simply with updated production techniques and new guitar sounds. Again, I'll give this one a 3 out of 5.

Dave Matthews - Some Devil: I'm still confused on whether or not to like this album. It's certainly not a "bad" record, but I would be lying if I called it great either. It's definitely Dave alright, but without "the band" it seems to me that it doesn't have that "I can't get enough of this song/record" appeal. I guess that could be a good thing though. The mood for most of the record is mellow and dark and even on the happier songs he doesn't really reach anything more than bittersweet. The song writing reminds me a bit of the famed "Lillywhite Sessions" but without the rest of the guys. The whole Trey Anistasio on guitar thing throws me too. He would be more well suited as a guest on a DMB record where as here Tim Renyolds style fits the mood of the album more and could have taken care of most of the guitar parts (he does appear on most of the tracks already but usually as a background or rhythm guitarist). I do like a few of the songs on here quite a bit (Some Devil, Trouble, Stay or Leave) and the acoustic cut of Gravedigger alone makes the disc worth buying. The string arrangements on the album are also a plus. I guess this one too gets a 3 of 5 for now.

Dishwalla - Live...Greetings from the Flow State: Being a hardcore Dishwalla fan has it's ups and downs. Downside: Serious music buff's (like myself) laugh at you for calling Dishwalla ("you know, that Counting Blue Cars / Thoughts on God song band) one of the best pop rock bands ever. Upsides: you get to hear a ton of great music that the mainstream will probably never hear (due to shady politics in the music industry and being labeled a one hit wonder), you get to see a great band perform live and up close in intimate venues, and you get to spread the joy to some of your more musically open minded friends. I've seen the Dish' live four times now and every show has been a good one. This album is better than any of those four shows. A collection of songs from their first three albums from several different shows in California, and it's almost like a greatest hits record. The recording quality is up to par for a current live album, although I've heard better. But the music is tight and sounds just like the studio albums when they want it to. Other times they shoot off on some tangents and do some cool guitar solos (guitar sound reminds me of Jimmy Page's at points) and jam out a bit. You can tell they've played Counting Blue Cars a million times cause it's a perfect live rendition. Angels or Devils (which I have available for download, and posted about back in early October) is one of the most beautiful live renditions of a song ever. I'll be bold and give this one a 4 out of 5.

Rufus Wainwright - Want One: This one was the shocker in this group of purchases. I downloaded his second album (Poses) last fall from Kazza, due to the critical acclaim it had received, and thought a couple of the songs on there were awesome. I expected something similar from this album. It's totally different. Much less of a pop rock sound than the last album. It is almost Beatle-esque in a way. Superior orchestrations, great arrangements, lots of rich layering, and excellent backing vocals in some songs. It seems to be constructed almost like the soundtrack to a Broadway musical (not surprising considering he is openly homosexual). Except that is isn't cheesy or campy. The songcraft is top notch and lyrically Rufus reaches a plateau that few have touched in recent years. Some songs are epic, grandiose, majestic, and bombastic (such as Go or Go Ahead). Others are quiet, simple, and neat, barley unfolding before they are over with. I agree with Rolling Stone on this one. A solid 4 of 5 for Rufus.

Hopefully that will tide everyone over for now. I'll try to get a few more of my favorite tracks available for download from those albums as well as the previous four. Once I get a feeling for the new four that I just bought I'll post about them as well. Give me a few weeks though.

Monday, November 10, 2003
So the Rams won tonight even though we sucked fat nuts. At least our defense played well. I'm just glad we get to rub this win in the Lewis Bros. faces. You both talked shit all week and we scored 33 points on your asses. With only like 125 yards of offense. Oh and Jamal, your 295 yards of rushing was a fluke sucka. Eat it!! You fumbled twice you big shit talker. Next time back up your comments with a performance to match. If your game was as big as your mouth you might have won. We're undefeated so far in the Dome this year. If we can finish with the best record in the NFC we have a chance at the Super Bowl. Only seven games left, against mostly shitty teams. I think we may be able to pull it out this year.

Saturday, November 08, 2003
Here's some more bad sports news. Blues center Doug Weight was suspended four games without pay yesterday for a crosscheck to the Canucks Henrik Sedin. This was a pretty vicious hit by all means, but the problem here is that they didn't even call a penalty on the play. What a double standard that is. On the flipside though, it's good to see the Blues playing with some serious emotion against the top teams in the West. We've won five out of six games against Western Conference teams that made the playoffs last year including beating Detroit, Vancouver, and Colorado which are teams we usually have tons of problems with.

Here's some shitty news if this turns out to be true:

"First wacky trade rumor of the offseason: A three-way deal between the Cardinals, Yankees and Diamondbacks. The Cardinals would get first baseman Nick Johnson from the Yankees and outfielder Danny Bautista from the D-backs. The Yankees would receive center fielder Jim Edmonds from the Cardinals and starting pitcher Curt Schilling from the Diamondbacks. And the Yankees would send second baseman Alfonso Soriano and pitcher Jeff Weaver to the D-backs. By trading Edmonds and his salary, the Cardinals would clear payroll space to add a pitcher -- say, Livan Hernandez. (If Arizona would ship second baseman and leadoff man Junior Spivey to St. Louis, make the deal. And according to Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News, Spivey is available). "

Taken from Bernie Bits in Saturday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Also available here.

Friday, November 07, 2003
Last night I saw the best Blues hockey game of the year thus far. We took on the Vancouver Dumbfucks....I mean Canucks at home at Savvis Center. The first period was intense as hell and the boys in blue came out flying with some authority. The action was non-stop and very physical. We were finishing all our checks and putting faces to the glass whenever the opposition touched the puck. The Canucks scored first but less than a minute later Pavol Demitra tapped one in at the side of the crease. Later in the period, on a Canucks power play, Steve Martins in his first game back from the minors stole the puck in their end and spun around and whipped a quick slapshot over Dan Cloutier's glove to score a shorthanded goal and take the lead. Towards the end of the period Reed Lowe and Brad May went fisticuffs for about a minute and a half. Ended up being a pretty good brawl. This game had everything you could want including a penalty shot. There was even almost a fight during the warmup skate. It was like a playoff game. We ended up winning the game 3-2 and again we did all this without four or five of our key players. BTW the Canucks have the best record in the Western Conference right now and haven't lost a game when scoring first, until tonight that is.

Ken Wilson and Bernie Ferderko were talking about how the Blues - Canucks rivalry is shaping up to be one of the best new rivalries in the league. All this stems back to last season when Brad May took out Keith Tkachuk with a nasty hip check. Then Todd Bertuzzi layed Al Macinnis out for the playoffs when he boarded him into the glass. We of course ended up losing that series in seven games. Tack on to that Bertuzzi knocking Jackman's shoulder out of the socket for the next four to six weeks in our first meeting this year and you have the makings of an interesting season between these two teams. Hopefully after that game we'll be heading up in the Power Rankings next week.

As you can hopefully see in the post below, I've posted my first picture to my blog. It a photo of me dressed up as a rock star from Megan's Halloween Party. I'm going to be making some modifications to it when I get some time to do so. I need to play around with the image size and quality controls as well as file size. Once I get the hang of the correct way to post pictures to a web page and I get that picture the way I like it I'll start posting some more on here. Until then though you can download the entire set of pictures from the party by clicking here. The file you download will be a zip file that contains about 30 pictures or so. All the pic's are still in thier original format (.jpg) right off the camera so the zip file is pretty big (about 10 MB).

Ok, here's the test image:

Let me know what you think, to big or too small, is the file size good, should the quality be better? I played with the image a bit to size it down and reduce quality for the web so it wouldn't take up the whole page and take forever to load.

Thursday, November 06, 2003
Congratulations to Scott Rolen, Edgar Renteria, Mike Matheny, and Jimmy "Woo-woo" Edmonds for once again dominating the NL gold glove awards for the Cardinals. Also, major props to Albert Pujols for snagging both the Player of the Year and National League Outstanding Player of the Year awards in the 2003 Players Choice awards. A truly great honor for him since these awards are voted on by his peers, actual baseball players not journalists, managers, or fans. We'll have to wait and see if he hauls in the MVP award next week.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003
I watched a pretty interesting program tonight on HBO about a photographer named Spencer Tunick. He's most well known for taking nude photographs of up to 5000 people at a time. During the program, I was trying to figure out for myself what I would classify his work as. Art? Pornography? Biology? A political statement? At first I was hesitant to say art for the same reason I don't like calling a randomly splatter painted white canvas art, because just about anyone could pull it off and say "I'm an artist". The photos themselves aren't anything more than just normal pictures. But then I realized simply that the fact I was even pondering it probably makes it art. Art is meant to make you think, provoke discussion and controversial debate, and invoke emotion. It's the same reason Eminem is art. What do you think?

After almost a week of excellent fall weather here in St. Louis (mid to upper 70's and sunny), the gods of the north are finally beginning to unleash a bit of winter on our asses. I left work today at about 7 PM and it was breezy but still about 72 degrees outside. I was even driving home on the highway with the windows down, at night, in November, with shorts and short sleeves on. Once I got off the highway in the county I felt the wind start to get a bit colder, but I left the windows down anyway. By the time I pulled into my driveway I was almost shivering. I checked when I got inside and came to find out that the mercury had dropped 20 plus degrees in less than 10 minutes. Don't you just love weather here in the Midwest?

Update: The high here yesterday was 81 degrees (a new record), less than 16 hours later the temperature had dropped 42 degrees and was all the way down to 38.

I just took The Geek Test after seeing the link on Liam's website. Here's how I fared:

19.13215% - Geek

Plain old "Geek" is the second lowest ranking available on the test out of 8 possible levels (unless you count "Poser" which is un-listed and is for anyone who scores less than 8%). Just above "Geekish Tendencies" and just below "Total Geek". I think it's geared to score pretty much any regular Joe somewhere in the Geek category though.

Monday, November 03, 2003
Successories for the sarcastic... Man, I need one of these for the office.

I just took the Metrosexual Quiz that both Liam and Dave have already taken. Here are the results:

I scored 20 out of a possible 50 points which means I am 40% metrosexual. Here's what they had to say about it:

20 points is in the 10 through 20 points range
Possible future metrosexual? You're still masculine, but I will question it if you start wearing shirts with diagonal stripes.

That's about the score I expected to tell you the truth. Although one more point and I would have had these results:

21 points is in the 21 through 34 points range
You're a metrosexual. The next girl you hook up with will be more masculine than you, full mustache and all. Is it time to buy new tweezers?

I guess life could be worse. I could be a beer drinkin', truck driving, NASCAR watching, mullet headed southern Baptist.

Here's to another event filled weekend in the Lou. Actually, I'm not being sarcastic this time. I was busy from the minute I got off work Friday evening all the way up until about 3 hours ago. I started off by running to Johnnie Brock's Dungeon to pick myself up some sort of a last minute Halloween costume. I did end up deciding to be a rock star so the first thing I grabbed was a wig. Then I grabbed this maroon crushed velvet shirt with white and black tiger print lapels and cuffs. I added a maroon feather boa (to match the shirt), a white fedora hat, and some glitter stuff for my hair and eyes and my trip to the store was done. I decided halfway through that going as a glam rocker would be more fun than just any ordinary rock star, but I think I ended up crossed between that and a pimp. I got home and added a black t-shirt to go under my crushed velvet thing, some white linen pants, my shit-kicker boots, some eye makeup (yes mascara, eye liner, and eye shadow which I did all by myself), some cool shades, and my guitar and my outfit was complete. I must say in the end I ended up with a pretty cool outfit for throwing it together at the last minute. Kind of like a cross between CiCi Deville from Posion, Jimi Hendrix, Rod Stewart, and David Bowie (and a pimp).

I got to Megan's party at about 10:00 and everyone else that wasn't there already began arriving steadily after that. I think that it went over really well and I even started to feel better by midnight or so. Almost everyone there came in some sort of a costume, and most of them were pretty well thought out and original. I took a ton of pictures with my digital camera (I think I got a picture of almost everyone there) and I should have some party pic's up soon. After almost getting the whole crew involved in a dirty game of strip blackjack, I split and headed for home around 4:30 AM, mildly intoxicated and totally exhausted.

Saturday I slept in most of the day and then just bummed around the house until about 5:30 PM when it was time to get ready for the hockey game. Karyn and I went to see the Blues play the Blackhawks in what turned out to be a pretty pitiful game. A piss poor crowd for a Saturday night St. Louis vs. Chi-town game (even though it was almost a sellout no one was into the game), a sloppy game for both teams, not one fight, and most of the goals were even cheap. We ended up losing the game 3-2 but remained in first place in the central by 1 point. After the game we grabbed some scrumptious dinner at Houlihans at Union Station and were debating on whether or not we should go to Blueberry Hill to hang out with my bro and his crew, or go back to Ameristar Casino to see if I could win me some mo' money. In the end we were both stuffed and a bit tipsy and very tired so we just rented some movies and headed back to my pad. We watched both the Italian Job and Identity back to back and I must say they were both pretty damn good flicks. The Italian Job is a remake of an older film about high class thieves and sports a PG-13 rating even though there's absolutely no sex, no real graphic violence (at least there's no gore or excessive blood), and very little bad language. Identity is much darker and is similar to Memento in nature. A psychological thriller that is totally confusing until the very last scene of the movie and even then it takes a bit of thinking to figure out.

Sunday I headed over to Nicko's for some band practice and watched the first half of a sorry effort by the Rams against the 49er's. Man that was the make or break game for them. I still think they'll win the division and may even make it to the Super Bowl, but this was their chance to step out and show that they are the dominant team in the NFC again like they were several years ago. No dice this time though. I expect they'll only lose one more game though, either to the Vikings, the Seahawks, or in another shocker, the Ravens next week. Once the game was over at about 7 PM, my bro and Jenni and I headed out to the AMC West Olive 16 to watch the re-release of Alien. Basically a new directors cut with a few added scenes, some establishment shots that were cut a bit to quicken the pace, remixed in surround sound, and digitally cleaned up film. As good as I remember it being, although I only noticed once scene that was obviously different from the original. I guess that's a good thing though. Don't fix what ain't broke.

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