All posts by Jon

More Cowbell Madness with FineTune

While googling for internet radio information to help Tankboy legally get his DJ sets online, I came across FineTune and got a bit hooked.

FineTune is another free internet radio station creation site, where people can compile playlists from FineTune’s library of tracks. Once the lists are over 45 songs long, anyone can tune in and listen to them. Because there is something wrong with me, I set up yet another cowbell station and ended up adding 70 cowbell-rich tracks before giving up. For those counting along at home, I have now created six cowbell CDs, one lala Cowbell station, and one FineTune Cowbell station.

I have to say that I was so impressed with FineTune’s wide selection of tracks that I threw together a musical oddities station that should keep you amused once your cowbell fever subsides.

And FineTune even let me embed the stations right into this post for your personal listening enjoyment.

If you tune in and have any comments or suggestions, I’m all ears.

Enjoy!

The YouTube Museum of Television (Appendix A)

Keidra created the original museum. I have merely named myself curator of the local branch (which is still looking for a clip of Robalod from mars who eats all kinds of candy bars). Dig in and remember how you used to be impressed with a lot less.

CBS Special Logo


Years ago I saw an imitation of this on a Homestartunner cartoon and I always wanted to find the original. I googled and googled, and it was a bit of a bitch to find, but totally worth it. Best. Bongos. Ever.

Zoom Intro


You know you wanted a Zoom shirt. Yes you did, Nerdo. Yes, you did. And you totally forgot about Bernadette’s arm trick, didn’t you.

Electric Company


If You watched ZOom, You watched the Electric Company.

The Crying Indian


He gives water to the garbage (Yes, that was a Dune reference. Now, I am the Nerdo.)

1977 – Be A Pepper


30 years later, and I want to punch the American werewolf in the face for that vest.

Star Wars Drunk Driving PSA


What more can be said (except Go for Papa Palpatine)?

PSA Better Business Bureau Abominable Snowman


You have absolutely no idea how difficult this was to find. I wanted to find the “Balancing my meal” or the “Now you left the window open and you’re wasting heat” vids, but I failed miserably. At least I’m the boss of my own money.

Motherfucking StarBlazers, Bitch


You can’t stop playing this theme. Go ahead and Try. You just can’t.

Top 1010 Clues that You’re at a Really Good Nerd Party

1010. There are pony tails, but not enough Choppers to justify them.

1001. There’s a lot of expensive equipment, a fire pit, a lot of drunk people, and nothing gets broken.

1000. There are more technical people present than work at a CompUSA, and all of them would agree that calling CompUSA workers technical people is arguable at best.

0111. There is a ten foot by ten foot professional outdoor movie screen, which is attached to a Playstation2 that is surrounded by a driving wheel and “Guitar Nerd“.

0110. The opening movie is still in theaters.

0101. A planned Double feature turns into a quadra feature, with The Big Lebowski and Aqua Teen Hunger Force featured and quoted relentlessly.

0100. “What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?” doesn’t go over many heads.

0011. Someone asks how you “boot up” the hot tub.

0010. On at least 2 occasions “KHAAAANNNN!!! is heard screamed for no reason.

and the number 1 clue that you’re at a really good nerd party:

0001. Someone drives home at 1 AM specifically to bring back a copy of the Star Trek 2: the Wrath of Khan. And gets cheered for it.

Business Phone Etiquette

Upon getting a phone call from a coworker in another department…

Me: What’s up, dude?
Him: Um, I don’t think that’s the proper way to answer a business phone.
Me: You’re right. Let me try again… [click]

[Phone rings again]

Me: What’s up, dudeness?
Him: That’s more like it.

Adama: Wishes from Beyond the Grave

Because I sent one of my co-workers a message from Kitt for his birthday, I was obliged to send Sneezy Pete something for his. I sent this:

Best Wishes From Commander Adama

I thought it was funny, but for four hours, I didn’t hear anything about it. The lack of response made me think that the thing was probably just not funny and that I was probably a big, fucking moron.

I finally had to walk over and ask about it. This is what I learned: Sending weird pictures to co-workers on their birthdays is appreciated. Saying “It would look really good in that frame you got your son in right there” is not. Follwing up with “What? It’s not like you don’t see the kid every day” will not win any bonus points.

(One thing that I put into the picture that no one seemed to notice was the slight glow around Commander Adama’s head because, well, he’s dead, Jim.)

The MegaList of Actors Who Tried to Sing

Yesterday’s post spawned a discussion about actors who tried to make of a go of it in the music business. It was noted that Chuck Norris actually sang the theme to Walker, Texas Ranger, and I know I used to have the Paradise Alley Soundtrack, which featured an impossibly awful Sly Stallone on vocals, but I have to say that I drew a major blank on the topic and didn’t make much of a contribution.

When I got home, I started compiling a small list to post, and whole bunch googling later it’s three fucking AM. The list has grown from Gadzuki to Godzilla, and I’m dangerously close to comatose. As you peruse, if you find that you can’t remember where an actor might be from, mouse over their album to get a tool tip containing at least one show that they were in. If you find that you need even more info, most of the albums link to Amazon.

If you see me being walked out of the building tomorrow for sleeping at my desk, at least you’ll have this MegaList to remember me by. And to the poor bastard who might have to take over my job: again, I say, sorry I’m such a spaz.

Enjoy.

(If you think of any more than this, add them into the comments.)

Christina Aguilera - The Mickey Mouse Club
Christina Aguilera

Danny Aiello - Hudson Hawk
Danny Aiello

Dan Aykroyd - Dragnet
Dan Aykroyd

Tatyana Ali - The Cosby Show
Tatyana Ali

Kevin Bacon - Footloose
Kevin Bacon

Scott Baio
Scott Baio

Eric Balfour - 24
Eric Balfour

Drake Bell - Drake & Josh
Drake Bell

John Belushi - Blues Brothers
John Belushi

Crystal Bernard - Wings
Crystal Bernard

Danny Bonaduce - The Partridge Family
Danny Bonaduce

Wayne Brady - Whose Line Is It, Anyway?
Wayne Brady

Jeff Bridges - The Big Lebowski
Jeff Bridges

Orlando Brown - That's So Raven
Orlando Brown

Chris Burke - Life Goes On
Chris Burke

Tisha Campbell - School Daze
Tisha Campbell

Tia Carrere - General Hospital
Tia Carrere

Lynda Carter - Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter

David Cassidy
David Cassidy

Shaun Cassidy - The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
Shaun Cassidy

David Charvet - Melrose Place
David Charvet

Dominic Chianese - The Sopranos
Dominic Chianese

Robert Clary - Hogan's Heroes (LeBeau)
Robert Clary

Toni Collette - The Sixth Sense
Toni Collette

Stephen Collins - 7th Heaven
Stephen Collins

Danny Cooksey - Salute Your Shorts
Danny Cooksey

John Corbett - Northern Exposure
John Corbett

Miranda Cosgrove - iCarly
Miranda Cosgrove

Kevin Costner - Dances with Wolves
Kevin Costner

Russel Crowe - Romper Stomper
Russel Crowe

Miley Cyrus - Big Fish
Miley Cyrus

Jeff Daniels - Dumb & Dumber
Jeff Daniels

Tony Danza - Who's the Boss?
Tony Danza

Julie Delpy - Waking Life
Julie Delpy

Zooey Deschanel - Elf
Zooey Deschanel

Robert Downey Jr. - Weird Science
Robert Downey Jr.

Minnie Driver - Good Will hunting
Minnie Driver

Hilary Duff - Lizzie McGuire
Hilary Duff

Patty Duke - The Patty Duke Show
Patty Duke

Clint Eastwood - Million Dollar Baby
Clint Eastwood

Buddy Ebsen - The Beverly Hillbillies
Buddy Ebsen

Barbara Eden - I Dream of Jeannie
Barbara Eden

Shelley Fabares - The Donna Reed Show
Shelley Fabares

David Faustino - Married With Children
David Faustino

Corey Feldman - Stand By Me
Corey Feldman

Samantha Fox - porn star
Samantha Fox

Jamie Foxx - In Living Color
Jamie Foxx

Annette Funicello - The Mickey Mouse Club
Annette Funicello

Edward Furlong - Terminator 2
Edward Furlong

Peter Gallagher - The O.C.
Peter Gallagher

Leif Garrett - Walking Tall
Leif Garrett

Crispin Glover - Back to the Future
Crispin Glover

Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling

Brian Austin Green - Beverly Hills 90210
Brian Austin Green

Lorne Greene - Battlestar Gallactica
Lorne Greene

Joel Grey - Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (Chiun)
Joel Grey

Andy Griffith  - Matlock
Andy Griffith

Jasmine Guy - A Different World
Jasmine Guy

Richard Harris - Camelot
Richard Harris

David Hasselhoff - Baywatch
David Hasselhoff

Jill Hennessy - Law & Order
Jill Hennessy

Larry Hovis - Hogan's Heroes
Larry Hovis

Terrence Howard - Iron Man
Terrence Howard

Natalie Imbruglia - Neighbours
Natalie Imbruglia

Janet Jackson - Good Times
Janet Jackson

Don Johnson - Miami Vice
Don Johnson

Amy Jo Johnson - The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (pink ranger)
Amy Jo Johnson

Shirley Jones - The Partridge Family
Shirley Jones

Milla Jovovich - The Fifth Element
Milla Jovovich

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Ted Knight

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Vicki Lawrence

Jennifer Love Hewitt - Party of Five
Jennifer Love Hewitt

Scarlett Johansson - Lost In Translation
Scarlett Johansson

Christian Kane - Leverage
Christian Kane

Nicole Kidman - The Others
Nicole Kidman

Eartha Kitt - Batman
Eartha Kitt

Jane Krakowski - 30 Rock
Jane Krakowski

Joey Lawrence - Gimme a Break!
Joey Lawrence

Christopher Lee - Lord Of The Rings
Christopher Lee

Jared Leto - Fight Club
Jared Leto

Jenny Lewis - The Wizard
Jenny Lewis

Juliette Lewis - Natural Born Killers
Juliette Lewis

Lyndsay Lohan - Mean Girls
Lyndsay Lohan

Jennifer Lopez - Lambada
Jennifer Lopez

Traci Lords - porn star
Traci Lords

Tina Louise - Gilligan's Island
Tina Louise

Jayne Mansfield - Too Hot to Handle
Jayne Mansfield

James Marsters - Buffy The Vampire Slayer
James Marsters

Martika - Kid's Incorporated
Martika

Maureen McCormick - The Brady Bunch
Maureen McCormick

Kristy McNichol - The Love Boat II
Kristy McNichol

Eddie Mekka - Laverne and Shirley
Eddie Mekka

Alyssa Milano - Who's the Boss?
Alyssa Milano

Kylie Minogue - Neighbours
Kylie Minogue

Robert Mitchum - Night of the Hunter
Robert Mitchum

Marilyn Monroe - Some like it Hot
Marilyn Monroe

Dudley Moore - Arthur
Dudley Moore

Alanis Morissette - You Can't Do That On Television
Alanis Morissette

Donnie Most - Happy Days
Donny Most

Megan Mullally - Will and Grace
Megan Mullally

Billy Mummy - Lost in Space (Will Robinson)
Billy Mummy

Eddie Murphy - 48 Hours
Eddie Murphy

Jim Nabors - Gomer Pyle
Jim Nabors

Nichelle Nichols - Star Trek
Nichelle Nichols

Brigitte Nielsen - Red Sonja
Brigitte Nielsen

Leonard Nimoy - Star Trek
Leonard Nimoy

The Olsen Twins - Full House
The Olsen Twins

Jack Palance - City Slickers
Jack Palance

Gwyneth Paltrow - Sliding Doors
Gwyneth Paltrow

Mandy Patinkin - The Princess Bride
Mandy Patinkin

Tony Perkins - Psycho
Tony Perkins

Joe Pesci - Goodfellas
Joe Pesci

Tony Randall - The Odd Couple
Tony Randall

Jackson Rathbone - Twilight
Jackson Rathbone

Raven - The Cosby Show (Olivia)
Raven

Keanu Reeves - The Matrix
Keanu Reeves

Burt Reynolds - Stroker Ace
Burt Reynolds

Esther Rolle - Good Times
Esther Rolle

Jared Rushton - Big
Jared Rushton

Tim Russ - Star Trek Voyager
Tim Russ

Telly Savalas - Kojak
Telly Savalas

John Schneider - Dukes of Hazzard
John Schneider

Katey Sagal - Married With Children
Katey Sagal

Steven Seagal - Marked For Death
Steven Seagal

William Shatner - Star Trek
William Shatner

Cybill Shepherd - Moonlighting
Cybill Shepherd

Jason Schwartzman - Rushmore
Jason Schwartzman

Jamie-Lynn Sigler - The Sopranos
Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Jada Pinkett Smith - A Different World
Jada Pinkett Smith

David Soul - Starsky & Hutch
David Soul

Brittney Spears - The Mickey Mouse Club
Brittney Spears

Brent Spiner - Star Trek
Brent Spiner

Rick Springfield - Battlestar Galactica
Rick Springfield

Frank Stallone - Hudson Hawk
Frank Stallone

Cree Summer - A Different World
Cree Summer

Patrick Swayze - Roadhouse
Patrick Swayze

Mr. T. - The A Team
Mr. T.

John Tesh - Santa Barbara
John Tesh

Philip Michael Thomas - Miami Vice
Philip Michael Thomas

Billy Bob Thornton - Slingblade
Billy Bob Thornton

Justin Timberlake - The Mickey Mouse Club
Justin Timberlake

John Travolta - Welcome Back Kotter
John Travolta

Jack Wagner - General Hospital
Jack Wagner

Jack Webb - Dragnet
Jack Webb

Lisa Whelchel - Facts of Life
Lisa Whelchel

Johnny Whitaker - Sigmund and the Sea Monsters
Johnny Whitaker

Bruce Willis - Die Hard
Bruce Willis

Anson Williams - Happy Days
Anson Williams

Barry Williams - The Brady Bunch
Barry Williams

Tom Wopat - Dukes of Hazzard (Luke)
Tom Wopat

Kari Wuhrer - Sliders
Kari Wuhrer

Kathleen York - The West Wing
Kathleen York

Tina Yothers - Family Ties
Tina Yothers

Musical Omnivore vs. Junk Bonds of Cool

A small sample of the shit I’ve been eating for admitting to buying a Kelly Clarkson CD:

“first, even jenny says you’re a girl for the kelly clarkson.”

“I don’t know man. I always looked at you like the guy in High Fidelity, tons of music knowledge with an uncanny ability to find music with cowbells. Now that is all tainted with the thought of you cruising in the EVO with Kelly Clarkson all cranked up to 11 dancing and tapping the steering wheel.”

“I was looking at your music reviews and said, ‘don’t know it… Don’t know it… KELLY CLARKSON?!?! I had to come right over. I don’t think I can look at you the same.'”

“You don’t like Kelly Clarkson. You like ‘KILL YOUR MAMA! KILL YOUR MAMA!'”

Of course, they were all kidding…

There’s no way that I’ll sit here and defend Kelly Clarkson as the pinnacle of musical perfection, and I expected a certain level of grief for admitting to making the purchase. I suppose that I should be grateful that these people once had a vision of me being cooler than I actually am, but I’m not going to lie just maintain that image. That’s not why you’re here. You’re not here to see me cool. You’re here because you know that “the only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.”*

Me and you are tight. We’re like this. And I can’t lie to you, now can I? Not a chance.

When it comes to music, though, the world is full of liars. You know all those people with the bad haircuts who only listen to the most ultra-exclusive, undiscovered bands out, and once the bands get more than 90 fans, they drop them cold? Yes, you do. They wear those little tiny glasses, carry messenger bags, and are always talking about how they liked the band’s early stuff before they got so commercial. If engaged in a conversation for more than five minutes without getting punched in the face, they’ll inevitably tell you what you should be listening to.

They may claim to be heavier than thou, or more obscure than thou, or more underground than thou, but you can always count on them claiming (even if silently) to be cooler than thou. For them, music isn’t about notes and chords. It’s not about kicking back and letting your brain blindly decide what moves it.

It’s a disaffected outlook, a bad haircut, wearing all the right clothes, dropping all the right band names, and living in hip, shitty little apartments in the city. It’s acting like they don’t give a shit what people think about their musical taste, when they actually care the most about what people think.

To them, music is a race to get there first, and a junk bond in which to store their credibility.

It’s a sad fact that most of the cool people I’ve met in my life have turned out to be pretty uncool. Or fake. Or assholes. Or all three. And most of the time, the cool is just a perfume to mask the stink of whatever is rotting inside them. But the deeper you have to dig through all the layers of cool, the more likely you are to find people that grew up in some hick town on the same uncool shit that we all grew up on. They my be listening to Boris now, but when no one’s looking they’re listening to stuff that is completely uncool. And if they’re not, they’re completely wasting their time:

Because when you’re alone, there shouldn’t be anyone left to impress. Music isn’t about cool. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about feeding your brain what it needs to get by.

So, I can’t understand the Musical Vegans, who consume a very limited subset of music while rejecting all others. For me to get what I need, I need to be a musically omnivorous. There is just too much music in the world to worry about what’s cool or to pigeonhole myself into some narrow slice of the musical spectrum.

In my collection, Richard Buckner sits with Bullet LaVolta, Burn the Priest and Junior Brown. Clutch is next to Clarkson, HateBreed next to Ben Harper, and Only Living Witness next to the Old 97’s. Pig Destroyer touches the Pixies, Shadows Fall touches the Shins, and Killswitch Engage touches Kraftwerk. Even Lords of Acid is allowed to get its unique brand of nasty all over Lamb of God.

So remember, I’ve never claimed to be cool. It rewards me far less than being musically omnivorous.

*Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

100+ Cowbell Tracks: Game Over

Holy Fuck, can we all agree that I need to put this whole cowbell obsession to rest, once and for all? Below I’ve listed the 6 CD’s that I put together for my sister for Xmas. It was a 2 month job, and I spent as much time on the flow of the tracks on the discs as I did hunting through my CDs to find them. I can’t say I did a great job, but 108 tracks of cowbell without relying on any typical classic rock tracks disqualifies any arguments against quality.

I named the collection Cowbell++ as a nod to the nerds* and made her color coded CD covers to make them look a little cooler. And even if you think the whole thing is retarded, who can argue with a title like “Cowbell++ Volume 2: The Wrath of Khow”?**

The first 2 CD’s make no distinction between analog and digital cowbell, but the last 4 are solely analog. No matter if you are a cowbell purist (ANALOG OR DEATH! DINK DINK!) or loose hiphop cowbell aficionado (Whatcha gonna do with all that bell, all that bell up in them jeans?), there should be at least a disc that you can appreciate.

I can easily say that this is the most time I spent on an present. The first 2 are for dancin’ when no one is lookin’, the second two are for drivin’ when no one is clockin’, and the final two are for seducin’ rich old timers when the nurse ain’t around. I’m proudest of the tracks on the first two, the covers on the second two, and the fact that I pulled the fifth and sixth out of my ass in a mere two days right before Xmas. And if you can believe it, there were actually a few tracks that didn’t make the final cut. With this post, I am officially putting the cowbell talk to rest. Happy Xma-birthday, Sis. Game Over.

*Putting ++ after a variable in some programming languages is a way to increment the variable. For example, if $x=665, then $x++ will increment $x to 666.
**The subtitle of Star Trek II was “The Wrath of Khan.”

Cowbell++ Vol. 1: WTF (What the Funk)?

Cowbell++ Vol. 1: WTF (What the Funk)?

  1. Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back
  2. Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ (Feat. UGK)
  3. Z Trip – All About the Music (feat. Whipper Whip)
  4. Sugar Hill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
  5. Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies
  6. Marvin Gaye – Got to Give it Up
  7. Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing
  8. KC And The Sunshine Band – Sound Your Funky Horn
  9. The Chemical Brothers – Orange Wedge
  10. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
  11. Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster
  12. Con Funk Shun – Too Tight
  13. Gap Band – Steppin’ (Out)
  14. Lipps Inc – Funkytown
  15. KC And The Sunshine Band – Get Down Tonight
  16. Dj Shadow – The Number Song (Cut Chemist Party Mix)
  17. KC And The Sunshine Band – (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty
  18. Nelly – Hot In Herre
  19. Lyrics Born – Do That There (feat. Cut Chemist)
  20. Stevie Wonder – Pastime Paradise

Cowbell++ Vol. 2: The Wrath of Khow

Cowbell++ Vol. 2: The Wrath of Khow

  1. Gap Band – Party Train
  2. Chemical Brothers – Come Inside
  3. The Chemical Brothers – In Dust We Trust/Song to the Siren
  4. Missy Elliott – Work It
  5. Shannon – Let The Music Play
  6. Beastie Boys – Alright Hear This
  7. Nelly – Na Nana Na (ft Jazze Pha & Jasper Cameron)
  8. Newcleus – Jam On It
  9. Nelly – Flap Your Wings
  10. The Chemical Brothers – Chemical Beats
  11. Chemical Brothers – Hold Tight London
  12. Missy Elliott – Go To The Floor
  13. N.W.A – Gangsta Gangsta
  14. Chemical Brothers – Close Your Eyes
  15. Barry White – Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe

Cowbell++ Vol. 3: Rockin’ Without Dokken

Cowbell++ Vol. 3: Rockin' Without Dokken

  1. Fu Manchu – Ampn’
  2. The Donnas – All Messed Up
  3. Fu Manchu – Mongoose
  4. Guns N’ Roses – Nightrain
  5. Skid Row – Monkey Business
  6. Cinderella- Shake Me
  7. The Dirtbombs – Maybe Your Baby
  8. The Donnas – You Wanna Get Me High
  9. The Dirtbombs – Little Miss Chocolate Syrup
  10. Southern Culture on the Skids – Voodoo Cadillac
  11. The Donnas – On the Rocks
  12. Guns N’ Roses – Mr. Brownstone
  13. Fu Manchu – Separate Kingdom
  14. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle

Cowbell++ Vol. 4: Rock… ’til you Drop

Cowbell++ Vol. 4: Rock... 'til you Drop

  1. Fu Manchu – Blue Tile Fever
  2. Fu Manchu – Urethane
  3. Guns N’ Roses – It’s So Easy
  4. Dirtbombs – Livin’ For The City
  5. Fu Manchu – Time To Fly
  6. Fu Manchu – Trapeze Freak
  7. Son Volt – Drown
  8. Southern Culture on the Skids – Fried Chicken and Gasoline
  9. Dirtbombs – Do You See My Love (For You Growing)
  10. Fu Manchu – Mega-Bumpers
  11. Guns N’ Roses – Think About You
  12. Beatles – Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
  13. Fu Manchu – Wurkin’
  14. Fu Manchu – Freedom of Choice
  15. Guns N’ Roses – My Michelle
  16. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name

Cowbell++ Vol. 5: Lounging Around

Cowbell++ Vol. 5: Lounging Around

  1. Perez Prado – If you knew Susie (Like I know Susie)
  2. Esquivel – Cherokee
  3. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – New Cha-Cha
  4. Tito Rodriguez – The Magnificent Seven
  5. Stan La Baum and His Orchestra – A La Salud
  6. Yma Sumac – Gopher Mambo
  7. Esquivel – All of Me
  8. Jackie Davis – Glow Worm Cha-Cha-Cha
  9. Martin Denny – Hawaii Tattoo
  10. Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nove All Stars – Recado Bossa Nova
  11. John Buzon Trio – It Must Be True
  12. Jack Costanzo and Don Swan – Bei Mir Bist Du Schon / La Furiosa
  13. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – Mambo Herd
  14. Esquivel – Speak Low
  15. Paris Combo – Moi, mon a me et ma conscience
  16. Rinky Dinks – Choo Choo Cha Cha
  17. Dean Martin – Cha Cha Cha D’ Amour
  18. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – Tito Meets Woody
  19. Yma Sumac – Taki Rari
  20. Perez Prado – Ola Conga
  21. Sounds Orchestra – Mas Que Nada
  22. Los Albinos – The Swinging Conga
  23. Mallet Men – 80 Drums Around The World / Dark Eyes / It Happened In Monterey

Cowbell++ Vol. 6: easy Does It

Cowbell++ Vol. 6: Easy Does It

  1. Esquivel – Carioca
  2. Tito Puente and Woody Herman – Cha Cha Chick
  3. Unknown – Rock Cha Rhumba
  4. Lex Baxter – Voodoo Dreams-Voodoo
  5. Martin Denny – Stone God
  6. The Peter Loland Orchestra – La Cucarachacha
  7. Walter Wanderly,Astrud Gilberto – O Menino Decse O Morro
  8. Dick Hyman – The Minotaur
  9. Esquivel – You Belong to My Heart
  10. Perez Prado – Zelda’s Theme
  11. Esquivel – Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  12. Esquivel – My Blue Heaven
  13. The Eliminators – Staccato
  14. George Auld – You’re My Thrill
  15. Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nova All Stars – Desafinado
  16. Perez Prado and His Orchestra – Moniter Mambo
  17. Georges Garvarentz – Haschisch Party
  18. Henry Mancini – Springtime for Hitler
  19. Walter Wanderly – A Nega Se Vingou
  20. Ruben Calzado and His Orchestra – Chiquito

Binary High Five

After completing the script below, I was pretty proud of myself. For non-Perl folks, the script involves attaching to a SQL database and doing IP to decimal to binary conversions. Not only did I have to pick apart the back end of McAfee’s EPO server to figure out the required SQL, but I had to figure out how to do binary to IP conversions and refresh myself on multidimensional hashes. Once it was complete, I felt like a kid who had made the greatest looking doody that he had ever seen. And like that kid, I found that there really wasn’t anyone around who would appreciate it.

Because of this strange need for validation, I even tried to explain it to #1GF! once I got home. She sort of glazed over and mumbled “Wow” and then something about how the things that I get excited about indicated a major point of contention between the two of us. I knew that I could count on the same reaction from most of my co-workers, so the next day, I took it to the guy who was explaining binary to IP conversions a few weeks before. He seemed pretty impressed, and didn’t have to do that fake “greeeaat” because he genuinely understood what I was talking about.

As 1 impressed geek is not enough, I had to call an engineer friend of mine. Once I finished my story with “…and once I figured out that the negative numbers required bit flipping the binary numbers before I broke them into octets, I was all set…”

The engineer on the other end of the phone said, “Nice. You get a binary high five.”

He then explained that a binary high five is when you hold up one finger, then none, then 1 finger. Once I realized that 101 is the binary representation for 5, I laughed solidly for a couple of minutes.

So, at least 10 people were impressed. It’s great being completely outgeeked.

For folks who want to do IP container checks in McAfee’s EPO server, enjoy the script below. For those of you that need to do binary< ->Decimal< ->IP conversions, recycle the parts you need.

EPO IP Check Script

Update: This post spawned discussion as to whether a proper binary high five should be executed serially as described above, or in parallel by holding up the index and ring fingers at the same time. The latter, although cooler looking, seems like something that would get a geek shot by mistake.

MaBeGroMo

So, I’m reading a post over at GeeseAplenty about how Greg is a little sick of the whole NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) obsession that has reared it’s head once again this year. While I find myself indifferently shrugging over whether someone should should take a stab at writing a book in a month or obsessing about it on their personal virtual homestead, I did agree with him whole-heartedly on one point:

NaNoWriMo sounds like a big, fat pain in the ass.

This of course got me thinking. What about people like me to whom procrastination is more of a lifestyle than a character flaw? How the hell could I write a book in a month? My gaming would suffer, my blogging would suffer, my PVR would fill up, and Netflix would raise prices to cover the money they spent on tech support specialists to figure out why my queue had suddenly and completely stalled. And what would I end up with after paying the hefty 5000 word per day entrance fee? The rewards just don’t seem like they’d exactly outweigh the effort.

This is not to say that I don’t yearn to belong to a stupidly named club for jerks, too. Not writing a book shouldn’t stop me. That’s just discrimination. And when you discriminate, you make an ass out of you and me. Or something like that.

So, for the less industrious among us who don’t feel that it’s too much to want results that at least match the effort that went in, I’m shunning NaNoWriMo and starting my own month. My month will allow people to be part of something, give them a visible reward, and won’t require anything near 5000 words per day to complete.

So, to everyone reading, I’m officially declaring December to be MaBeGroMo (Macho Beard Growing Month).

The rules are simple (even for us).

MaBeGroMo Rules

Rule 1: At some point between now and December 1, you take a “before” picture of yourself and put your razor away.
Rule 2: At some point after December 31, you take an “after” picture of yourself, and decide whether to reunite with your razor or renew your short-term contract with your newly found friend. You may then claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Member”
Rule 3: If you make it to February 14, you have beaten the extended challenge and can rightfully claim the title of “MaBeGroMo Champion.”
Rule 4: If you make it past February 14, step out of the Home Depot, put down the deer carcass, and shower well before signing up for several internet “dating” services. This is just a suggestion.

You’re thinking about it. I can see it. I’ve taken the liberty of answering some of your presented concerns to give you the encouragement to get started in The Beard FAQ. Good luck.

Make That 101 Points

When I arrived at work this morning, I got a Vulcan salute and this:

“You know, technically, Kirk would never have touched a communicator on his chest. Those are from the later generations. He would say, [flips Nextel open like a communicator] ‘Kirk to Enterprise’…hey, you’re not writing this down, are you?”

Yes. Yes, I was. People need to know about this.

Why I Liked Today In 100 Easy points

0. We Encourage Productive Discussion
Agreed Upon at lunch: “Death metal is categorized by vocal style rather than subject matter, making Shadows Fall death metal but Slayer plain metal. It is undetermined whether Black Sabbath is or is not be metal, but it is agreed that they shall be honorarily grandfathered in to the category. Anthrax is metal, and Metallica used to be, but is not anymore. It is agreed that Van Halen is definitely not Heavy metal: They are hard rock at best, and maybe just plain rock.”

1. We Have Productive Meetings
Said to me: “[Employee #3225582] swears he’s going to get you into our weekly battlefield 1942 game one of these days…”

10. We Share Available Resources
“What are you doing down here?”
“We’re here to play in the test forest.”
“I see. Be you in need of a cloak?”
“Of invisibility? Yes. Have you any swords that are +2 against ogres?”
“Nay”
“[Group] Awww.”

11. We Share a Common Customs
If given a bluetooth headset (example), co-workers will agree that talking on the phone without wires is theoretically cool. Unfortunately, half will, without thinking put their hands to their ears like Uhura and say, “Sir, the Romulans are attacking,” during their first use. Only 50% will come up with the correct response of immediately putting the device on their chest, tapping it, and saying “Kirk to Enterprise. 2 to beam up.”

100. We Are Courteous to Others
If I happen to abandon my usual “So long, Suckers!” by silently walking out the door giving a Vulcan salute, it is met with returned salutes and “Live long and prosper,” rather than confused looks and “Nanoo Nanoo, Mork.”

(Note: I know that you think that I should’ve written 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 in binary as 1,10,11,100, 101, but any good Perl dork will tell you that the 1st element in a list is, by default, element 0. No, I’m not kidding.)

ROCKET CAR!

After a long Friday at work, I usually unwind by visiting the music or computer sections at the local BestBuy, Compusa, or CircuitCity (It’s not a pretty fact, but it’s a fact). This past Friday was really no different, except that I had just gotten my EVO back after 2 weeks in the repair shop. I really didn’t appreciate the pure grandpa floatirion suckitude of the rental Camry (alignment problem included) until I re-acquainted myself with the EVO’s bone-jarring goodness on its maiden voyage to the local CompUSA.

While traversing the 10 mile hike from my ding resistant spot in the far reaches of the parking lot, I simultaneously reviewed the drive down and pondered the gigs and gigs of storage lining the shelves of the store. Just then, as if to drag me back to an unhappy reality, some guy walked up next to me and just started talking.

DumbAss: WR6.
Me: [ignoring the ramblings]
DA: WR6.
Me: What?
DA: WR6. WR6.
Me: WR6?
DA: Yea. WR6. It’s a WR6, right?
Me: Me? My car? It’s a Lancer Evolution.
DA: A Lancer Evolution WR6
Me: No. You mean a WRX.
DA: Oh, right, a Lancer Evolution WRX
Me: The WRX is a Subaru. Mine is A Lancer Evolution.
DA: Right a Subaru WRX.
Me: No. The Subaru looks kinda like it, but it’s not a Subaru. It’s a Lancer Evolution.
DA: ROCKET CAR!! [walks off]

I have stood for hours listening to insane people that I don’t know rattle off their life stories to me often enough that I usually deal with it without getting the slightest bit annoyed. The 30 seconds that made up this whole exchange left me so annoyed that I was on the edge of actually telling him to “just shut the fuck up and get away from me.”

Then, I visualized a key dragging across my new paint, and held my tongue to cut the stress level while I stared longingly at shelves and shelves of hard drives and other components.

Do you know why I don’t randomly walk up to strangers with baseball hats on and start shooting the shit about how the “Chicago Red Sox” or the “Cleaveland Cubs” are doing in the race for the cup? 2 reasons: I don’t bother people with questions if I don’t give a shit about the answer, and more importantly, I’d sound like a big, goddamned dumbass.

ROCKET CAR!

Dorf on Fashion*

Co-Worker: [Looking at my shirt] What, did you just buy all the primary colors? Or did you branch into the secondaries, too?
Me: Only the primaries, I think.
Co-Worker: They do make shirts in patterns other than solid, you know.
Me: Not for me they don’t. Solid pants, solid shirts, monkey to monkey, giraffe to giraffe, less thinking, less mistakes.
Co-Worker: You know the next step is a closet full of all black pants and all white shirts…
Me: …a row of skinny ties, and a shotgun. I know.

*I refuse to explain Dorf references citing concerns that someone may bring that piece of crappy pop culture back from the dead.

I’m Dead

Today was bring your kids to work day. The sound of little girls giggling while I was trying to figure out IP ranges for sites halfway around the globe drove me absolutely batshit insane because we all know that work is work and no place for fun. The minute that I heard that run through my head, the childrens’ laughter was no longer distracting or bothersome.

Although one girl kept calling me Paul, and she explained that perhaps she was thinking of Pope John Paul, and just forgetting the Jon. I thought that was somewhat reasonable coming from a seven year old, given all the people that she had probably met that day.

That was, until when leaving, she said,

Girl: “You know this is really like you dying.”
Me:: [staring]
Girl: No, it’s like I probably won’t see you again, so…
Me:: [staring]
Girl: It’s like you’re dead. What, mom? It is.”
Me: Ok, then. See you next year.

Haircut from Hell: No Shaving 103

Today, when I went in for the first haircut since before Christmas, my barber cut my hair from it’s 3 inch hippie length down to its normal half inch. Unfortunately for me, he also ran the clippers from my jowls right up into my hairline to even my beard with my hair. The three and a half months of savage growth that I had amassed since November 2, 2004, was wiped down to three weeks of growth in a matter of seconds.

Once the sideburns were really short, there was no other choice but to even the whole thing out so that I wouldn’t look like a half shaved moron going back to work. Now, the bottom half of my face looks strange and naked. My chin now looks entirely too small, and my nose entirely too big.

As a result of this unforeseen mishap, there will be no “Shaving 103” addition to the site this year.

Quick Question

If I requested a machine name from someone to update their PC, and they reply with “CAPTAINARCHER,” who is the bigger nerd:

  1. Him, for naming it after a Star Trek captain,
  2. Me, for recognizing it and replying “warp drives are operational” after the install,
  3. Or My Co-workers for not only recognizing the name, but scoffing at it for not being named after a captain from one of the good Star Trek series.

For the Geekily challenged: Captain Archer bio from StarTrek.com

7:02

At work, we’re fortunate enough to have a courtyard that holds a 15 foot pyramidal fountain and a reflecting pool. Due to cost cutting measures, the fountain had been shut off for the last few years. This year, the fountain was turned on again, and has made an immense difference in the quality of the atmosphere around here.

On my way to my desk a couple of weeks ago, I turned and happened to see the first drops flowing down the pyramid, freezing the scene as a moment in my mind. I looked down at my watch and noted that it was 7:02. So last week, I came in a few minutes early, walked into the courtyard and waited for the moment to repeat itself.

The courtyard is dead quiet before the fountain goes on. There are no birds due to the plastic owls perched five stories above, and even though we are in the middle of a city, you can’t hear the traffic on the street. Generally, there are very few smokers out there at that time of the morning, and even if there are, the silence weighs on everyone out there. It’s like a theater or a library. There isn’t really any noise because the place itself is keeping you quiet.

Like clockwork, at 7:01, the pyramid started to rumble and fill. By 7:02, the first water spilled down the sides, and the sounds of rushing water filled the courtyard. At that point, the courtyard transformed from silent to serene.

Even though I look like an idiot out there, staring at the fountain and looking at my phone, having no excuse to smoke to keep me out there, it’s a simple moment to look forward to.

Sartre’s Nausea

I finished Sartre’s Nausea. Being that the main character is an existentialist Frenchman, he seemed more insane and depressed than I could ever relate to, leaving me with almost a pile of ideas rather than a complete book.

To paraphrase what I got out of it:

“Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.”

“An existant can never justify the existence of another existant.”

“Every existing thing is born without reason, prolongs itself out of weakness, and dies by chance.”

“The past is a landlord’s luxury. Where shall I keep mine? You don’t put your past in your pocket; you have to have a house. I have only my body: a man entirely alone, with his lonely body, cannot indulge in memories; they pass through him. I should not complain: all I wanted was to be free.”

“This is what I thought: for the most banal event to become an adventure, you must (and this is enough) begin to recount it. This is what fools people: a man is always a teller of tales, he lives surrounded by his stories and the stories of others, he sees everything that happens to him through them; and he tries to live his own life as if he were telling a story. But you have to choose: live or tell.”

But more importantly, the main character is asked who he is writing for, and whether he would write if alone on a desert island. With that, I still wrestle.

Only Geeks

Coworker 1: Breakfast? It’s Thurday, but the caf has no waffles.
Jon: if (($day eq ‘Thursday) && ($waffles==0)){ print “Nah, thanks.”;}
Coworker 1: Oh God he’s speaking in Perl again.
Coworker 2: Actually, that could be any structured [programming] lanuguage…

Note: after publishing this, I found a perl error and republished. Send Help.

31 Going on 92

When you hear an old song on the radio and before word one is sung you think, “Robert Goulet,” it’s bad. If you think, “Wait, wait. Nope. That’s Vic Damone.” That’s worse. If the DJ confirms that you’re right, you’re in trouble.

If for the rest of the morning you have “catch a little starlight, put it in your pocket, save it for a rainy day…” in your head, you should really hang it up. And if you know that that one is by Mr. Perry Como? Pass the apple sauce, Grampy. Pass the apple sauce.

10 Print “Hello World”

So, I’m starting a blog. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not, but I’m going to start it anyway to keep myself amused. If anyone else is amused, so be it. It seemed like one of the dorkiest things that I could do. And to think myself dorky amuses me to no end.

But why entitle this blog “Present Tense”? ‘Dunno. I couldn’t think of a clever title, and this popped into my head. I seem to be constantly living in everything but the present. “What did I forget to buy at the market? What do I have to get done later?” It’s never: “I’m walking up the stairs.” Always: “I’ll be there soon,” or “I can’t believe I fell all the way to the bottom.” There are 50 million things that I miss on a daily basis, and I’m tired of it.

So this log may help. It may not. I wonder if I’ll keep it up? There I go again…