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Quarter Life Crisis

Saturday, May 29, 2004
Man, the term "good luck" doesn't do justice to what happened to this guy. What a day he had!!

Wednesday, May 26, 2004
I've got a ton of new music that I need to post about soon, but have not as of yet had time to sit down and do so. But for now check out this track (Black Sheep) by an artist named Martin Sexton. Some of you may remember him from the John Mayer concert in 2002 at the Fox Theater as the pre-opening band (he went on before Guster whom opened for John). He's a great singer/songwriter that wears his soul on his sleeve and puts an unparalleled amount of passion into his music. Think modern day Van Morrison (B. Sharpe this one is for you). Hope you guys like it.

We've been having some pretty crazy weather here in the "Lou" the last few days. Right now it's drizzling and pretty chilly outside (only 63 degrees). Yesterday was quite a trip. Massive thunderstorms swept through the area around 3 PM bringing insanely high winds and large amounts of golf ball sized hail to some areas. The hail busted car windows and dented aluminum siding on houses all over the storms path. St. Louis City put out an "urban flood warning" something that almost never happens. But the city streets were indeed 2 Ft deep with water in some places. They shut down highway 40 and 55 for two hours due to flooding on the highway. Trees are down all over the place. In fact, just driving home yesterday I saw three or four that were toppled. This is supposed to continue right through Memorial Day too!! That really sucks. There goes any plans for BBQ's. Good thing we're not doing the annual camping trip this weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2004
We just dropped some pretty nice coin on some sweet new gear here at work. Check out these top of the line sound consoles we just purchased today. The Midas Venice Series 1608 and the Allen & Heath ML3000. Not that these are the big monster mix consoles that are used in arena sized rock tours. But they are by the same companies that make those boards. Sure they're only 16 & 24 channels instead of 52 or 64, but they're made with some of the best electronic components money can buy. Not to mention that the design is more versatile and efficient than some of the lesser quality boards that are more popular.

So I just called the dermatologist because I've had a ton of new strange looking moles popping up recently that I seriously need to get looked at to make sure they aren't skin cancer or anything. Now I'm not a very superstitious person, but the "on hold" music as soon as I called was "Knocking on Heavens Door". That could be interpreted as a very bad omen.

Looks like I may be reformatting the hard drive of my home computer and reinstalling all the software sometime this week. I've been having some minor problems with my beast for a while now, stuff I don't know how to fix on my own but it's nothing that's really affecting my computers performance. The biggest issue was the CD drive not being able to read or write discs, but I still had my DVD drive available to do that for me. There were a few other issues like not being able to stream video from the net, I had to download it first before I played it. I also have this program called "MessageApp" that always runs in the background and gives me problems when I try to shut the computer down. But yesterday I started getting the "blue screen of death" several times. Even when I got into Windows shit was all fucked up. It was in low color/res mode, and none of my networking stuff was working. I called Dell and worked out some of the bugs, and they are sending me a new CD drive. But I figure I've had my 'puter for two years now, and I think it's just time for a good start from scratch style cleanup. Did it for my dad's computer here at work and the thing runs as smooth as brand new. Plus I have that handy external hard drive to save all my important stuff on.

Friday, May 21, 2004
Speaking of great pitching performances, did anyone else hear about the Cardinals minor league pitching prospect Brad Thompson who just broke a 97 year old record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched? Going back to last season, he pitched 57 straight scoreless innings. Pretty damn impressive. Sign that boy up!!

So I need some feedback on good places to buy server space. All I want to do is to be able to post pictures and make my music files and picture archives available for download again. I may want to go as far as adding a few more webpages (like for picture thumbnails, or an "About Me" type of page) but that's it. Everywhere I look for server space wants to give me 50 Email addresses, and free domain hosting, etc, etc. I don't need all that crap. Just plain old FTP server space. I'll probably need at least 500 MB because of all the music files, and I'll need a lot of bandwidth with no stupid upload/download limitations. If anyone out there has any idea where I can go to do this please fill me in. Thanks.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Congrats to the "Big Unit"! No not my penis, but rather Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks who at 40 years old pitched a perfect game last night against the Atlanta Braves. For those of you who aren't versed in baseball, a perfect game means you face the minimum amount of batters (3 outs per inning X 9 innings = 27 batters) which is different than a "no hitter". No hits, no walks, no errors, no hit batters. It's probably one of the most difficult things to do in all of sports. And to boot, he struck out half of them (13 K's). He was also still hurling pitches in there at 98 mph even all the way to the final out of the game.

Haha, this is a pretty good quiz. Look's like I'm fucked though...

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Low
Level 2 (Lustful)Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous)High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very High
Level 7 (Violent)High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)High

Take the Dante's Inferno Test

Thursday, May 13, 2004
Takis and I got into a heated discussion last night over music. Not that one band was better than another or your typical argument over who's a better guitar player. We were actually discussing whether or not one persons opinion on music can be better than another's.

Basically what I was saying is that the type of music that you listen to says something about your personality and what type of person you are in general. While Takis generally agreed with that point (even though it is mild stereotyping), he felt that since what constitutes "good" music is entirely opinion, no one persons opinion on what is quality music is more right or wrong than any other persons. I disagreed.

I argued that while all opinions on art are valid in their own right, some people can actually have opinions that are generally accepted as "bad" opinions or "good" opinions. For instance, the 15 year old high school cheerleader that listens to the same 40 songs (Destiny's Child, N'Sync, Blink 182, etc) for an entire year on the same radio station has not only limited exposure to other types of music, but also she doesn't play an instrument and does not study music in any form so she lacks any sort of musical knowledge. On the flip side, you have a middle aged man who was formerly a student of music theory, plays several different instruments, owns over 1000 albums ranging from classical to rap music, and is now a music critic who devoted his entire life to his beloved art form. Now while both their opinions are valid, I tend to suspect the music critic has a "better" opinion of what "good" quality music is.

I have a ton of CD's, over 600 in fact, and while I listen to all of them and enjoy them all quite a bit, I will readily admit there are artists in my collection that do not make "good" music. Bryan Adams for example. I like to listen to some of his stuff, but I don't think that it's great music. Van Halen is another example. All the members of the band are great instrumentalists, especially Eddie, but I know that Van Halen is just fun rock and roll. I don't really consider their song writing to be all that great. On the other hand, I know that the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan have some great music, some of the best shit ever written. But I don't listen to them all that much. In fact, if I made a list of my favorite bands and then made a list of who I thought were the best bands in rock n roll, they would look quite different. For instance, I listen to Dishwalla a hell of a lot more than I listen to Radiohead, but I know that Radiohead writes much better music than Dishwalla does.

To sum up.... I think it is possible for some opinions to be better than others and that some opinions are just plain BAD. Look at morality for example. Some people actually think that we should just nuke the hell out of the middle east and end all this shit once and for all. Most definitely a "bad" opinion. Some people think that it is actually OK to murder innocent people (look at what just happened in Iraq), but that too is just a plain "bad" opinion.

So I'd like to know what you all think. Are all opinions equally valid? Is it possible for opinions to just plain suck? Can people with no knowledge of and limited exposure to music still have good opinions on the matter? Is it possible (as I have shown) that someone can enjoy something and still admit that it isn't necessarily good? (A good example of that would be Taco Bell. Tasty as anything, but we all know it's not good Mexican food.) Or am I just totally of my rocker on this one. By the way, this is in no way an attack on Takis viewpoint. And Takis, if I misrepresented your argument, please clarify in the comment section. Looking forward to seeing what everyone thinks.

Monday, May 10, 2004
We've all heard of "Google Bombing" (artificially inflating a sites Google ranking by linking it with a key word)by now right? But what about "Google Whacking"? Apparently if you're really bored, it's a game you can play with other people online using the Google search engine. It's quite hard actually. The object of the game is to find two words which when entered into the Google search bar will only yield one single page as a result. Here's the catch..... no quotation marks, no proper nouns, and you have to spell the words right. Oh and what makes it even tougher.... once you find a "Google Whack" and post it to your site, no one else can use it, cause it's now on two pages.

You're homework is obvious.....go find a "Google Whack". Good luck!!!

UPDATE: So after about 25 minutes of searching and searching, I did it. My first "Google Whack" is: Mothproof Azimuth

UPDATE #2: OK, so apparently neither Liam's whack (see the comment section) or my whack is valid. There is actually an official site for "Googlewhacking" with a list of the official "GoogleWhack" rules. Since the words in Liam and I's original whacks return a page that is considered a wordlist, it's not a valid whack. However, after another 20 minutes or so of trying. I did come up with a good one.... Vapid Doil. Check me out, I'm even on the official "Whack Stack" of verified GoogleWhacks!!

UPDATE #3: HA, HA!!! Yet another.....Euphonic Rapscallions

Saturday, May 08, 2004
CARPENTER BEES SUCK!!! And we have a huge problem with them at my house as well as at work. The bees (which resemble a standard bumblebee, except they are bigger, faster, and very aggressive) get their name because they lay their eggs inside small holes that they bore into the wood. Fortunately, unlike most bees they are non-communal and don't have massive hives or a queen. Each female makes her own holes in the wood (about the size of the end of your pinky finger) and lays an egg cell in the end of each hole along with a material called "bee bread" (a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar) which the larvae will feed off of. Each female can lay up to 7 different egg cells. The males really just there to mate and that's about it. The females however constantly hover back and forth between holes all day long to monitor them. Highly annoying when you're trying to relax on the deck. They aggressively defend their nests by swooping at you although they rarely sting unless you're holding one tightly in your hand. The males don't even have stingers. They are nearly impossible to get rid of and unfortunately come back to nest in the same spots each year. I've made it a personal mission of mine to kill all of them around my house. I did it last year in a matter of two weeks. Using a combination of the wasp/hornet killers that shoot the stream of pesticide 20ft (although the bees are so fast you have to catch them going in and out of a hole to really get them with the spray) and my other tool, my trusty tennis racket. This year I am thinking of implementing new techniques such as a shop vac, or high powered leaf blower. I just got my first one about 15 minutes ago with the old tennis racket. It's actually quite fun, albeit a bit scary when they divebomb your face.

Friday, May 07, 2004
Well, the Cards are off to their best road record since 1946 at a solid 10 wins, 2 losses tied for the best road record in the majors. We also lead the major league in homeruns and doubles, we're third in slugging percentage, hits, and stolen bases, and fifth in runs scored and runs batted in. Pretty impressive. Now if we could only take that awesome road record home with us and win there we might really start kicking some ass. BTW, anyone worried about Pujols yet? Not off to his normally bad ass early season start.

While looking for some information on Red Bud, Illinois, I stumbled upon this strange site. Pretty freaking weird if you ask me. Adults carrying dolls around and treating them like children? Very strange. But at least the doll is a Cardinals fan. Check out the doll's homepage for more oddballs who treat inanimate objects as if they were alive.

Thursday, May 06, 2004
Anyone heard about the newest airplane from Airbus yet? The Airbus A380 goes into full production on this Friday and man is it a beast. Almost a 100 yard wingspan, dual passenger decks with two isles per deck, can hold between 555 and 800 passengers per flight, three seating classes, restrooms in first class with showers, a sleeper cabin, a full service bar and lounge area, first class swivel bucket seats that fully recline, etc. Too much cool crap to mention. Check out the specs here. Purty neato.

Here's some news that should please Pete, Takis, and some other Blues fans I know. Apparently Ken Wilson is out as the voice of the Blue's TV broadcasts, and John Kelly (former Blues announcer Dan Kelly's son) is in. Ohhh Baby, thats a shocker!!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Damn!!! I've got so much to post about (vacation, new music I've bought, etc), but so little time to post. I'm slammed at work right now and getting ready to enter the busiest couple of weeks of the year. Not to mention that one of our production managers just found a new job and is quitting on Tuesday. I'm having all sorts of little nervous breakdowns right now. I feel like my head is going to pop any minute. I promise I'll try to get something interesting up by this weekend.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Ha!!! Take your 80 million dollar payroll back to the retirement home boys. Silly geezers, hockey's for kids.

Monday, May 03, 2004
BTW folks....If anyone out there in bloggerland gets a strange email from me that looks like something I wouldn't normally send, there's good news and bad news. The good news is, you're on my address list. Give yourself a pat on the back. The bad news is, that email contains a virus in the attachment so don't open it. I got the virus from a friend of mine whom I got an email from but he swears he didn't send it. Obviously I downloaded the attachment since I recognized the familiar sender, and poof, my Norton Antivirus went berserk. Since this seems to be the same thing that's happening to everyone in my address book, I'm guessing the virus hijacks your address book and sends everyone in there an email from your default email address. That way people recognize the sender and think the attachment is safe to open, like I did. So anyway, don't open any attachments for emails that have nothing in the body of the mail, or have some sort of secret password or anything like that. Also, my sender address may be in all CAPS.

Filming has begun on the new Batman movie slated for release in summer of 2005. Just by looking at the director and the cast they have assembled, it's going to blow the previous three movies out of the water. Getting back to the dark mysterious style of the first two films and staying the hell away from the overly campy colorful comic book feel of the last few movies. Check out some of the first pictures here.

Last night I went to see my co-worker Shaun's band play at Ameristar Casino. They're called "The Real Me" and the do quite a wide variety of cover songs spanning four decades and covering artists from Outkast and Nelly to Journey and Cheap Trick to Dave Matthews and Maroon 5. And they're damn good at what they do. Very entertaining stuff. I knew Shaun was a damn good musician but I didn't realize quite how good he really was until I saw him play. I was hoping to get a bunch of people together to go see them, but alas only Karyn, Laura, and myself were able to join in the fun. They play pretty often at some of St. Louis' biggest and most popular live music bars so if you're up for some fun, go check them out.

Oh, and I also won another $250 on those damn Jeopardy slots. Whoo Hoo!!

The Cards have taken two out of three so far against the Cubs. Both wins came as a result of late inning meltdowns by the Cubs "best pitching staff" in baseball. How appropriate.

Sunday, May 02, 2004
Entertainment Weekly has a pretty cool article in this week's issue debating the importance of lyrics in popular music. Two music critics square off and come up with some compelling arguments for both sides (one side being that lyrics matter, the other side being that they don't mean a damn thing). I'm kind of on the fence on this one. It certainly seems that nowadays you could pretty much grunt your way through a song or say the same thing over and over again and make it a hit (see: Outkast's "Hey-Ya" or Blur's "Song 2"). Even music with totally nonsensical lyrics or jibber-jabber that doesn't even exist in the English language can become wildly popular (see: a good portion of rap music). Then you have lyrics that are trite and meaningless (see: pop music in general) where artists try to tell a story about a high school love affair and make it seem as if it was a classical Greek tragedy buy over analyze it and blowing it out of proportion. Generally speaking, most people today don't even listen to the lyrics much less read into them at any depth. I'd be willing to guess most average music listeners couldn't recite verbatim the lyrics to their favorite song on the radio right now without the aid of the song being on at the time.

On the flip side though, lyrics have given me chills, made average songs great, made great songs classic, etc. They are important. Lyrics are what connect you to the music. For instance, one of the reasons I don't listen to rap is because of the lyrics. I can't connect to them. I'm not from the ghetto, I don't have any bitches, I don't drink 40's, etc, etc. But when Zeppelin sings about being burned by a woman, or a tale of fantasy straight out of LOTR, I can relate. Or when Radiohead sing about being shut out, feeling like an outsider, etc.... I can relate. What would Frank Sinatra be without the lyrics to "Summerwind" or "New York"?

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