Wednesday, December 05, 2007

May I Suggest a Myspace Page...No Really...This Is Not a Joke

There is actually one thing that myspace is good for. Among all the page designs that can cause epilepsy, and never ending random friend requests from strange porn sites -I mean women (Candee does not really want to be your friend.) myspace is actually pretty good for both finding music and putting your music out there. Every time I hear or read about a band I can usually go to myspace and listen to three or four songs.

It turns out one the friends of this blog has decided to put his music out there, and I thought it would be only right to share. M.O.L. Jr. aka Fauss aka Ronnie Fauss has a myspace page and I highly suggest you check it out. Why would you want to do that you might ask? Good question. There's a really good chance you will like the music, and then you will tell a friend, and they will tell a friend, and so on till 50 years later people will be arguing who was the better Ronnie: Van Zant or Fauss? It could happen. You would also be supporting an all around good guy, and you will feel good by supporting a him. So at least do it for yourself. And if you happen to also have a myspace page why don't you friend request him and tell him how much you enjoy his music. He needs all the ego boosting he can get. So here we go the glorious myspace page of Ronnie Fauss. Enjoy.

Now is the time to enact the fairness doctrine. See I actually did remember something from Dr. Baker's law class on media. If I pimp one friend's music I must pimp everyone's.

I've discussed this artist before but I shall remind you. The Sound and the Fury has recorded some heartbreaking music as Blackbird Harmony. You can take a listen here.

Finally, you know him as the plumber, some know him as Dal, and some just know of him. He too has taken to blessing us with some ditties. Dal's myspace page.

My job is done here. You still have to go listen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ramblings (Sitting On My Ass Edition) + Christmas List Updated

What's going on kids? Yeah, nothing much here either. But I will try to fill in some white space with some words.

I spent a very nice Thanksgiving up in Ojai with the Anne Marie, the Heilveils, four dogs, and another creature that was apparently a dog, but really looked like a breeding experiment gone awry.

What does it say about me that I get along better with those older than me than I do those my age?

When does being young at heart turn into simply being immature?

They demolished a house across the street so they can build a new one. Of course they are doing all this during my current opportunity to sleep in all the time. There is also dust and odd smells constantly entering my apartment. Last night I was overwhelmed by diesel fumes as a semi truck was left idling for about half an hour.

This Facebook thing is working out much better than myspace ever did. Not only did I find fellow high school president/vice president running mate Craig Keim, but Brent Underwood as well. Brent Underwood! Growing up before my parents divorce we were the dynamic duo. We went to the same school and church. My Mom adored the hell out of Brent. Brent has the wonderful distinction of being at my last birthday party that ever involved people outside my family. Below is a picture documenting the event. Brent is on my left. We both had a lot more hair back then. Yes that is a cake with a bunch of army men on there and it rocks. I have no idea who the other kid is removing the army man. Those were some good times. Brent also has a blog that is now linked om the left.

Oh! I picked up Rock Band. Because I am poor I only picked up the game and not the whole package. With the Xbox 360 you can use the Guitar Hero guitars to play Rock Band. This is a good thing because I'm not a fan of the Rock Band guitar I tested at Best Buy. The Guitar Hero 3 wireless guitar is the best by far. How do they compare you might ask? That's a good question. Guitar Hero 3 is a more polished Guitar Hero 2. Obviously it is focused on
delivering the guitar god experience. Rock Band is built to be a mulitplayer game. To achieve the full enjoyment of the game you should play with four friends to play guitar, bass, drums, and singing. This leads to the game being a little lacking in single player. It's not till the last tier of songs that playing the guitar becomes a challenge similar to Guitar Hero. This though isn't exactly a deal breaker because the presentation of Rock Band I think trumps Guitar Hero. I really like the visuals of Rock Band. I love that it gives you a fairly in depth menu to design your own character. Guitar Hero has pre-designed ones that you get to select and some you unlock. Maybe I'm just a little pissed that GH3 didn't include my favorite character from GH2. I love that the crowd in Rock Band sings along with you during the choruses and at the points where a crowd would normally join in. It all blends to create the feeling of being a band on stage. The songs are also a bit more accessible. For example, Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" would be boring playing it on Guitar Hero. Add a few friends though and it becomes a blast in Rock Band. Rock Band also comes out on top for me a little because of the songs you can download. Rock Band already has over 15 songs you can download from artists ranging from Metallica to The Police to Creedence. There are another 15 or more scheduled to be available in the next month. I know this sounds a little like I'm putting down Guitar Hero 3. I'm not. I love Guitar Hero 3. There are just some things that Rock Band does that I would like to see in Guitar Hero. In a way Guitar Hero is for the hardcore, while Rock Band is a little more for the masses. Now I just need to buy the drums once this strike ends and then recruit some people who aren't embarrassed rocking in view of other people. I will say my favorite moment between both games is playing Boston's "Foreplay/Long Time." I get goose bumps playing that on Rock Band.

What else to talk about? Hmm...

Hollywood people seem to be cautiously optimistic about the current negotiations that began this week. I would say I am cautiously pessimistic that the strike will end soon. Can someone be cautiously pessimistic?

I will go ahead and admit now that I really liked No Country for Old Men. I even liked the last thirty minutes that left most people grumbling.

I guess I could do my Christmas list. So you non-family readers can simply stop reading now.

How about a guitar? Acoustic or electric (Fender American Stratocaster.) New or Used. Wait! How about money for a guitar? I don't want to haul a guitar on the airplane.

Xbox 360 Live Points

Mass Effect

Shirts like this or this. (Side note: Damn that model's hair!)

Cardigan like this. I will also accept one in a navy color.

Crew neck sweaters in charcoal, navy, hunter green, or brown.

I'm still debating on this whole vest making a come back. So I tentatively ask for this.

You know I kind of like the new 80GB Zune. One with one of those Zune original designs would be a nice added tough. But I will also accept an 80GB iPod classic or 16GB iPod Touch.

I guess that's about it.

I guess that isn't about it:

Here are some DVD's:

Duck, You Sucker 2 Disc Edition
The Third Man Criterion Edition
Ace In The Hole Criterion
Spellbound Criterion

Some PSP games:

Crush (If you can find it)
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters
Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow

Nintendo DS:

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Finally a little lo-fi:

A Diana+ camera with film

Lomo Smena 8M camera with film

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ramblings (Why Edition)

Why does Netflix guess that I will rate Fantastic Four's: Rise of the Silver Surfer 1 and 3/4th star yet when I actually rate movies I am limited to only whole stars?

Why hasn't science come up with a better way for the common man to do laundry? Haven't we been waiting an hour for the laundry to dry since the 1960's? In forty plus years we haven't come up with a way to at least shorten that time?

Why did I decide to wear a sweater today? It is unseasonably warm outside.

Why do they even bother assigning jury service during the month of December? I got a notice stating that I have to serve starting the 17th of December. Yeah, that's not going to happen.

Why did I replace my nicotine addiction with Guitar Hero? I thought for sure it would be replaced with food so I would gain at least 100 lbs. It's one o'clock and the morning, and I'm right now thinking I could squeeze in a couple plays of "Cliffs Over Dover."

Why can't I think of anything that I want for Christmas?

Why can't I get past this absurd sense of being polite? If I was Jack Bauer, the world would have been destroyed because I wouldn't want to interrupt Chloe and Edgar bickering at each other.

Why does it itch?

Why would anybody want to sign A-Rod? You might get what you pay for, but you also can't get anything else to compliment him. Unless you are the Yankees or Red Sox.

Why am I always scared I will miss something?

Why can't people stop talking and enjoy a little silence?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Well That Didn't Last Long (Update)

Earlier tonight CBS told out show to layoff all the assistants in the writer's department. They are going to try to keep us on as PA's for a few days a week. My thinking is that I'm already ahead of the curve with this extra week so I might just give those hours to those who need it. Which means as of now I am without a job. I'm not that concerned because I have enough to last till January at least. My concern is that this strike is nowhere near ending. The producers and writers aren't even talking now. I understand that the writers deserve a piece of the new media pie, but this pissing match everyone has gotten into is helping nobody.

CBS has changed their minds and given us next week to work as well. So one more glorious week! Also, I was able to get to the last tier in Guitar Hero 3 last night on the hard difficulty. It was one of the proudest moments of this year. Then I attempted Metallica's "One" and failed the song three seconds into the guitar solo. Talk about deflating. But one more week of work!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Let Me Try Something Different...

Instead of posting tracks of new music I like, I'm just going to post the album cover.
Clearly, this will be all you need to educate you on your next music purchase.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Strike Update!

Here is what's going down. Monday morning the writers will be on strike. What does that mean to me? Well, it's not that bad because our show still has shooting to do. Everyone is still employed till we are finished shooting which should be around the end of November. They didn't have to this but they are keeping those of us in the writers' dept. around. We will be helping out production where they need us. So, I have a job for month longer than I thought. I assumed that once the writers' went on strike we'd be out as well. But the mayor called and I got a month's stay of economic execution. Actually it 's not even that bad, because I kind of prepared for this to happen. Now I have an extra month to save even more. Still if the writers and producers don't come to some agreement during November, I will be out of job as well as 10,000 other people in this town. If nothing happens in November I suspect it will be a long time till everyone comes together in agreement. With the actors and directors contracts up in June 08, they might wait till then and have at least the actors and writers unified. But really nobody has any idea on when whatever is supposed to happen is supposed to happen. The good news is I got an extra month to work, and this strike will help me and others down the road who are pursuing a career in this crazy business.

I'd also like to welcome back Friday Night Lights. Tonight's episode was fantastic from start to finish. It's the first episode this season that could compare to any of last season's. Just stellar stuff.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ramblings (Happy Halloween/Writer's Strike Eve Edition)

What's happening kiddies? Do you have a bunch of people meeting together to see if you have to come into work? I do. They call it negotiations. I'm probably going to be a little disappointed if there isn't at least like two or three days of a strike. I've psyched myself up so much I'm sort of looking forward to some time off as long as it's only a week or two. Any more than that and I'm no longer keen. It's also a little funny how people's attitudes have changed slightly as the contract deadline has approached. Used to be a lot of joking about it mixed with a little concern. Now there are a lot more people with the "Shit! This is really gonna happen!" look on their face. There is a nice undercurrent of panic flowing through the lot. It's a little weird. My personal stance on this whole strike things is: Screw 'em. I know I'm a little bias since I'm pursuing the writing profession. Still the producers have come across like such bullies during this whole ordeal. They concede parts of their proposal that had no right being there in the first place, and then act like they have made a huge concession by removing it. I'm just tired of this whole mess that it seems a group of logical people could have figured out in a week.

Coinciding with the most job stress I've had in the last few years, I quit smoking on Monday. There are a couple reasons why.

First, I had to quit so that the impending back surgery will have a better chance at success. Second, it's cheaper not to smoke.
Third, I'm tired of being associated with the second worst group of people on earth. If you were to do a poll on what groups were considered the worst type of people it would probably come out a lot like this:

1. People that club baby seals
2. Smokers
3. Republicans
4. Democrats
5. Soccer Moms
6. Terrorists

I get more dirty looks walking around with a cigarette than I would walking around with a bloody axe.

Speaking of bloody axe, I got my Guitar Hero 3 in the mail Monday. First off, the new wireless guitar is fantastic. The buttons are much better, and the guitar just feels great with its added heft. I found myself hitting a lot more runs than I could with the old guitar. Second, the song list is pretty fantastic, and more than half of the songs are from the original artists, and not cover songs. The game though is a little more hardcore. The Hard difficulty is a bit more difficult than in II, but the Medium difficulty is about the same but easier because of the nicer guitar. This leaves with a bit of a problem of one difficulty being too easy and the other too difficult to be enjoyable. The bonus songs you unlock also aren't as enjoyable as in Guitar Hero 2. The core of Guitar Hero though is firmly intact with a better main songlist and better wireless guitar.

Hmm...anything else?

I have no idea what I want for Christmas.

The office is addicted to Scrabulous.

Ah, screw it. I've got nothing. Nothing. This whole town is about to shut down and that's all everybody is thinking about.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Ramblings (Kids, Santa Might Not Be Coming This Year Edition)

First off it's really creepy outside today. There's a visible breeze but you can't feel it. The weather is not your normal California warm. Smoke from all the fires has cast a strange smoky haze over the coast. Oh and I had to worry that I should run home and close my windows because of the ash falling from the sky.

For those who live outside Los Angeles, or don't read Variety, or live in a world where reason and sanity exist, you might not know that there is a writer's strike just on the horizon and is approaching at speeds up to 90 mph. I'm not going go into detail of what the Writer's Guild wants and what the studios and networks are offering because that will exceed the boredom factor of even this blog. All I will say is that it sucks...big time. When this strike happens thousands of PA's, writer's assistants, and other help staff are going to either flood the employment market or take a few unemployment checks and hope the strike doesn't last long. For the record, the last strike happened in 1988 and lasted 5 months. Oh, and you dear viewers can expect a flood of reruns and reality programs sometime around early to mid January. Maybe even reruns of reality programs. In between work and late afternoon rounds of scrabulous, the strike has dominated office conversation. Heck, even the old guy writers that work on Boston Legal keep mentioning it to me during smoke breaks. What are you going to do? How far can you go on your saving? What about you no longer having health insurance? Wouldn't it be nice if there was an assistant union? What would all the producers and writers do if they had to get their own lunch and coffee, or work a photo copier, or learn how to send an email? What really sucks is that it's that Holiday season, and I love giving, and now perhaps I might not have as much to give. On to more enjoyable things...

Mandy, have you seen the geektastic chumby?

Somehow some eleven year old somewhere figured out how to get the Guitar Hero III demo online so you can simply download it, burn it onto a DVD, and play it on your 360. That means last night I got to rock out to some new tunes without having to buy another Tony Hawk game. One week from Sunday the full version will be released. My one hesitation is that the bonus tracks won't include some of my favorite bands from Guitar Hero 2. In Guitar Hero 2 you had lesser known bands like Valient Thorr and personal fav Bang Camaro. Come on they have 20 lead singers singing at the same time. Now that Harmonix is out and doing their thang with Rock Band, we aren't going to get these bands in Guitar Hero 3. Still, rocking my toy guitar to "Rock You Like a Hurricane" sure does bring a smile to my face.

Yes, I'm tempted to ask for Rock Band for Christmas or maybe a Chumby.

Speaking of nerd things I only care about, back in the early 80's my Mom signed me up for a computer class. In that class, I wrote a program that drew a picture of a bear. Later on I would try to write my own Zork computer games on my Mom's old IBM. First of all, big ups to Mom for seeing how important computers would be even at that time. Second, why didn't I keep up with this? It wasn't like music lessons or something. Also, where would I be if I did keep up with that? Would I be living in some retro cool town house in San Fransisco? Perhaps I'd just be living in someone's basement among Taco Bell wrappers, playing Warcraft, thinking I could've made this game.

Sunday, my brother Sam and I played Halo 3 co-op. Over twenty years ago we were taking turns playing King's Quest or Vanguard. Now, we are simultaneously playing the same game with one continent and the Atlantic Ocean separating us. Sweet technology, how I love you.

Went to my second Reading to Kids a couple Saturday's ago. It went even better than last time. I had a better partner, and the group was smaller. I'm hoping that in the upcoming months I can become a favorite. When the kids all get in line and wait for the readers to come out, I want the kids in my row to be thrilled. I want kids in the other rows to try to swindle their way into my row. At the very least, I'd be happy if they remembered me from the week before.

Ohio State's first real test of the season happens this weekend when the play Penn State at Happy Valley. Anne Marie, would you like to come over and watch the game in glorious HD?

The Tottenham Hotspurs this season are simply awful. The games have ranged from abysmal blowouts to dominating leads given up in the last minutes of injury time. Twice they had commanding leads over Fulham and Liverpool only to give up tying goals in the last minute. It's like watching the 2005 Cubs. It's just painful.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dillon, We Have a Problem

So the season two premiere of Friday Night Lights has come and gone. I'd be lying if I wasn't a little bit concerned. I also know I'm not the only one. Were there still some outstanding moments in the show? Absolutely. There are the two montages set to Wilco's "Muzzle of Bees." There's Tyra asking Landry to lotion her back, Coach Taylor telling Seracen not to stand by and let some Swede win over Julie, and there's Julie telling her father, Coach Taylor, her fears of ending up like him and her mother. The greatest scene was when Coach Taylor had to tell his wife, Tami, who gave birth a couple days ago, that the university needed him back early. It showed the distance has silenced this once communicating couple. Coach begs her to say something, but Tami can only try to keep herself composed till he leaves. Then she simply breaks down. If that scene couldn't win you over to Friday Night Lights, I don't know what else will. So what's the problem? Well, let us just say that the episode ended on such a whopper that I think it's going to scar the show. You perhaps have seen the promos, and had a suspicion of what was going to happen. Most likely you've already heard people complaining about it. (Big Spoiler If You Care).....

The lovable outsider Landry does in fact kill the guy that assaulted Tyra last season. He follows her all episode and then attacks her at a local quick stop. Landry comes in to her rescue. The attacker swears he'll come back for her, and Landry hits him in the back of the head twice with a lead pipe, and you know what? The scene is extremely well done. Jesse Plemons (Landry) and Adrianne Palicki (Tyra) act the hell out of that scene. The build up to the moment to their decision to dump the body once they realize he's dead. It all works. I just don't think it works for Friday Night Lights. This show is about the interactions of people in a town where football is religion, not murder. I was happy with the progression of Landry and Tyra's relationship. It was perfect having to outsiders, though for different reasons, come together and rely on each other. Was Tyra ever going to feel for Landry the way he did for her? No, but watching him make attempts and her decision to ignore them made for great moments of levity. Now that's all thrown out the window. Friday Night Lights is still excellent television. I'm just really concerned about this huge albatross the writers have hung around the show's neck. I did though like that the body was dumped near the same spot in the river that Lyla was baptized in, but I'm a sucker for that kind of thing.

You know I will probably look past it if we keep getting scenes like this:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

September's Heavy Rotation

The end of another month, and another playlist. A couple songs of note this time. We start off with Vampire Weekend who showed up last month with a little bouncy piano ditty. Here it's like they cover an outtake from Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints. Which isn't a bad thing. The rest is enjoyable indie rock. I'm really looking forward to Cheyenne's album of power pop but that's just me. The playlist ends with another Link Wray song which I would like to discuss a little. Now I knew of Link Wray as the influential guitar instrumentalist who did the song "Rumble," and his other instrumentals have been in numerous soundtracks. I didn't know that in his later years he went and recorded a few albums on his farm in Maryland where he actually sang. I've been really enjoying these albums, and am upset that these were never pointed out to me. Also, just based on "Rumble" alone shouldn't he be in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame already?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Couple Baseball Notes

First off, last night's Padres-Rockies game was a prime example of what makes playoff baseball great. It was simply incredible. It has a grand slam, extra innings, controversial calls, extra innings, numerous lead changes, and player redemption with Matt Holliday. What also made it great was the crowd. I got goosebumps listening to the radio announcer being drowned out by crowd as Matt Holliday scored. Part of what makes playoff baseball great is the crowd's awareness that every pitch, hit, and error could end or extend your team's hopes to move on. I admit there can some mundaneness occurring through parts of the regular season. 162 games is a lot. Just take a chance this week to watch a little bit of the playoffs. I would recommend the Yankees at Cleveland, Colorado at Philadelphia, and Arizona at Chicago. Cleveland, Philly and Chicago have loyal fanbases that are so desperate for a championship that those crowds will be ridiculous. There is though one problem for you HD viewers out there...

MLB is run by bunch of morons. They sold the rights to air the first round of the playoffs to TBS. Then TBS was given the NLCS to air as well. I understand Fox wants the Boston and Yankees series, but you tell me they aren't kicking themselves a little now that Chicago and Philly are in the playoffs. First of all TBS have compiled a wonderful assortment of on-air talent that ranges from incompetent to mind numbingly boring. Second, TBS rolled out their HD channel on Monday, as in yesterday. So how many people have TBS HD? I don't. I don't know anyone in the LA area that has it unless they have Direct TV which is something nobody can get if they live in an apartment. TNT has an established HD channel so why not air it on there? Why wouldn't MLB make sure that they sell to a station that reaches the largest audience?

The one thing I'm hoping is that with TBS airing all the National League games we won't be subjected to the Bartman game during every commercial. Because we all know Fox beat that into the ground every chance they got.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heroes Season Premiere and Episode 2

I apologize for the delay in this. Cubs baseball took up a lot of my time and resources last week. I also threw in a little of last nights episode which has lead to this whole post being horrible cobbled together.

I felt the same way about this season premiere as last season's series premiere. That is I wasn't in love with it, but I saw promise. I chalk that up to Tim Kring the show runner. I don't think he's that great of writer. I'm certain he's a great showrunner, but his episodes always feel stilted to me. Episode 2 flowed much better even though it was basically more of the same information from episode 1. My concern is that the departure of Bryan Fuller, who created Wonderfalls and Dead Like me will really hurt the show. He moved on to the TV show Pushing Daisies.

Unfortunately, many of the storylines didn't grab me. The Hiro story being the best example. Hiro meets his childhood hero in Kensei, who turns out to be some British lug. What? You mean Hiro now has to turn Kensei into the hero he believed him to be? This wouldn't happen to include Hiro having to pretend to be Kensei would it? We haven't seen this a million times have we? I love the Hiro character, but I hate how this storyline has begun. The discovery that Kensei has the same healing abilities as Claire was a nice find.

I don't mind the murder mystery of Hiro's father. Still would've liked to have seen what his superpower was. The storyline that someone is out to kill the previous generation of Heroes because of their mistakes is intriguing though nothing new. It certainly leads to discovering who these people were and adding to the Heroes mythology. I also like the symbol drawn on their photo and it being discovered in random places. It's just creepy. I do question the fact that Parkman though he just signed up with the NYPD is now the secondary investigator in a high profile murder. I did like Ma Patrelli yelling for Parkman to get out of her head during the questioning. I also liked her being attacked, but I hope they don't kill her. Once the attack began I kept wishing don't kill her, don't kill her. She's too good of a character. I would also like to find out what her super power is. Parkman has become somewhat of a badass now. He shoots first and asks questions later in NYPD hostage training sessions. He breaks windows with chairs.

I would also like to know what is going on with Nathan and mirrors. I do love his beard though. Why hasn't anyone said anything to Nathan about his forfeiting the Congressional seat he won? Nobody has said a thing to him.

Parkman My Two Daddying it with Mohinder and Molly is ok. I'm finding Molly annoying quickly. The mystery of who the big bad guy keeps me somewhat invested. Though couldn't the drawing of her nightmares be a little more frightening. They just didn't invoke the fear of dread it should have. I guess she's just a crappy doodler.

Mohinder didn't bother me as much. I still don't buy his tough act. I also don't believe that he's the best person to infiltrate "The Company." I understand that what he knows would be important to the "The Company," and therefore would still try to bring him into the fold. I just think he'd buckle once they found out he was trying to take them down along with HRG. I liked the Haitian reveal in episode 2. Still would like to know how HRG and Mohinder know what is going on with the "The Company."

I hope the storyline of HRG and his family still trying to live normal lives moves along quickly. We've already seen this storyline last season. The wrinkle that the whole family knows what is going on isn't enough of a wrinkle. Is working at a Kinko's the best hiding place for HRG considering is previous cover was working for Primatech Paper? What happens if he has to attend a convention with paper suppliers? I did love the judo finger move. Is that his superpower?

On to Claire who once again is stuck being an outsider in high school. At least her parents gave her a new Nissan Rogue! Though sadly stolen in episode 2. I do like that she wants to push to see how far her powers go. Though I would think walking up to an nuclear exploding man and sticking a needle in him would be a nice physical limit that's already set. She does though seem to accept her power now and wants to use it help people. Perhaps the creepy flying voyeur and her will become a superhero duo. I hope not. I hope he ends up becoming evil, or slightly bad at least. Sylar can't be the only person with super powers that uses them for evil.

By the way Sylar better show up in episode 3. As should Niki/Jessica and her family.

The two new characters are ok. The ying and yang twins from South America. One kills and the other heals though the girl the kills ala X-files black oil doesn't do it on purpose. I'm saying now she is going to be the one that kills the main bad guy of this season. They basically gave that away in episode 2.

Finally we have Peter who is still alive. But we already knew he would survive. How is it Nathan is still alive is the bigger question? So Peter is found handcuffed in a shipping container in Ireland. He has amnesia (ugh). He does at least find out his name in the second episode. He also seems to have gained a couple extra super powers. Again all will be answered in the "Four Months Ago" episode. Except for the Hiro storyline because that picked up right where we left off last season.

So after two episodes we have a decent start. Just like last season, it will probably take another two or three episodes for it to get rolling. I'm also looking forward to the "For Months Ago" episode that is certain to happen.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Madden Frustrates Me

This can probably apply to all video games, but it begins and ends with Madden. It is called the "No F-ing Way Game." Those who play Madden know what this is and there are numerous terms for it. I'm sticking with "No F-ing Way Game" because that is what I always yell when it happens. The worst example I have happened last night. I was six games into my franchise season as the Buffalo Bills. I was also 6-0. I can't score a lot of points, but my defense is an expert at the bend but don't break. So I'm playing the Ravens last night. I pull off a great 35 yard run for a TD. I'm feeling pretty good. Then the Ravens score a TD where the running back broke about six tackles and goes in for the TD. Alright, that's fine. I can handle this. On the ensuing kickoff, my return man fumbles the ball and it is run back for a TD. Now, I'm a little miffed, but I can come back. On the next ensuing kickoff my return man fumbles again, they return it to the two yard line, and score another TD. Now, it is taking all the self control in the world not to hurl the controller through my window. Still, I'm confident I can make a game at this. On the next ensuing kickoff, you guessed it my return man fumbles again and they return it for a TD. Madden has once again made sure there is "No F-ing Way" I'm winning this game.
I do though get within ten, and intercept a pass into the flats. I even run that interception back for a TD, only to have it called back for clipping. Which is again ridiculous. There is no reason for clipping on that type of interception because there is no one that needs to be blocked.

This is my problem with Madden. It always feels like you are playing against a stacked deck. You can dominate, but the game will always rig things every now and then to humble you. Do you want to try to score before the game ends even though you are leading because you want to practice your two minute drill? The game will punish you for that. You will not be allowed to run up the score. You will not be allowed to do anything out of the norm for a football game. It is you against the machine, and the machine holds the power. Yet, I keep coming back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ramblings (Updated)

The Cubs are in the closest race for the playoffs this season, and there is little to no national TV coverage. Can't WGN work a deal with Comcast so they can air more than two games a week? Why doesn't ESPN have a deal to show games during tight races? What Cubs fan across the nation isn't going watch? Man, my nerves are already shot. That Houston series nearly killed me.

In the latest issue of ESPN the magazine, Bill Simmons wrote a piece on saving Friday Night Lights. He praises it better than I did in my plea. finally put up the article. You can read it here

A week and a half till Halo 3 and the season premiere of Heroes.

A month and a half till Guitar Hero 3.

This year has clearly been brought to you by the number 3.

I've been battling myself over buying NHL '08, but I don't think it would be the same playing a hockey video game without Jiff.

iPod classic or iPod touch? Reading that Apple stores received the iPod touch early, I almost bought one...almost. This current control I've been showing over my impulse purchasing has impressed even me. I think it's that thought of the impending writer's strike?

I know I've been told that we won't care about such things, but I want to know answers to some of history's mysteries when I get to heaven. And, I don't mean Easter Island statues or Stonehenge or even Area 51. I mean I want to know those, but I'm more interested in who killed Hoffa and where is he buried? I'd like to know who Jack the Ripper and the Zodiac was.
Where did D.B. Cooper go after he jumped out of that plane? Who killed the Black Dahlia? Things like that. I'd also like to know who wrote those dirty poems to Susan Rice and put my name on them. That still bugs me.

Tottenham Spurs plays Arsenal this weekend. Again this is like OSU vs. Michigan only with more hatred in the fans hearts.

It's taken me longer to come up with a review for Bioshock than it took me to actually play the game.

I really enjoyed 3:10 to Yuma, though the turn in the story still doesn't seem rational.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

An Adventure of Independent Brad (Mandy, Your Residual Check Is In The Mail)

So I stepped out of my comfort zone Saturday. Awhile ago, I signed up through my church with the Reading to Kids program. I figured because it was a once a month thing, and was just reading to kids that it was something I could handle. As the day approached though I began realizing what I'd committed to. That is waking up at 7:45 in the morning on a Saturday to spend three hours with a bunch of complete strangers. Flop sweat. So Saturday came, I crawled out of bed, and drove in a daze to the school near downtown. I walked into the auditorium and gave my name. Now I've been considering tinkering with being called Bradford rather than just Brad. Not a full implementation where I would require it, but it'd be fun to see in a couple years the differential between who calls me what. For example, it seems like everyone older than Anne Marie calls her Anne Marie. Those her age or younger call her Anne. Anyway, I went with Brad on the name tag. I'm clearly still unsure on where to go with this name thing.

They assigned me to the second graders which I thought was a perfect fit. Also, the book selection was Fog and Toad are Friends. Frog and Toad are Friends! I could've recited this book. Being a new guy, I was paired up with veteran. My original partner never showed, so I was partnered up with what was basically Neil at the age of 65. I realize I just referenced a person that only Ben I would know, but it fits. Wait! Jennie knows Neil. Actually, the only slight negative I had was my partner. He was a nice enough guy. It's just he was a little scatter brained, a little tightly wound, and he took the best stories. He stuck me with the worst story in the book! For those familiar with Frog and Toad, it is the story where Frog is not feeling well and Toad tries to come up with a story. (SPOILER ALERT!) It basically ends with Frog reciting as a story what Toad did to try to remember a story. So the last half is just you reading again what happened in the first half.

After reading it was time for crafts where they had to make frogs. Yeah, I know. It's not the most creative but my partner wasn't really up for discussing alternatives. Luckily, the kids were creative enough on their own to go outside the box. One girl just decided to screw the whole frog thing. She wanted to make a manta ray. My personal favorite Manuel made his frog with it's own head, a hole for a stomach, and a cape. All the kids were great. Sure their attention span was around 10 minutes tops, but their second graders. They were also very well behaved and respectful. They also clearly loved that this opportunity was made available to them.

The real moving moment though was meeting their parents. I spent two hours reading and helping them cut construction paper, and the kids were adamant about me meeting their parents like I was some their new best friend. And the parents were so thankful. They made such a point to thank us. I admit I got a little emotional having parents pulling me aside, shaking my hand, and thanking me.

That ended the day. It's such a nice contrast outside of the normal LA world I wade through. So my independent adventure was a rousing success, and I've already signed up for next month.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Fingers Hurt

So in less than two months the rock gods will descend from the Mt. Power Chord and bless us mortals with Guitar Hero 3. The anticipation is building. Co-worker Dominic asks at least once a week when the game will be released, and I'm sure bobby is at least slightly anticipating my purchasing it when it is released. 46 of the songs have been announced, and some videos have hit the net. Which brings us up to the reason for this post. One of the bonus songs is a song by Dragon Force called Through the Fire and Flames, and word was going around that it will be nigh unto impossible. Then awhile back a video came out, and my heart sank. I think I'm pretty decent at the game. I mean I struggle through the expert setting, but still...this is ridiculous. I think carpal tunnel syndrome can set in just watching this. The thing is the video doesn't even show the solo part, which can be witnessed near the end of the music video. I do wonder about those kids that play this game and can complete songs like this. Are they seriously going to be paying for it down the road? What are there fingers going to be like after years of playing Guitar Hero?

July & August Heavy Rotation

Because of a lack of "new" songs in July, I decided to combine July and August for a heavy rotation. The list contains everything from dance rock, to indie rock, to rock with some other genres thrown in. A little bit of everything for everyone or no one.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Life Lesson #729

No matter how much you might be craving them, do not eat hot wings after midnight. I think my stomach just hatched a Gremlin.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Whooo!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Just a Little Heads Up

Since nearly everyone who reads this blog sees organized sports as an example of the hell this world is going to, I'd thought I should make you aware of what will be happening the next month and hopefully the month after that, and if really really lucky a couple weeks into November. You see, with a month left in the regular season, the Cubs are currently 2 ahead in their division. That means I will most likely be slightly agitated and tightly wound till the season is over or it's clear that the Cubs have no chance of winning. So what should you as caring friends and family members do? Don't ever ask or talk about the Cubs unless I happen to bring them up in conversation. Now you could probably get away with saying "Nice win today!" if you perhaps saw the Cubs did in fact win that day, but that's about it. Do not do what my co-worker Dom did today in asking why the Cubs are falling apart. Then go into a rant on how the billy goat curse is coming back. I was almost arrested for attempted murder with an HP deskjet. Mind you this is the same guy who made a joke about the Cubs blowing it during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. I still hold it against him. I also suggest checking to see if a Cubs game is on before you call, or decide to simply drop by if you live in town. It could save you some time. Bob gets a clearance on this because being a baseball fan he understands. He fully comprehends what and what not to say. As stated this will last till the end of the season, Sept. 30th. Now if they make it to the playoffs clearly this will last till they are eliminated. I apologize for the inconvenience. If you want someone to blame you can blame Dad, aka Ike, aka Mr. Iten, aka Hey, you. Thank you for your time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Beg of You!

It's not often I ask something of you few readers who are still around. This time I'm going to. On Tuesday, the first season of the best shows on television was released: "Friday Night Lights" I know I raved about the show in previous posts, but it clearly didn't make much of an impact. I know the idea of watching a show about high school football in Texas doesn't sound appealing. Trust me it's more than that. I'm not asking you to buy the box set or anything, just please Netflix it. Give it five episodes, and I'm certain you will be hooked. Once hooked you have till early October, when the second season begins, to catch up on all the episodes. Then you will tell your friends about this great show they've been missing out on. Then it grows from there, and maybe we can keep this show on a couple more season. Just try it, for me, please? Even bobby was intrigued with what he saw of the show. Bill Simmons on calls it "the greatest sports show since The White Shadow."

Monday, August 27, 2007


So Saturday I went and hung with Anne Marie, because I can easily do that now. We can now hang out any time we want. Any time! We went and had lunch. We saw Stardust, which This really is only slightly related to the topic of this post. I state this for other family members who are looking to further their education as an example of some of the fun that could be had if you went to one of the universities in the LA area *cough Mandy cough* . Or even for those looking to enroll to a University only about six hours away *cough Ben I. cough* it would be great to have you on the same coast and available for a nice long weekend visit. I'm just saying.

Back to topic. I've been in ROCK mood the last few weeks, and I blame this on Guitar Hero. This has lead to making room on my Nano for more AC/DC, Stones, Priest, Motorhead, etc. I've also been looking for more obscure "classic rock" bands. Much like when I stumbled across the band UFO awhile back. This leads up to this weekend when Anne and I went to Amoeba. After much searching after mind blanking on their name, I picked up a Hellacopters album "Grande Rock. They aren't really that obscure, but the other album I picked up is. The group is called Starz. Yes, that is a "Z" at the end. Anyway, I picked up their anthology as a sampler. Man it feeds that classic rock need I currently have. With such songs as "Cherry Baby," "Boys in Action," "Rock Six Times," and "Detroit Girls" it's amazing that their only semi-hit was Cherry Baby. I would also like to point out that they deserve a little credit for praising Detroit Girls as the greatest girls in the world, because I would've never placed the greatest girls as living in Detroit. California girls? That's not surprising. Southern Girls? That's easy. Detroit? Who knew? Thanks you Starz.

I'm also including Hellacopters "The Devil Stole the Beat from the Lord" because it's a great title and a great song.

One more thing, why don't the Guitar Hero games include more obscure classic rock bands like Starz, and UFO? I appreciate that they give a bunch of current unknown bands a shot in the unlockables. But, why not throw in a few of these older groups so they can be rediscovered?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey, sprechen ze talk?

Last night, HBO was showing Die Hard in glorious HD. It took a lot of will power not to watch the whole thing. Many people have gone on and on about the greatness that is Die Hard. From Bruce Willis to Alan Rickman's Hans Gruber to how the movie began a new genre in the action thriller movie, it's all been said.

I watched a couple scenes last night. The first scene was when McClane first sees his wife. The slimy co-worker Harry Ellis then makes a big deal about Holly showing the Rolex the company gave her as "A little token of our appreciation for all her work."

After that scene I thought the Harry Ellis character never gets enough credit in Die Hard. Isn't he the perfect caricature of the 80's corporate yuppie. "Hey babe, I negotiate million dollar deals for breakfast. I think I can handle this Eurotrash." He puts American Psycho's Patrick Bateman character to shame. Also, he's the perfect "victim" that's so slimy the audience cheers when the villain kills him? Sure he's only in the movie for all of four scenes, but Die Hard wouldn't be Die Hard with out you. Here's to you Harry Ellis."Hans? What am I a method actor? Put away the gun this is radio not television."

"Hans, bubby, I'm your white knight!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Happy Birthday Jaime!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Why Must the Gaming Gods Torment Me?

I post about all the games I'm looking forward to. I'm four days away from Bioshock coming out. I come home. Red Ring of Death! That's right I have my second occurrence of the Red Ring of Death in less than a year. Thank you Xbox!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oh Glorious Pixels!

Much like sports, there is a video game off-season which occurs during late spring and summer. I guess it makes it sense with the kids having school off. There are also conventions like E3 which is like the owners meetings for sports leagues. It is basically a very sparse time for new games. There might be one or two that come out that might be worth picking up (i.e. Overlord) but usually it's where bad games are dumped in the hopes that the desperate gamers will pick it up simply to play something new. Wise gamers though know not to fall for that. They know that during the off season is when you put aside your budgeted video game funds in preparation for the video game season. Around mid-August the video game season picks up again. It usually always begins with the new Madden game followed by a slew of games for the Holiday season, and then a few more during those cold winter months of the new year.

This season is actually looking to be one of the bigger seasons. I've got my list to thirteen games that will be released between now and Christmas that I'm either instantly going to purchase, or have a strong interest in. Warning: Some of the videos have some strong violence. Stranglehold being the worst of the lot.

The List:

Is probably my most anticipated title of the year. Any game that claims Atlas Shrugged as a major influence is clearly not your average first person shooter. This game has me expecting a game of the year spot at my end of the season list.

Apparently a lot of people have played the first two games. Should be worth checking out.

A video game sequel to the John Woo movie Hardboiled? I've played the demo about five times. Is it revolutionary? No. But there is something about sliding down a banister in slow mo and taking out bad guy by shooting signs and air conditioners to collapse on them, and then when you reach the end of the banister you can then jump on a cart and slide along and take out more bad guys. Then tack on a multiplayer where you can do this all against your friends. I'm in. Just a warning Sam. There are in fact headshots in this game.

This game and Bioshock are neck and neck in my most anticipated games this year. Because Bioshock comes out next week, it gets the win. Mass Effect is by the same guys that did Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire. I really don't need to say any more.

Yes, in the span of one month two games full guitar rock goodness will be released. That's over 140 songs for me to "pretend rock" to. That doesn't even include the albums that Rock Band will allow you to download. And a wireless guitar! Good grief I'm giddy.

Here's the rest of the bunch I'm looking forward to:

Mercenaries 2: I'm looking forward to being able to demolish everything and I mean everything.

Time Shift

Army of Two

Assassin's Creed

Kane & Lynch

Beautiful Katamari

Half-Life 2 Orange Box

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Life Lesson #419

Never have your teeth cleaned by woman going through a bitter divorce.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Rock N Roll Questionnaire or (Fun with Album Covers!)

See if you can follow along kids with this experiment. Please leave your answers in the comments. If you have another answer, please feel free to include those.

So you are going to take an trip to another planet.
1. What is your spaceship of choice?

A. Boston's guitar spaceship that apparently has the power to fire a blue blaze of rock?

B. Electric Light Orchestra's Simon spaceship from Out of the Blue.

C. ZZ Top's part classic Chevy part Space shuttle from Afterburner.

D. Parliament's mothership from the Mothership Connection. Durability might be an issue.

Now that you have your spaceship you need a someone to fly the darn thing.

2. Who is your pilot?

A. Marc Bolan from T. Rex's The Slider.

B. David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane album. Previous space missions could be a red flag.

C. Elton John's Captain Fantastic.

D. Steve Miller's the Joker.

3. Who is your crew?

A. The group of misfits from The Doors' Strange Days album.

B. The Bee Gees from their Children of the World album.

C. Manowar.

D. Barry and Glodean

Space travel isn't the safest so you are also going to need weapons.
4. What is your killing device?

A. Foo Fighter's retro laser gun.

B. Molly's Hatchet

C. GZA's aka The Genius' Liquid Swords.

D. The big ass gun from RZA's Bobby Digital in Stereo album.

Having a pet could also help ease the pains of space travel.
5. What will you bring along as a pet?

A. The three legged dog from Alice in Chains self-titled album.

B. The metal falcon? from Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance album.

C. The goats from Pet Sounds.

D. This ape thing from Fleetwood Mac's Mystery to Me album.

6. What planet are you going to?

A. The land on the album cover of Yes' Relayer.

B. Asia's Alpha album cover.

C. Styx' Land of Illusion

D. Public Enemy's Black Planet.

You have reached the end of this questionnaire. Please put down your pencils and close the book.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Ramblings (Partial Days of the Week Edition)

Sunday Robert and I played a little Guitar Hero. After playing the rhythm guitar part of Free Bird on the hard difficulty session I wonder if I'm strengthening my wrists and fingers or am I destroying them. In five years am I going to have to replace my hands with prosthetics?

Saturday I went to see Anne's new place in Silverlake. It's a great little place. It also was so nice driving only a half hour to see my sister.

Also, while eating at Mallie's (?) with Anne and Ben we saw Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords fame. Unfortunately, Ben and Anne have not had the pleasure of seeing the show. Luckily, the lady sitting next to us had, and was extremely enthusiastic about seeing him. So it seems the ladies love Bret, and the guys like Jermaine.

Thursday was my last physical therapy session. Sigh. I've been trying to work a monthly massage now into my budget. But I still don't think it'd be the same without the therapist. Apparently, if I hurt something else I can go back. Hmm.

Monday some coworkers and I went to go see the Simpson's movie after work. Rather than give some long review about the movie, let me talk about something else: the overlaugher. Sitting right behind me was the overlaugher. I despise the overlaugher. In fact the overlaugher is in the upper echelon of people I despise. Are they scared to appear as if they don't get every joke? Do they want to make sure that everyone knows what the funny parts are? Why do they have to be the loudest person in the theater? I will hate a movie just out of spite because of the overlaugher. I hate you overlaugher. I hate you.

This Saturday marks the beginning of my second season as a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. I actually think Spurs have a chance to break into the top four this season. High hopes.

I wish I was as creative in real as I am in my dreams. Also, is everyone's dreams as excellently edited and have as great frame composition as mine? Technically, my dreams are top notch.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Movies That Suck Sunday II

Conquest (There is a trailer but it is unfortunately NSFW)Quote of the Night: "Speeeeeeeeeeeeed!"

There was also much rocking.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ramblings (Just Post Something Please! Edition)

I've been daydream shopping again. The daydream part involves me having any musical talent at all. The shopping though has been rather realistic. I've found myself wanting a miniKORG. See, that's reasonable. It's fairly cheap and small enough to fit into my apartment. I'd also need a drum machine but I need to research that a little more. Part of me thinks that I might be able to somehow piece together a simple synth-dance-pop track after maybe five years. Why am I the only one in the family that didn't get the musical gene?

The Cubs are en fuego. Unfortunately, so are the Brewers.

This Sunday there will be another Bad Movie Night. I think there needs to be a more clever official name to this event other than Bad Movie Night.

I only have three more visits to the physical therapists office. I'm really down about this. I can't wait till I'm wealthy enough to hire a full time masseuse. My back aches just thinking about the lack of massages.

Is it only a month till Anne Marie moves out here?

For the first time in almost four years I wrote actual pages for a script.

I've found this lack of psoriasis is affecting my spending. Not having to wear a hat everyday has to not only needing to get my hair cut, rather than cut it myself, but products like face lotion with sunscreen. Things that were unneccessary before. I also have gotten over the phantom hat pains. For the first month or so I would constantly reach to remove or adjust a hat that wasn't there.

I'd like to recommend a free computer program called Simplify Media. You know how you can listen to other peoples iTunes that are on the same network that you are like school or work. Well simplify media allows you to do this and not have to be on the same network. So I can listen to Mandy's iTunes, or I can listen to the music I have on my home computer while at work. The only problem right now is that you can't listen to protected files like the ones you buy from iTunes. They apparently are efforting a way around that. Did I mention it's free?

Finally, I am Flunky the Clown.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Simpson Me...kind of

Monday, July 09, 2007

So Perhaps It's Not That Bad

Much like the Kubler-Ross model on grieving, I'd like to offer the Iten model for physical therapy. To help with remembering them they all begin with the letter "A."

Awkwardness: I've already covered this first stage here.

Acceptance: This is clearly when you come to terms with the fact that a stranger is touching you and that they sometimes have to touch you in inappropriate areas (i.e. buttocks). You also come to accept that these strangers will have to observe you while putting you through exercises and sometimes these exercises will put you in uncomfortable situations. The key to reaching the acceptance step is that you actually start feeling better. The joints don't hurt as much. You start being able to move around a little easier.

Addiction: I've found myself reaching this step last week. The highlights of my week now are that hour and a half every Tuesday and Thursday. That's right I look forward to having someone touch me. I think it's more than me being completely infatuated with my physical therapist. It's also more than not having my back lock up after I brush my teeth or wash my face. I think it is also the fact that I believe it is enhancing my socializing skills. Try carrying on a conversation with someone while your butt is flapping in the breeze let alone a stranger massaging it. It's like training camp when they fire blanks over the recruits while they scurry under the barb wire. If I can carry on a thirty minute conversation under those circumstances, I can do it anywhere. The point is that for all the reasons stated above I'm dreading the point where the doctor says I'm finished with physical therapy.

Sunday, July 08, 2007