Disturbed

30 November 2017

I am amazed by this, on several fronts.

  • David Draiman has an impressive voice.
  • Disturbed’s musicianship is well beyond what I expected.

This was enough to make me revisit the band’s other music and see if I just hadn’t been in the right mood when I sampled it before. Nope. Still not my cup of tea, although the fact that I use the phrase “cup of tea” might have served as an indicator for that.

Explanation vs. Excuse

10 October 2016

I have long held that there is a fundamental distinction between an explanation and an excuse. In my “back in my day” moments I tend to feel that the distinction has been lost somewhere along the line, and that knowing the explanation for someones actions is now generally considered to excuse those actions. I don’t think it should. As usual, Roger Zelazny can say it better than I can.

There is always a reason. Whenever anything has been mucked up, whenever anything outrageous happens, there is a reason for it. You still have a mucked-up, outrageous situation on your hands, however, and explaining it does not alleviate it one bit. If somebody does something really rotten, there is a reason for it. Learn it, if you care, and you learn why he is a son of a bitch. The fact is the thing that remains, though. [He] had acted. It changed nothing to run a posthumous psychoanalysis. Acts and their consequences are the things by which our fellow judge us. Anything else, and all that you get is a cheap feeling of moral superiority by thinking how you would have done something nicer if it had been you. So as for the rest, leave it to heaven. I’m not qualified.

Roger Zelazny, The Hand of Oberon

Ballmer vs Jobs

29 August 2016

In episode 165 of The Talkshow John and Guy discuss Balmer’s laughing dismissal of the iPhone and note that he just didn’t get it. Guy noted that Steve Jobs would bash competing products too, but that he seemed to get away with it where Balmer was mocked for his dismissal, and Guy wondered why Jobs got away with it. I think the difference was that Jobs would bash the products, but that he got what they brought to the table, even if he was publicly dismissive of it. I think you can tell the difference in their speech.

Pulp Movies

08 June 2016

There are a number of movies that came out that were generally panned or poorly received. Not unusuall, but I think these were unjustly maligned. They were each based on source material that was largely foreign to the movie audience. They were each, if not great, at least good (and usually faithful) adaptations of their source.

Popeye (1980)

The Keep (1983)

The Shadow (1994)

The Phantom (1996)

The Saint (1997)

The Avengers (1998)

Flash Gordon (1980)

Dick Tracy (1990)

Veronica Mars Fan Base

06 December 2015

I’m a little confused. Can you help me out? My memory from back in the day (2004-2007) is that the primary fan base for Veronica Mars was geeks. That is geeks in the “I watched Star Trek: Enterprise and I’m excited about these rumors of relaunching Doctor Who” sense. Geeks had not yet really become trendy. I too am a geek (shocking, I know) and I’m a fan of Veronica, but I’m not sure why the fan base seemed to skew that way. Any ideas?

Star Wars Head Canon

04 December 2015

There are several items of head-canon that I had about Star Wars as a child, and which I carry to some extent to this day. Most have been shown demonstrably wrong by various episodes of the movies. I have almost no exposure to the Expanded Universe or even the animated series.

Light Sabers

To me lightsabers are a Jedi weapon and the blade is a focused manifestation of the Force. As such the color is personal to the Jedi weilding the lightsaber. It is their aura color if you will.

This idea was somewhat damaged as early as Empire when Han uses Luke’s to slice open the tauntaun, but I just told myself that the force was strong with Han and he’s just in denial. It would help explain his skill as a pilot and his general luck.

Span of the Empire

From Obi-Wan’s early tales of Anakin and himself fighting in the Clone Wars to Grand Moff Tarkin laughing at Vader’s hokey religion, I always felt that time scale was much more epic. Hundreds of years of Empire rule had passed. Obi-Wan is a Jedi and Yoda is 900 years old, so it’s easy to believe that he is talking about something that happened hundreds of years ago, not just 20. Too much in episodes 4-6 doesn’t make sense if the Republic fell 20 years ago.

Let It Begin With Me…and Me

03 December 2015

Let It Begin With Me

Me too. Thanks Andy.

Kickstarting a Movie

23 June 2015

I think there’s a common misconception when someone decides to Kickstart a movie. They expect the fact that they had a million backers to mean that a million people will go see the movie. Since the backer rewards usually include access to the movie via digital download or DVD, you have to recognize that your core audience will probably not go to the theater. Sure some hardcore fans will, but not enough to ensure box_office_success.

This came up in a recent TWiT episode where they observed that Veronica Mars raised 5.7 million, but only grossed about 3 million. Of the 90,000 backers, only about 20,000 didn’t get the movie from the Kickstarter campaign. So for 70,000 backers their money was taken on Kickstarter rather than at the box office. Not really shocking.

Big Hero 6

03 June 2015

I really love Big Hero 6 but I have one problem: why didn’t Hiro reclaim his microbots as a “super power” instead of just being the guy riding Baymax?

Great Day

04 December 2011

Yesterday afternoon Daniel and I hit the store and made dinner. He bustled around the kitchen mixing all kinds of things while I chopped veggies and chicken for fajitas. All of this was accompanied by a great soundtrack. I almost flooded my twitter stream with Soundtracker notes, but thought it would be more polite to just post a list here:

  • The Impression That I Get - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • Beer for My Horses - Toby Keith & Willie Nelson
  • American Woman - The Guess Who
  • Redneck Woman - Gretchen Wilson
  • Sweet New Style - The Tropicals
  • Black Coffee in Bed (Full Version) - Squeeze
  • I'm a Believer (Radio) - Smash Mouth
  • High Lonesome - Jedd Hughes
  • Son Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
  • Musicology - Prince
  • Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
  • Twice As Hard - The Black Crowes
  • I'm No Angel - Gregg Allman
  • Daughters - John Mayer
  • The Boys Are Back in Town - Thin Lizzy
  • Season Of The Witch - Blues Brothers Band
  • Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith
  • Solsbury Hill - Peter Gabriel
  • Darwin's Children - Edwin McCain
  • Bitch - Meredith Brooks
  • Our House - Madness
  • If I Had a Boat - Lyle Lovett
  • Rain King - Counting Crows
  • Walk This Way - Joe Perry, Run-DMC & Steven Tyler
  • Silver Thunderbird - Marc Cohn
  • Bizarre Love Triangle - New Order
  • Aberdeen - Kenny Wayne Shepherd
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
  • I Play Chicken With the Train (featuring Big & Rich) - Cowboy Troy
  • Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold
  • When the Sun Goes Down - Kenny Chesney
  • Get the Party Started - Pink
  • Drops of Jupiter - Train
  • The River of Dreams - Billy Joel
  • Out of My Head - Fastball
  • Red Red Wine - UB40
  • Take Me To The River - The Commitments
  • Circle - Sarah McLachlan
  • Growing Old - The Origin
  • Cooksferry Queen - Richard Thompson
  • In a Little While - Uncle Kracker
  • Why Can't We Be Friends - Smash Mouth
  • There She Goes - Brother Love
  • Who Do You Love? - George Thorogood & The Destroyers
  • Fly - Sugar Ray
  • Always Something There to Remind Me - Naked Eyes
  • November Days - The Origin
  • Meet Virginia - Train
  • Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
  • Walk on the Wild Side - Lou Reed
  • Blister In The Sun - Violent Femmes
  • The Cover Of Rolling Stone - Dr. Hook
  • Walkin' On The Sun - Smash Mouth
  • Brainsbodyboth - George Hrab
  • Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
  • Life In a Northern Town - The Dream Academy
  • Kodachrome - Paul Simon
  • The Way - Fastball
  • Soul Man - The Blues Brothers
  • Get a Move On - Mr. Scruff

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