Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Hard work pays off later, procrastination pays off now."

Went through a trunk full of old papers and school stuff that my parents had. I was surprised that they'd kept half this stuff - it included old workbooks from reading classes and those books you first learn to print letters in! Naturally, 99% of this stuff went into the nearest paper recycling bin. It felt weird going through it now - I just assumed that I'd do that later in life.

Yeah, I'm a pack rat, and I hold onto many things simply because I might have a use for them someday. But looking at these old school papers didn't bring back any memories, good or bad. Some of the teachers' names looked vaguely familiar, but that's about it - and when the names include "Smith" and "Jones," how can you be sure anyway? I couldn't bring up any faces to go with the names. I might have been looking through a stranger's stuff... except a stranger's stuff would've been marginally more interesting. In books and movies, characters usually learn something from digging through the remnants of their past, or else uncover some secret. In real life, not so much.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana. - G. Marx

End of July already? Damn... it seems like just yesterday was June, and I'm not just saying that because I haven't posted on here since then. Yeah, I started numerous posts but never got around to finishing them, so those don't count.

I had a nice rant all worked up about how Cartoon Network/Boomerang butchered another one of my favorite Tex Avery shorts, but I kept getting an error message when I tried to post my copy of the unedited version of "Magical Maestro" so I gave up. Besides, that really wasn't too different from what I had to say about the censored jokes from "The Car Of Tomorrow" so anyone reading this isn't missing out on much. I could bitch about how Boomerang keeps repeating the same programming even though CN/Time Warner owns a ridiculous amount of classic material, but honestly, that's no different from any other TV channel... I could substitute the words "Mtv" and "Viacom" in there and it would be equally true.

So, here's what I'd do if I was in charge of programming at Boomerang.

First, I'd bring back some of the shows/blocks of programming that were on when I first got the channel, like "Late Night Black & White" and more of the non-Tom & Jerry MGM shorts. I'd create some programs based more on director, like an hour of Tex Avery shorts, an hour of Chuck Jones shorts, and so on. I like the idea of putting similar shows in the same block, like what they've already done with "Those Meddling Kids" (Scooby-Doo, Josie and the Pussycats, Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, and the Chan Clan, among others)

Obviously, I'd want to show the uncensored versions of all the old 'toons... even if it necessitated having some academic types reading a disclaimer first. These cartoons were originally shown in movie theaters between pictures and mainly aimed at adults, not little kids... people need to remember that before they have a conniption fit over "protecting the children" from violence or anything else. Yes, I was lucky enough to see most of these old cartoons in their original versions before the P.C. mob took over and decided what was and wasn't funny nowadays. I was a kid when I watched these, and they didn't turn me into a murderer or a racist, and with modern cartoons (also aimed at adults) pushing the envelope even further, the old ones seem fairly tame by comparison.

More later when I think of it...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

back to the salt mines/car stuff

OK, not really, but I did come back from my vacation today and start work again. Did I get much accomplished that I intended to, or bother to post on here while I wasn't at work? Of course not.

Got rid of a few more books, sold a few CDs, but of course I picked up more.

Car trouble has mostly been keeping my mind off of music, anyway. Haven't gotten the full prognosis yet (or the bill, for that matter) but there always seems to be something... was going to have to take the car in to fix the check engine light anyway before I have to go through the stupid yearly emissions shit this state makes you do. Hopefully it was just a malfunctioning sensor and nothing major, since it seemed to run fine and the light only came on intermittently. Brakes needed repaired, too...

I like cars, but hate the fact that I don't know how to work on them myself. I can change my own oil, change a flat tire, use jumper cables - and while that's more than some people can manage, I'm still deeply envious of everyone with enough mechanical aptitude to not need to have a mechanic do everything else. A friend of mine used to work at one of the national parts store chains, and always tells me I should try to do as much work myself as I possibly can. But part of the problem is lack of time, and lack of a good workspace. No garage means no place out of the weather to even try to work on anything. Also, everything that sounds simple and straightforward when I read the steps in the Haynes manual tends to become a huge disaster in actual practice. Parts don't fit right, or it doesn't fix the problem, and then I'm stuck bringing it into the shop anyway! Maybe if I could afford a simple, older car to practice on - find an old beater and try to teach myself how to fix it when things go wrong - and if I didn't get it fixed right away I'd still have my daily driver so I wouldn't be stuck with no transportation?

Friday, May 7, 2010

dusting off some old stuff

Let's see, more music. Bought some cassettes recently. I'm willing to risk 30 cents per at the thrift store when I see tapes that might be interesting.

The KLF - The White Room

All I'd ever heard from these guys was "Doctorin' The TARDIS" so I was expecting something completely different from this release than what it wound up being. Not horrible, but not anything I think I'll want to re-listen to. I am a pale fat guy with no rhythm so while I can appreciate a catchy song with a good beat, I'm not gonna dance to it (and wouldn't be able to to save my life, though I might attempt to if I were really drunk)... Thinking of that older song does make me want to try to find the very first season of Doctor Who so J. and I can watch the series from the beginning.

L.L. Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out

I'd heard the title track before and dug it so of course I wasn't gonna pass up a chance to hear the rest of the album. Some good tracks like "Boomin' System" but the more R&B style stuff really doesn't do anything for me.

Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself

I loved that "Scooby Snacks" single so why I didn't buy this when it came out is a mystery. Oh wait, I was too busy getting into Coil and Neubauten and pretty much everything else Jim Thirlwell ever had anything to do with. There's not a bad song on this tape. It would've been great to see these guys (FLC) play a show with the Beastie Boys, especially if there was any chance of a freestyle battle!

More on a future date, really.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

(...)

...looking around the spare room I've shoehorned most of my "stuff" into it's become clear to me that I have a Problem. I cna't exactly blame my parents for this completely but... It's my own fault, taking the habits I've learned from them and branching out, they go to garage sales and rummage sales and buy things eextremely cheaply, whereas most of the stuff I wind up w/ I get for free, either from scavenging it or it gets passed along to me from my parents. If it's something I think I might have a use for, I'll keep it, find a spot to put it in, and there ti stays until I uncoverit while looking for something else entirely. While I'm not as bad as my great-aunt was (I don't save every empty container or box and I try to recycle all the paper and cardboard I can no longer use) I believe that my girlfriend is pretty much the only thing keeping a damper on my pack-rattery. Whether she intends to or not, she's the reason I have everything mostly in this room, and part of my closet. If I lived by myself, I would probably have accumulated enough crap to be able to build entire smaller rooms out of it. I really don't have much of a social life, so it's not as if I'd have much of an excuse to worry about how it looked to anyone else. I would probably not make much of an effort in dating if I weren't in a relationship (that sounds wrong, it's not as if I'm making an effort in dating while in this relationship, either)

There is a clear path from the doorway to my chair here, and I only have to move a few lightweight things to get to the closet in this room, which I keep telling myself if I organized it properly, it could hold much more stuff. THat right there, is my problem. Teh last thing I need is "more stuff" ... what I need to do is figure out how to fit the stuff I already have, in there, to free up more floor and table space in here. If I can keep it contained, keep it under control, things will at least appear 'normal'. That's what counts, right? It doesn't matter what's going on below the surface as long as everything looks right.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

quick music reviews, continued.

Smashing Pumpkins - Adore

This was in the $5 grab bag o' CDs that I talked about last post. Disc and booklet were in great shape. My girlfriend came in while I was listening to it the other night and said, "Adore? I used to have that, that CD sucked." When I replied that so far, there was one good song on it, she asked: "Ava Adore?" Right in one.

Stone Temple Pilots - Purple

I still have my copy of "Core" from junior high but never heard this one all the way through until now. Had the soundtrack from The Crow so I could listen to "Big Empty" whenever I wanted, and that and "Vasoline" were always playing on the radio anyway, along with "Interstate Love Song" (whose title I could never remember)... Was "Vasoline" intentionally spelled that way to avoid copyright infringement?

Faith No More - The Real Thing

I knew I liked this one, since I still had the cassette of it. Nice to have it on CD for free, though.


Soundgarden - Down On The Upside

Another one for the list of "bought it used on CD, traded it back, found the cassette for next to nothing, wound up with another CD of it anyway."

and another from the used binge,

OhGr - SunnyPsyOp

OK, but I liked Welt better. Maybe it'll grow on me later, so I'll listen again...


I can't bitch about getting free CDs, though it is a pain listening to all of them once through just to make sure they don't skip before I try to sell any of the ones I don't want.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tax day.

Did mine a while ago, so I wasn't freaking out. If I actually owed, I'd put that off, but usually I get some sort of refund so I mail mine in early. I always misremember the mailing deadline as March 15 because of the "Beware the Ides of March" quote.

My parents gave me a shopping bag full of used CDs they got at a rummage sale for $5. Some good ones in there, a few bands I'd never heard of or bothered to listen to though I'd see their CDs in every used rack in every store. Some were scratched, some not good for anything but donation fodder, some I'm actually gonna keep. Looking through these reminded me of how much fun I used to have browsing at the local used shops, so I went today. Confined myself to the budget section, found a few good ones.

Primitive Radio Gods - Rocket

Finally found a copy of this one, as I'd been wanting to hear the rest of the album ever since the single came out. Still has the sticker on the front of the case advertising the single, which gets bonus points from me, since I'm OCD about that sort of thing and always try to carefully reattach anything like that if it comes on the outer wrapper of a new disc. Overall, I liked this one. I thought the other tracks would be more sample-heavy like "Standing Outside..." is, but that's not to say that more/different samples would improve them. Again, not something I'll listen to every day, but a keeper.

MC 900 Ft. Jesus - One Step Ahead Of The Spider

First heard of this group back in junior high when I was looking up info on Al Jourgenson's 1000 Homo DJs side project, since both groups showed up on some old Geocities page with a list of funny band names. At some later date, I picked up a cassette of Welcome To My Dream at a library discard sale, complete with all the stamps and stickers. Yeah, this was the later album that had the Spike Jonze video for "If I Only Had A Brain" that you might've seen on Beavis and Butthead back in the day. Keeping this one, gonna try to find a copy of the first release (Hell With The Lid Off)

More later.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nostalgia.

Can you still call it that when it's not something you originally lived through? Ever since I was young, I always thought everything seemed cooler 'back in the day'... spent hours looking through my grandparents' stacks of '50s-'70s Popular Science and Mechanix Illustrated magazines, reading the reviews and ads for cars and tools that looked way cooler than anything modern. Even the typefaces used in these old mags looked awesome to me. And of course, to go along with this, I got to grow up during the last gasp of proper Saturday Morning cartoons! Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, the old MGM shorts, Tom and Jerry, the older half-colorized 'toons where everything was badly tinted red/green, "(Blank) On Parade"-style singing, 'things coming to life' shorts, caricatures of 'old timey' celebrities, and from what I could tell, all the jokes that would later be considered sexist/racist were left intact. I grew up with all this, and still enjoy it. It really bothers me that many of these old 'toons are only shown in censored versions nowadays, if you can find them at all. For instance, I caught a replay on Boomerang of the classic Tex Avery short "The Car of Tomorrow" that was missing the "Indian convertible" and "rickshaw car" gags. What the hell, man? Watch this for yourself and see how "offensive" these jokes really are!

video

I would have thought that "the suits" running Boomerang/Cartoon Network would have more issues with the woman driver/mother-in-law jokes than the throwaway gags involving a teepee and a rickshaw. The "Thrifty Scotsman Model" was left in there for broadcast, too. I don't see anything that's sooo offensive that kids these days shouldn't see it, and especially when you're gonna show this 'toon on a special cable channel that you've gotta pay extra for whose intended audience seems to be baby boomers and older folk who remember these cartoons from their youth??? Makes no damned sense to me. Oh yeah, here's my Wikipedia-style disclaimer: I believe my posting of this short falls within fair use guidelines because I am using it to illustrate a point and its low resolution is in no way a replacement for any shiny uncensored DVDs that the Time Warner empire wants to sell me and you. Offer a DVD version of the Compleat Tex Avery laserdisc with all the same content and I will buy that puppy in a heartbeat! It sucks when the only place we can see many of these older 'toons is in low quality on YouTube or similar sites. I was inspired to post this after stumbling upon John Kricfalusi's blog.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

lawl.

Funny coincidence: Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet" came up on the computer while I was actually cleaning out my own closet! That's right up there with hearing The Clash's "Lost In The Supermarket" over the local grocery store's Muzak system, and the times I've heard "Closing Time" by Semisonic (or better yet, "Tired of Waiting For You" by the Kinks) very close to the store's actual closing time. Stuff like that makes my day, especially when it's actually random (and not just some smart-assed music dork (like me) trying to be clever with the "now playing" post tags)...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

(placeholder post)

Not much going on, which is fine by me. Taking a break from everything to finally go through several crates worth of crap from high school/college. When I moved I just stuffed it all in there and took it with me, figuring I'd organize it later. It's later enough, years later, and with my girlfriend planning to go to school - she'll actually be able to use some of the stuff I've been holding on to. My parents raised me to be thrifty so I hoarded pens, pencils, notebooks and office supplies like a guy that survived the Great Depression. Found some other useful stuff mixed in, like the rest of the mailers I'd kept from the music I'd bought back in the day. Apparently I was OCD enough to make a list of all the albums I got in the awesome $40 score, which turned up in one of the notebooks, so I'll write about that whole story on here. Not until I finish with these crates though...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review: White Zombie - "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie"

I bought this even though I still have my old copies of "La Sexorcisto..." and "Astro-Creep 2000..." and I normally only re-buy stuff if there's lots of b-sides and live bonus material added. Practically every White Zombie song is on this thing, including the soundtrack material. The DVD is good, too, since I'd never had the chance to see the band live and only saw their videos in teeny low quality flash files. That's right, I never even saw the famous Beavis & Butt-head reaction that's mentioned in damned near every article and interview about the band!

After getting my copy of this, my excitement over finally hearing the early stuff in an 'official form' pretty much outweighed everything else. In the spirit of Beavis and Butt-head, this (the music) rules. Personally, I like all of it. The only WZ songs I still need to hear are on the rumored "Forgiven" demo that J.G. Thirlwell produced that got the band signed to Geffen in the first place. Yes, there are 2 songs from "Gods on Voodoo Moon" that were left off of "...Corpses..." but if you can do a blogsearch and are patient, you can find those.

Of course, that brings me to the stuff that sucks. Where the hell is the original artwork?? Since this 4-CD and 1 DVD set comes in a similar format to the "Deluxe Edition" reissues of other Geffen albums, with a slipcase that has the complete tracklist on the back, I'd expected more details than what are in the booklet. Instead of lots of awesome color art like what we got in the "Astro Creep..." booklet, all we have is a black and white collage of band photos and early flyers. While the basic info that should be on any box set/comp like this is there (like which tracks came from which albums, production credits, original year of issue, etc.) that's all there is! Instead of the treatment that Sonic Youth got (lots of pictures, art from the singles, pages of interviews with the band/someone who's a huge fan talking about how awesome the band is/was) there's pretty much nothing. At the very least, I was hoping for reprints of the artwork from the early albums. You didn't have to reprint the whole booklets for "Astro Creep" and "La Sexorcisto" since even the casual "their early stuff suxx0rz!1!!" WZ fans still own these or can rebuy them for cheap, but how's about something more than a monochrome collage that I could've done a better job on if I had access to a bunch of old gig flyers and the original releases? Part of the fun of WZ is the artwork, and after finally getting to see Rob Zombie's "El Superbeasto" comics (which rule), I'd expected way more from this comp, art-wise.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did pick this up used at a local record store. For what I paid ($50), it's well worth it. For $70-$80? Not without the artwork that it should have had.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

White Zombie - "Psycho/Soul"

White Zombie was always one of my favorite bands, and has the distinction of being the first band I learned about out-of-print releases by. (The second was KMFDM, with their "Naive"album.) I remember checking used record stores constantly in hopes I'd be able to find their pre-"La Sexorcisto" albums. At the time, I didn't even have a record player, so I was mainly searching for the one I knew came out on CD: "Make Them Die Slowly." I was thrilled to find a copy of "Nightcrawlers: The KMFDM Remixes" and a numbered limited tour version of the "Electric Head Pt. 2" single that I haven't seen on any of the fansite discographies.

A couple of years ago I found a bootleg for supercheap that claimed to have all the tracks from "Soul Crusher" and "Psycho-Head Blowout." I'm glad it was only $2.50, since it was actually a bootleg of a bootleg! Whoever put it together had a really bad quality scan of the back cover art, and of course the tracklist doesn't match. Mine has 10 tracks, instead of the 9 listed on that link. The CDDB listing that comes up doesn't quite match the corrected tracklist on that site, either... I'm kinda surprised this disc made it to the shelves at the used shop, since it's obviously a CD-R with a printed paper sticker on top... you can clearly see the 74 through the label! Decent sound quality, though. It was enough to hold me over until the release of the WZ boxset, "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie." You'll notice there is no link to download this bootleg. Reason being, the box set is still in print and worth it. (A review of that will be forthcoming...)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just to kill some time...

Here's a partial list of stuff I can't help collecting. By "can't help," I mean that whenever I find these things for free, I have to keep them, no matter how many I already have in my possession.

Key rings/ball chains
Tire valve covers (I can usually find these near the air machines at gas stations)
Coins (US and foreign) and old arcade tokens
Paper coin wrappers (especially ones from defunct banks)
Milk crates (best modular storage/shelving units ever.)
Pens (especially advertising ones)
CD and DVD cases
Coke Rewards codes (technically I only keep these long enough to enter them)
Matchbooks (Remember the days when smoking wasn't banned everywhere and companies used these for advertising?)
Lighters (I used to collect the metal tabs off of the disposable ones and crimp them to my car's sun visors - stopped doing that when they started rusting)
Books (Usually can't find these for free, but sometimes I'll get lucky. The ones I have no interest in reading go straight to Goodwill, though)
Sheets of paper with one blank side (I use these as printer paper 'cause I'm cheap. I can honestly say I don't hate junk mail because of this.)

Most recent score - found a copy of Metallica's "...And Justice For All" in its case! Scratched up, but doesn't skip!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Obligatory excuse for no updates.

Someone with more time on their hands should put together a blog that collects the best/funniest excuses that people use for the long time between posts. I have a lot of respect for those who keep plugging away and have new content every couple of weeks, even when it's not something I like.


With that in mind, it's a new year and I'm gonna try to start over and actually do something with this. When I was a teenager I always wanted to self-publish something but never did much other than a few notebooks with half-baked ideas that I never came back to. I found an old envelope with some random clippings and bits of collages inside that I had started way back then, and it reminds me of how I used to have a need to create stuff. I don't know what the hell happened to me in the years that followed... and I don't have the wife/kids/"grew up" excuse that many people my age have now. With this thing here, I don't even have to bother photocopying anything and stapling it up and trying to mail it out to people... once I learn how to put graphics on here, I could do just about anything on here that I could've done back in the day, and people can ignore it for free!