It’s summertime, and all the surfers and hodads are once again sharing that sandy divide between land and sea. No matter which side of the divide you’re on, there’s nothing like some reverb soaked surf-strumentals to make that grey cubicle feel more like a day at the beach.
You won’t find any Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, or beach blanket nonsense here, because if it isn’t instrumental and filtered through a reverb tank, then it really isn’t surf. I know that there are people out there who like the Beach Boys, but if you’re going to call them surf, then you might as well call Jimmy Buffet surf. And call Winger thrash. And maybe wear a tin foil crown and call yourself “Lord Behemoth Roboto”, because if you’re going to live in a giant delusion, you might as well be the undisputed ruler of all that you survey.
Whether you’re into surf or just a hodad looking for something more than the nightly weenie roast, you can unleash the tidal wave of surf instrumental goodness by clicking on the green button below. Ten points goes to anyone who can name all the surf artists listed on my fake Surf! album cover…
The Last Canopy: If I had read that this was a game about fairies trying to get a bird back into its nest on the last tree on earth, I don’t think I would have ever given it a chance. The game does have a pink butterfly, but it has frickin’ lasers strapped to its head and is being followed around by these angry little lights who are looking to kick the mechanical ass of every robot that they can find.
The game is like Galaxian on crack, but the twist that makes it replayable is the weapon absorption. By holding down the X key, you can absorb the powers of robots who are near you. The robots get better and better weapons as the game progresses, so you end up having to decide whether to kill a robot on sight, or risk being killed in the melee while you attempt to absorb its powers.
It’s all robots, lasers, and a kick ass butterfly, and I didn’t a single baby bird, tree, or anyone in a cape the whole time I was playing.
My best score was a little over 13,000, but I’m sure you can do better. Post your high scores in the comments.
Doo Wop was a specific sub-genre of R&B that was born on the street corners of the 1950’s when city kids went beyond simple harmonies of the 1940’s and began vocalizing sounds that were traditionally created by instruments. They inadvertently created an entirely new style called Doo Wop that would become a major force in popular music for over a decade. The genre had peaked in popularity by the early 1960’s, but its influence extended into the electric style of the early Motown sound through groups like the Four Tops, Temptations, Isley Brothers, and others.
I spent a couple of days researching Doo Wop bands for this list, and even though I eliminated a lot of borderline acts with a fairly strict interpretation of what Doo Wop is, I still ended up with over 130 tracks. There should be a good balance between classics and rarities, but I didn’t grow up in the 50’s, so if you notice any glaring omissions, be sure to drop me a comment.
You won’t find Little Jon & The Teen Tones in the mix (I faked the picture from an old Atlantic 45), but you can listen to the Doo Wop playlist by scrolling all the way to the left in the player below.
Attack of the Buggles!: Use your mouse to move around the screen touching blue boxes and avoiding red buggles. Every time you touch a box, you collect the points, and another red buggle appears on the screen.
Each blue box starts at 10 points, but with every passing second, the box’s value drops and your size increases, making speed as important as accuracy. Every 20 boxes, you get a little relief in the form of a green buggle, which gives you a small amount of time to destroy some of the red buggles that inevitably fill up the screen.
I’ve played a few variations of this game before (such as Ballo), but I think the added time pressure makes this game a lot more more fun than its peers.
My best score was 620. Post your high scores in the comments.
PongOut: If you’ve played either Pong or Breakout at any point in the recent past, you know that they offer as much fun and challenge as a hot round of mud wrestling at the senior center when everyone is full of tapioca and getting ready for their Sunday afternoon naps.
Where PongOut makes things interesting is that you have to play both games on a split screen at the same time. You move the mouse horizontally to control the breakout paddle, and vertically to control the pong paddle. It’s like wrestling two seniors at once: You don’t know why it’s challenging or appealing, but strangely, you keep going back for more.
When I play, I tend to suddenly and inexplicably stop paying attention to one of the sides and lose a couple of lives before I realize what’s going on, so the best I’ve been able to do is 11,035. The only essential trick to doing well in this game is knowing that pressing ‘M’ will mute the music.
I was a city mouse who was raised on soul. #1GF! was a country mouse, and no matter how much she denies it, she was raised on both kinds of music: Country and Western.
#1GF! might deny her musical roots, but classic country has earned a special place in my CD rack. When I’m slow on the draw and I need somethin’ to chaw, it’s not the tight pants wearin’, goatee sportin’, WWF lovin’ country of today that I’m after. It’s the classics: yesteryear’s harmonies of heartbreak and melodies of melancholy are what I need to get me back in the saddle.
If you’re ten gallon hat is feeling five gallons flat, click the little green button below.
Warning: Before listening to this playlist, check with your doctor if you have a history of alcoholism, depression, or bleeding in the brain from a head injury. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use this playlist, or you may need to adjust your dosage accordingly. If after listening to this playlist you experience tearing of the eyes, consult a physician immediately because you may be suffering from a rare, but serious side effect as a result of very specific type of heart ailment. Continue reading Classic Country For The Classic Heartbreak→
Recently, I made a special trip up to Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster, Massachusetts to see the grave of Joseph Palmer, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a member of the short-lived Utopian community “the Fruitlands”. I’m not much of a history buff, so why would I drive halfway across the state to seek out the grave of a man who died a century before I was born? It was too interesting of a story not to investigate.
He was described as a kind and tolerant man, but life was not easy for Joseph Palmer after he moved to Fitchburg, Massachusetts in 1830. People would openly insult him, throw rocks at him, regularly break the windows of his home, and even cross the street so as not to be near him when he passed by. Even though he was deeply religious man who regularly attended church services, Palmer was publicly denounced during sermons by his pastor, Rev. George Trask, and even refused communion.
What awful thing had this small town butcher done to warrant such persecution? Joseph Palmer’s crime was that he was the only citizen in Fitchburg, Massachusetts who chose to wear a full beard, which (contrary to my vision of the 1800’s being a beard grower’s paradise) had been out of fashion in the United States since the time of the Pilgrims. Continue reading Joseph Palmer: Perscuted For Wearing The Beard→
If you’ve ever heard Peter Frampton sing “Doooo You Feeeeel Liiiike I Doooo” in that robotic guitar voice, then you know what a talkbox sounds like. The effect has been around for over 40 years now, and has made it’s way into tracks from Classic Rock to Funk.
Because DigitalDarryl knows that I can’t resist compiling odd musical lists (like cowbell or actors turned singers), he has asked me on a number of occasions to compile a list of talkbox songs for him. Well, I’ve finally put together my 20th FineTune playlist, “The Talkbox Will Never Die”, so that D and all the talkbox fans out there can get their fill of talkbox madness by simply clicking the green button below.
I’ve included the full track listing below, but even at 60+ songs, this playlist feels a little light to me. If you can think of any talkbox songs that aren’t included, be sure to drop them in the comments.
Whether you’re a Dyer, a Mulligan, a Shea, or a Hobin, a Murphy, McDonough, a Caffrey, or Connell, here’s a playlist of some of the traditional Irish songs that I grew up with to get you primed for your yearly excursion into everything green.
For the rest of you, fear not. Most of the American Irish have as much of a connection to the motherland as you do, so grab your shamrocks and join us in the parlor.
Every once and a while, cowbell fever rears its ugly head here at Dyers.org, and I go on a tear to find new cowbell tracks. Over the last two days, cowbell fever hit hard, doubling the size of my FineTune More Cowbell playlist.
Even though I eliminated any songs that relegated nature’s gift to classic rock to a single [tonk] [tonk], the list still stands at over 180 tracks, spanning genres well beyond classic rock.
If you’ve got the fever, click the little green button below to dispense the cure.
Update (3/11/08): For those of you looking for a solid list of cowbell tracks, I added the full track listing of the playlist below. If you’re [tonk] [tonk]ing your way through it and you notice that one of your favorites is missing, definitely drop me a comment to let me know.
Update (9/15/08): Even more tracks have been added.
Whether you like Picard or Kirk, whether you think it was all so much better when Han shot first, or whether you’re one of those folks who throwes random e’s and y’s into thyngs, this is a FineTune Friday that was made for you.
If you’re stuck doing grunt work for the evil overlord today, the PSI PHI edition is guaranteed to give enough a charge to your dilithium crystals to create a worm hole to quitting time. Hell, even those of you who say “Star Track” or “What the hell is an Aluminum Falcon?” will get some enjoyment out of these lists.
If you’re looking for a little challenge while you listen, can you figure out why would’ve included the following tracks in my playlist? (Answers are at the bottom of this post.)
Because I want people to know that I’m still sensitive to the plight of the corporate drone, I sent this e-mail to a former co-worker who is dealing with the realities of corporate life. I wanted him to know that even though it seems pimptastic, life on the outside ain’t all bitches and Hennessey.
I heard things are tough around there, but life within the corporate fortress can’t be as bad as it is out here.
Since I quit, I have absolutely no structure because there’s no one here to tell me what to do. Do you think it’s easy to think of things to do on my own? If it was summer, I’d just go to the beach, but it’s the dead of winter, bro. What do I do inside? Read a book? Write? E-mail people? Surf the web? Sip my coffee and ponder the universe like some unemployed Carl Sagan wannabe?
“Another link? I’m so awesome. I deserved that link because I’m hotter than Hasselhoff and twice as entertaining. Sometimes I wish I were someone else just so that I could experience the awesome feeling that comes with linking to me. Wait. No, I’d cry if I were someone else. Other people are so lucky that I let them link to me. I’m remarkable, I’m amazing, and it’s no wonder that I’m huge in Scandinavia.“
Playing With Fire 2: Your a little man trapped in a maze with other little men, and the maze isn’t big enough for all of you. Instead of making nice, you use the arrow keys and space bar to blow them up with your dynamite. This is in the style of a classic arcade game, and like those games, it’s simple and fun. I didn’t have a problem beating it on the highest levels, but I still found it fun enough to replay over and over.
If you’re still winding down from the family visits and last minute shopping, there’s nothing like a dose of virtual dynamite to clear out that holiday stress.
Well, folks, I’m taking the day off to enjoy the holiday with the family. Even though I will be ignoring the religious aspect of the holiday, I can assure you that the extra energy will be dedicated to getting jolly and spreading holiday cheer. Whether you’re celebrating or not, I hope you all have plenty to eat and can spend your time with people who love you.
Have a happy and safe holiday, and I’ll see you in a couple of days.
(Seriously, though. Is that not one of the best Mr. T pictures you’ve seen? I pity myself for not seeing it sooner.)
There isn’t a heck of a lot of work for talkbox professionals these days, so it’s not hard to get all funked up over this “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” video from Moot Booxle. Not only is it well done and funky as hell, but you may notice some Atomic Dog references thrown in there to float your holiday cheer.
Good talkbox videos aren’t easy to come by these days, so savor this moment, my friends.
Moot Booxle With “Have Yourself A Merry Christmas”
The snow is falling, and whether you’re looking to update your blog, make cards, send invitations, or simply leave yourself little notes around the house, there is no need to use that same old boring font. Grab one of these free, winter-themed fonts to make your Winter creations pop.
We used to play Hobin’s dice at big, Irish family reunions when I was young, and this past Thanksgiving, the Dyers introduced the game to #1GF!’s family. Even though I hadn’t played the game in 20 years, the game turned out exactly the same as it did when I was a kid. From kids to grandmas, everyone ends up having a rowdy good time.
While I don’t advocate illicit activities, the game is amazingly simple and fun, and holds a place as one of those fun family memories for me. If you’ve never seen your grandma getting rowdy at the dinner table, this is the game that will do it. Twenty years from now, I’ll guarantee that you smile whenever you think about it. I know I do. Continue reading Hobin’s Dice: A Rowdy Game For Large Groups→
Avalanche: You are a tiny marshmallow and the floodwaters are rising. Lucky for you, blocks are falling from the sky. You have to use the arrow keys to jump on the blocks to avoid getting crushed or drowned. It ain’t easy, especially if you’re in The States and packed full of turkey.
I recently had the following conversation with #1GF!…
#1GF!: [Underappreciated Worker] just told me that he’s thinking of pulling a Dyer right now. He’s going to make “Dyer” a verb like “did you hear about [co-worker who quit]? He just Dyered yesterday.” Me: Awe. Some. #1GF!: It made me laugh. Me: It’s the opposite of getting Dooced. #1GF!: Why’s that? Me: To get Dooced is to get fired for your blog. To Dyer is to suddenly quit for your blog. #1GF!: Here’s a quote: “Well, now I’m going to go home…drink beer, and dyer all over my bathroom floor” Me: Wait, what? #1GF!: He used it as a verb. Me: Wait, now “dyer” means “throw up”? #1GF!: He just said that he wanted you to know that using it just made him feel better. Me: Does “dyer” mean “suddenly quit” or “throw up”? #1GF!: Quit at first, then throw up. Me: Hold on now. You can’t just randomly throw a word around and have it mean anything you want. English doesn’t work like that. You can’t say things like “It’s Dyer to Dyer a Dyer, To Dyer a Dyer that’s right on Dyer. It’s Dyer…it’s Dyer (Dyer) Dyer (Dyer)”. This isn’t the f’ing smurfs.
The title, “I’m going to help you up the stairs”, was changed to illustrate potential problems with this new linguistic proposal.
Considering an architect can cost up to $250 an hour, having professional renovation plans drawn up can get expensive fast. While there is no replacement for a professional when determining your final plans, creating a 3D model of your renovation can save you some cash by presenting the architect a general idea of what you’re looking for.
Google Sketchup is a free 3D modeling program that I’ve been using for a couple of weeks to do just that. It allows me plan the renovations to scale and then walk around the house as if I were in it, giving me a better idea of where what works on paper and what works in the real world coincide. I did this once with a kitchen renovation, and it worked out extremely well.
Because men have been trained not to spend excess amounts of time on their personal appearance, they generally fail to recognize a few simple aspects of personal grooming that should be undertaken to keep them attractive to the moister sex.
But how does a gentleman know that his hair is unsightly? Because this type of revelation is reserved for close friends or people that can take a punch, he generally doesn’t. That’s where the Gentleman’s Guide to Trimming & Grooming comes in. The Gentleman’s Guide is a cumulative set of tips to give men the trimming and grooming info they need whether they are 5 or 45. All you have to do is match your age to the sections below to find out where your personal grooming may need adjustments.
Remember that the guide is cumulative, so you’ll need to read all of the tips up to your current age. When you’re finished, stash it in your library or rumpus room and come back to it when you hit another milestone age. The Gentleman’s Guide is guaranteed to transform even the most disheveled dork into a lifetime ladies man.
Hot Corn: This game isn’t all that challenging, but it gives the same satisfaction that comes with popping bubble wrap. The game goes like this: You are a sun, and you have to pop pieces of pop corn before the time runs out. There is oil and bad kernels to slow you down, and gas cans and lightening bolts to speed you up.
We have finally arrived at the main event, an all-out cage match of boys versus girl in the FineTune Friday Battle of the Sexes.
On the one side we have the fist-fighting, meat-eating, beard wearing, stinky in the woods men with the most macho playlists they could kill and drag into the competition with their own bare hands. Their opponents today are the heel-wearing, cat-fighting, pink drink sipping, pretty as a daisy ladies accentuating the most feminine playlists they could conjure up from their wily bag of lady tricks.
Fighters on your marks. Let’s get ready to rummmmbblllllleee!
Other FineTune Friday Participants This Month:
This was a harder to put together than I had thought, and the dudes hung me out to dry this round. There were three other participants this month, so special thanks to them for joining in. Even if they are my Amazon adversaries.