Sunday, July 20, 2014

Its a Snap!

I almost ran over this guy the other day.  Another segment in my "cool things I almost run over at work", I bring everyone pictures of a snapping turtle.  This is a common snapping turtle, the chelydra serpentina, found in North America.  Not as cool as an alligator snapper, but still pretty awesome.  I tried to push it out of the road with a broom, but it just snapped at the broom, and stayed right where it was, stubborn bastard.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

So Much Better When You're Naked

Ida Maria
Fortress Round my Heart
2008: Nesna Records

Ida Maria Borli Sivertsen - vocals, rhythm guitar
Stefan Tornby - lead guitar
Johannes Lindberg - bass
Olle Lundin - drums

  • I Like you so Much Better when You're Naked/ Leave me, Let me Go
  • I like you so Much Better when You're Naked/ Lightning
  • Oh My God/ We're all Going to Hell
  • Oh My God/ Keep me Warm
  • Oh My God/ Drive Away my Heart
  • Drive Away My Heart/ Leave Me, Let Me Go
  • Stella/ In the End/ Small People's Smiles
  • Queen of the World/ Everybody's Always Alone/ Stella

Sooo many singles!!  This album is so cool!  I'm a sucker for a strong female lead, and Ida Maria is one of my favorites.  She's like the rock chick from high school who would probably kick your ass.  She is from Norway, and proves that not all Scandinavian musicians are weirdos like Bjork, or Gorgoroth.  The sound is very much like the garage rock of the late '90s.  The whole album is good, another example of the perfect album.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lunarcy! Complete Lunarcy!

Once again, I'm contributing to the popular segment Crazy Shit I See at Work.  Today's episode is brought to everyone by the phases of the Moon, and the letters L and M.  The Actias Luna, more commonly known as the lunar moth is probably the largest moth species with a 4.5 inch wingspan.

Giant bugs are always terrifying, especially the flying ones, mostly because they remind me, and probably everyone else, of potential B Movie terrors.

However, the Lunar Moth, although enormous and seemingly life threatening, only lives for around one week, mostly because it doesn't have a mouth or digestive system.  From the subfamily Saturniidae of the family Saturniidae, of the order Lepidoptera, Lunar Moths are closely related to other moon moths, mostly from East Asia and Tussah Silk Moths.  

The picture below was taken in the morning, around 9am.  Lunar Moths typically hatch from their pupa stage in the morning, and find a place to stretch and harden up their wings in order to fly away.  Usually this takes about 2 hours.  So... I witnessed an important process in its brief life.  Nature is pretty cool up close.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Ghetto Gotham will be Televised

Fox announced a new television series about Batman, sort of.  Gotham, a series about Gotham City before Batman will air sometime this year.  Soon.  I've seen the first trailer.  This post is about what I'm hoping to see in this new show.

When I heard the plan was to do a show not about Batman, but about the city of Gotham and James Gordon, I dismissed it as boring.  There were already comics written about this concept, and while Gotham Central, Gotham Nights, and Batman: GCPD may have been interesting, they didn't sell well because fans want to read about the Batman, not the police department.

However, after seeing the trailer, I changed my mind.  This series could be interesting.  This could be successful like Arrow.  But it also could turn into Lois and Clark, or the Muppet Babies if realistic continuity is thrown out the window.  This could be done well, though, and here is how...

In the comics, there is already a history of Gotham crime.  This is pretty much laid out in Batman: Year One by Frank Miller, and The Long Halloween and Dark Victory by Jeph Loeb.  The first thing I want to see is the rise of the Falcone and Maroni crime families.  Jeph Loeb covers the fall of organized crime in Gotham, and when Batman arrives, they are already well established.

In the trailer, we get to see a few villains before they become villains.  Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and Catwoman make appearances, and so does the Penguin.  The second thing I hope we get to see are some of Gotham's 1% families.  The Penguin is Oswald Cobblepot, and the Cobblepots, according to the comics, are an old rich Gotham family, like the Waynes.  Other families include the Elliots (Thomas Elliot aka Hush), the Kane's (Kate Kane aka Batmwoman), and the Sionis's (Roman Sionis aka the Black Mask).  I hope to see all of these families at least mentioned.

The fact that certain characters are mentioned outright in the trailer, suggests that origin stories will be told throughout the series.  But there are Batman villains who are far older.  Therefore, the second thing I hope to see are the older villains.  Jason Woodrue becomes the Floronic Man, but before that, he mentors Pamela Isley and is responsible for turning her into Poison Ivy.  Ra's Al Ghul is ancient.  Dr. Hugo Strange is an older man when he first encounters Batman.  Jeremiah Arkham founded Arkham Asylum, and was able to go mad and die far before Batman arrived.  All of these characters would be great to see, if only in cameos.

In conclusion, I just hope this show doesn't suck.  And if it turns out to be awesome, I hope Fox doesn't decide to cancel it prematurely, like it has done to a bunch of potentially great shows.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

75 Manly Albums!!!

Pass the scotch, and beef jerky, and roll up the sleeves of your flannel.  In March 2009, Esquire Magazine published a list of the 75 Albums Every Man Should Own!  Cigars and donkey punches for everyone!!

I'm not sure how Esquire has the credentials to make a list of the top manly anything, but this list is pretty badass.  They are missing a few good ones though...  the list is as follows, followed by my critique of course:

  • Bruce Springsteen: Darkness on the Edge of Town
  • Willie Nelson: Phases and Stages
  • The Stone Roses: The Stone Roses
  • Iggy Pop: Lust for Life
  • David Bowie: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust
  • James Brown: Live at the Apollo
  • Marvin Gaye: Whats Going On?
  • Pavement: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
  • Nas: Illmatic
  • Dire Straits: Dire Straits
  • Grateful Dead: American Beauty
  • Minor Threat: Out of Step
  • The Rolling Stones: Aftermath
  • Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique
  • Led Zeppelin: 1
  • Elvis Costello: Imperial Bedroom
  • The Cars: The Cars
  • Wilco: Being There
  • Kiss: Destroyer
  • Radiohead: the Bends
  • The Temptations: Gettin Ready
  • ACDC: Highway to Hell
  • Otis Redding: the Dictionary of Soul
  • Cody Chessnut: The Headphone Masterpiece
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Soundtrack
  • Bod Dylan: Blood on the Tracks
  • Taj Mahal: Take a Giant Step
  • Bob Marley: Catch a Fire
  • Nirvana: MTV Unplugged
  • The Best of Mississippi John Hurt
  • Traveling Wilburys: vol 1
  • Townes Van Zandt: Live at the Old Quarter
  • Bill Callahan: Woke on a Whaleheart
  • The Beatles: Rubber Soul
  • The Velvet Underground and Nico
  • Ike and Tina Turner: Working Together
  • Explosions in the Sky: The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place
  • Talking Heads: True Stories
  • Pulp: This is Hardcore
  • Guns n Roses: Appetite for Destruction
  • Frank Sinatra: in The Wee Small Hours
  • Miles Davis: Sketches of Spain
  • The Clash: Combat Rock
  • Ramones: Road to Ruin
  • Television: Marquee Moon
  • Pink Floyd: Animals
  • The Pixies: Doolittle
  • The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
  • The Notorious BIG: Ready to Die
  • Hank Williams: The Unreleased Recordings
  • Pearl Jam: Ten
  • Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys
  • Drive by Truckers: Brighter than Creation's Dark
  • Ray Charles: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music
  • Metallica: ...and Justice for All
  • Van Halen: Fair Warning
  • Jay Z: Reasonable Doubt
  • Beach Boys: Pet Sounds
  • Liz Phair: Exile in Guyville
  • Joe Jackson: Look Sharp!
  • Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life
  • Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine
  • The Who: Who's Next
  • Vic Chessnut: Left to His own Devices
  • Beethoven: Symphony number 5
  • Sam Cooke: Night Beat
  • Leonard Cohen: Songs of Leonard Cohen
  • Luna: Penthouse
  • Buena Vista Social Club: Buena Vista Social Club
  • Tom Waits: Small Change
  • Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison
  • Neil Young: Harvest
  • Charles Mingus: Mingus Ah Um
  • Gustav Mahler: Symphony number 5
  • Jeff Buckley: Grace

cover to the March 2009 issue
That is a lot to take in.  Let me start with the few pieces I'd throw out from the list of most manly records.
We can toss out the classical music, it predates records anyway, and at this point takes up space for actual records.  If you want to experience Beethoven or Mahler, actually go to a symphony.  With the same line of thinking, The Good the Bad and the Ugly is a film to be watched, not listened to.  Get that crap out of here, what man buys a movie soundtrack, anyway?
Since this is a manly man's list of albums to own, we can toss out Radiohead, as they make you feel less of a man, and more of a girly alien.  Ike and Tina can be tossed out also, since Tina Turner is a chick, and there is nothing manly about wife beating.  Speaking of women, Liz Phair can also go, men need not be shamed, feminism tries their best as it is.  Also, Cody Chessnut?  What the hell?  and Luna can go away too, there isn't much manliness in indie/pop.  And because their music is horrible, and no self respecting guy should be wearing clown makeup and glitter, Kiss needs to be thrown on a fire.

This means there are now 9 empty spots to be filled.

  1. We would be less manly without some Van Morrison.  I nominate Moondance.  
  2. George Thoroughgood and the Destoyers Bad to the Bone ought to be included for being the manliest sounding record ever made.  
  3. Aerosmith's Toys in the Attic is obviously missing here
  4. so... James Brown is on here... this list definitely needs more Bootsy Collins.  Funkadelic's America Eats Its Young should be included.   
  5. How about Loudon Wainwright III: I'm Alright?  or Steve Goodman's Somebody Else's Troubles?  or John Prine: John Prine?  I feel like at least one of these ought to be included.  
  6. Black Flag: Damaged.  
  7. Motorhead: Ace of Spades
  8. If you still want to argue about Beethoven or Westerns, I see your classical music and soundtracks and raise you Frank Zappa: Joe's Garage.  fuck you.  
  9. Public Enemy: It takes a Nation of Millions, because there isn't enough righteous angry rap on this list. 
In addition to these additions, I'd swap out a few of the choices made here.  For example, The Rolling Stones record Girls, Girls, Girls is way superior to Aftermath.  Elvis Costello made Liz Phair cry with My Aim is True, so... since Liz Phair makes us ashamed of being men...