a blog for someone who cannot shut up....

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Memory Lane


The process of ripping all of my CDs into MP3 has been time consuming, no doubt. However, the necessary steps to do so provide a walk down the musical streets of yesteryear. Or at least the "heavy rotation" of yesteryear in terms of what you were playing in your car, walkman, discman, whatever at any given point in your music history. I do have plenty of space on my 30GB iPod, but I am still trying to not add any shitty music, if I can help it. Some CDs get added with no editing. The fringe players? They are not so lucky.

Today's voyage included a reintroduction to two of Robert Plant's solo efforts - Now And Zen (1988) as well as Manic Nirvana (1990). After saying "hello" to Dance on my Own, Helen of Troy, and White, Clean and Neat for the first time in years, it was extremely pleasurable to say "goodbye" in the same 30 seconds. N&Z only was able to get 4 tracks by the editor. Sorry, Robert, but all the cool coyote symbol flags and bracelets don't get you anywhere when you are serving it up hot & steamy with songs like Billy's Revenge.

Manic did much better, with 7/10 tracks making the cut. Hurting Kind rocks. Tie Dye on the Highway rocks. Good recovery, then, for Mr. Plant.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Tonight's Netflix Selection

I had been told about this film, and had seen parts of it on cable, but finally sat down tonight and watched it from start to finish : Cube (1997)

It was a pleasant diversion for 90 minutes. I think I was supposed to like certain characters versus others, and maybe hope for my favorites to survive....but actually learned to dislike the whole bunch. Their bickering became annoying, and I became more interested in who/what was confining them instead of their fate - which I guess I was supposed to focus on. They all supposedly brought something different to the table - one was a math whiz, one a doctor, etc. One guy was an autistic Rainman type, with the commensurate math skills. I would have to say the highlight for me was near the end, when the cop character referred to the idiot savant as "telethon boy". Made me chuckle. Score: 2.5 Stars (out of 5)

Not In His Wildest Hallucinations

I just saw yet another of the "Man Law" commercials from our friends at Miller Lite. Aron Ralston is the guy wearing the tiedye shirt, and the one missing his right arm from the elbow down. I give ultimate props to Ralston for making a tough decision to self-amputate, in the interests of survival, after some kind of hiking accident. What I wonder about is this: if you consider Ralston's consciousness and the hallucinations that he might have experienced during this horrible ordeal, do you think he ever would have come up this: In a few years I will be doing commercials with Burt Reynolds, Eddie Griffin, and Jerome Bettis - with Miller Lite paying the freight. No way.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hits from the Blog


I was using the "Next Blog" random browsing feature of blogspot, and came across this gem. The caption says "Redneck PalmPilot". I love it.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Turn Away, I'm Hideous


I am not sure about you, but this certainly qualifies in my Top 10 Least Flattering Photographs of All Time.

More Spiders, and Capt Kirk at the Regal Beagle


For pure laughs, this review is outstanding. It appears Kirk favors the tight slacks whether he's on the Enterprise or not. As far as "Rack Hansen" is concerned, I cannot comment because I am laughing too hard.

Tough, Tough Decisions

Hello, friends. I have been under the weather with a summer flu since last Saturday, Finally went in to the shaman yesterday...didn't want to, but had to do it. This was only my second visit to this MD. He is part of my insurance plan. This guy could be the stunt double for Dr. Sam Metcalf . You remember, the bitter country doctor that didn't want to go quietly when Harry Temple came to town. After a brief exam, Dr. Sam's-Stand-In gave me 2 prescrips and one OTC and now I am feeling much better in under 24 hours. Kudos to you, Doc. By the way, Arachnophobia fell far short of expectations. Granted, they were trying to keep a sense of humor. But when it comes to scary movies I demand the existence of real, tangible malevolence....and it falls short, just like Independence Day. I mean, sure, you had the alien behind the glass with the telekinetic powers, the kind of bullshit alien you might have seen here.....ok, wait back to the spider movie. You know what I mean. As soon as John Goodman showed up in the pest control truck you knew, just knew, that no character the audience cares about was going to die. Sorry, I can get off on tangents.
More importantly, I am currently listening to a random mix of the 5 Beck albums I own. I have yet to pick up Mellow Gold....don't ask why. It is almost as if I know it is an absolute treasure that I will experience at some point...but the anticipation cannot be matched. Odd, I know. But I'm an odd man. What I will do is rank the 5 Beck albums I own. I encourage your ranking and commentary.

1) Midnite Vultures (1999)
"Over Odelay? What, are you high?" This is MY ranking, not Rolling Stone. Vultures combines the 3 components that Beck specializes in, and does it well: funky grooves, great melodies, and lyrics that make you scratch your head while you bob it to the beat at the same time. Broken Train rules.
2) Odelay (1996)
I can say many glowing things about this album. It flows from A to Z like sweet molasses, and it introduced a musical genius on a large scale. Enough said.
3) Mutations (1998)
On the heels of the outrageous success of Odelay, Beck comes out with what I would call a masterpiece. Bottle of Blues and Canceled Check are two of my favorite all-time songs. Different style? Completely. But I love it. I was at Mesa Ampitheater for this tour, 4,000 people max.
4) Guero (2005)
I must admit that while I love the grooves on many tracks on this album, to me it sounds like Beck trying to mimic Beck. This effort comes in 4th place, but it is nonetheless a solid album. E-Pro sounds like Beck giving in to the music industry's desire for a single. I saw the show during this tour - Beck was part of last fall's Arizona State Fair line-up. Pay $10 to get in to the fair, and see the music for free. Best Hamilton I ever spent. This show kicked ass, including a percussion effort that involved the entire band.
5) Sea Change (2002)
There are some decent tracks here, including Paper Tiger and Lost Cause. From what I have seen Sea Change was a critical darling, but for the most part it comes across as a soundtrack for assisted suicide. Still, I listen to it when I want something completely unobtrusive in the background - like Jack Johnson.

Whew. That was not an easy chore.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Amityville Horrific Remake

I broke down and rented the remake of The Amityville Horror today. My mistake. What a weak version of a movie that scared the living shit out of me as a kid. As I was renting it, there were several previewed copies of this DVD sitting by the register - for the low price of $4.99 plus tax. The rental fee was $4.00 and change, so it was tempting to just purchase it. Lets just say I am glad I didn't spend the extra $1.00. The actress who played Kathy Lutz is pretty hot, however.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Life Better Than Art

As they say, you cannot make this shit up. How could someone post this sign and keep a straight face?

I could not.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Getz/Gilberto

I traded music with a friend of mine yesterday - and came away with an excellent addition to anyone's library

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=&sql=10:d0rvadskt8wo


I have been slowly building the jazz segment of my collection, and this seemed, as they say in the review, beyond essential. Makes you want to have some Cacha├ža, relax in your easy chair, and drift along for the ride.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Charles in Charge

An oldie but a goodie...I had forgotten about this ad. One of the better Nike ads of all-time, IMHO. Is it Chuck D of Public Enemy on the mike? Is it the retro B/W look? Is it the Chuckster's "Who Me?" smile? Taken together, it is very amusing.
(Veoh is a new video site, ala YouTube)

http://www.veoh.com/videoDetails.html?v=e94581DKfJcZSQ&

Friday, July 14, 2006

I can't believe it!

Everyone loves Justin! Everyone! Why did this happen? How could they let this happen? How could the nice man from Electric Company let this happen?

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/view.php?StoryID=20060714-083601-5072r

Lethal Weapon

I was at Nationwide VisionCare today for an eye exam. I sat on my glasses the other day and they were unable to live to tell the tale. Time for contact lenses again.

More importantly, after I had waited for over an hour for my visit with the Doctor (it was Rosenberg, for all you Fletch fans), one of the staff was whispering and pointing at me. I asked why, and she said "we were trying to figure out who you looked like. do people tell you that you resemble anyone?" I said no and that generally it was me telling others who they resembled. She laughed and said "I think you look like Gary Busey." So, of course, I then screamed at her at the top of my lungs, "My name is Mr. Joshua!" and held a lit lighter under my arm to ram home the point.

Needless to say, I got a discount on my exam.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The 4400

If I recommend a television show, you can rest assured that it has some redeeming value. I'd like to think of myself as a tough critic. So, go ahead and rent Season 1 Disc 1 of The 4400

It reeks of an attempt to mimic The X-Files, but there are worse things. Once you get past some of the sappy dialogue and realize the actors are doing a great job of delivering a solid vision through their efforts to carry out the storyline....you kind of buy in. I got it through Netflix.

UPDATE #1
I am now 3 more episodes into the story...and am hooked on this show. The different subplots within the overall story mesh well together, and the challenges encountered by the main characters only serve to cement the bonds between them and the viewer. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

music item #2047

Many dismiss Radiohead's Amnesiac . I do not, and never have. I'm a reasonable man. Get off my case.

Buffalo Bill, anyone?

(Dear Readers, I am almost always willing to push the envelope in terms of what I consider humorous imagery. You have been warned.)

Some of my crew of friends/readers have decided to mock me privately over the appearance of an unknown 3rd party at this site, and any complimentary comments that may have been made.

So, if you must know, I have been acting strangely lately....friends and family, knocking loud at my door, yelling at me to open up. Inside I wear a kimono and lipstick, doing the weenie-tuck while I dance in front of a full-length mirror ala Jame Gumb....the stereo loudly drones on, offering a one word monotone salute to whatever username is the most recent to lavish praise on my writing skills.

The truth is that I (most likely) will not dance in front of the mirror or engage in any other bizarre behavior if you happen to tell me how much you enjoy this blog. But please feel free. Now, I must go. It's So Easy just came on the box, and well, you know...Slash calls.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I have to choose

Although I will constantly change the verbage under the name of the blog (sort of a tribute to
the Red Meat comic strip. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. it is easy to find through google) I do have to choose a handle and stick with it so that responses to comments etc will not be confusing. So, in keeping with the title of this blog, we'll just go with "The Nefarious One". Not great, and not as much fun as changing it every other day, but at least you will know it is me when I am ripping your useless comments to shreds.

The Candy Song

Some friend of mine used the phrase "Habit Chain" over the weekend. I liked the phrase, and it made me think of different habits that I have. One of them, as those who know me well will tell you, is my sweet tooth. Make that sweet teeth, because it cannot be just one that clamors for sugary snacks. I know this is genetic. How so? One anecdote tells all. I brought my father to an AZ Diamondbacks playoff game in 2001, and it was game 5 of a 5 game series against St Louis. It was in the 8th inning of a 1-1 pitchers duel...and you could feel the tension of the fans. It was electric. This is what baseball fans live for...these moments. I then feel someone tugging on my left shirt sleeve - and it was my father : "I'm out of cash, do you have a couple of bucks so I can got get some ice cream?" Enough said. With all this in mind, enjoy The Candy Song...


i like candy
candy for free
i like candy
candy for me

Twizzlers and Nerd Ropes
Snickers all around
the wrappers are shiny
crunch, crunch is the sound

i like candy
candy for free
i like candy
candy for me

Sour Patch dreams
haunt me all day
perhaps some Chewy Sprees
will light my way

i like candy
candy for free
i like candy
candy for me

show me a Gummi Bear
you'll see me smile
you ask about Skittles
see the big pile?

i like candy
candy for free
i like candy
candy for me

Rolos and Kit Kat
i won't share a bit
Hubba Bubba and Bubble Yum
you ain't gettin' shit

i like candy
candy for free
i like candy
candy for me

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mac Madness

I finally shed the PC world in early May when I picked up this Mac iBook G4. I had not purchased a new computer since 1999, so this was not unlike "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" when I started using the Mac. Easy to use, instant WiFi access, the Dashboard feature - I loved all of it. Almost 2 months of pure consumer satisfaction. I should have known it was too perfect to be true.

In a nutshell, the Mac began freezing up and became unusable. Its not like I was using it to tap into NORAD and try to derail Mr. Kim Jong's ballistic assault. I was trying to read ESPN and send/receive e-mail. Nothing major. So I sent it back to Apple Repair and patiently waited for it to come back. 8 days later the unit comes back and its like Christmas morning. That is, until it started to show the same problems after only 5 hours of use. I was apoplectic, and that is an understatement (can there be a level of anger beyond apoplectic? perhaps we can call it "catatonic rage") Little did I know that it would pale in comparison to the levels of incredulity that came when I encountered some of the denizens of Apple Tech Support.

My first nomination for "Obtuse Asshole Tech Support Person" is someone we'll call Sam. I got to talk to this gentleman after the initial call earlier in the day, by the time I had realized that Apple's initial repairs did nothing to fix the problem. He attempted to regurgitate some policies about their repair process and I had to interject and tell him I knew what he is referring to and can't we just move this along. My prize for trying to be efficient? "Sir, you are very rude. Every time I start talking you cut me off. That is very, very rude." Oh yeah, Sammy? Rude? Tell you what, nerd. Stop that unending conveyor belt of absolute bullshit rolling out of your mouth and just get me to someone who will A) let a disgruntled customer rant a bit when his $1000 electronics purchase performs like a drink coaster and B) will not lecture a customer about proper conversational etiquette when the customer has just received a supposedly repaired computer. FAH Q, just like Ben Afflect's paddle said in Dazed & Confused.

The next candidate would be Barbara in Customer Relations. I was forwarded to her after talking to Sam, the skillfull diplomat. After I gave her a total reset of the scenario, she must have reached deep to try to help. How deep? How about this: "Well, sir, I am sorry to hear about your troubles. My notes do indicate, however, that we got the unit back to you in the 7-10 day timeframe we promise." Of course, I couldn't help but chuckle when she trotted out that piece of garbage. She got indignant and said "I can't believe you are laughing in my face." WHAT? ARE YOU F*CKING KIDDING ME? Your firm produces a total lemon, the customer sends it back for repair and goes without a key component of his home office for a week+ and then gets the same goddamn lemon back....and you want to laud your company for the quick turnaround? I can overnight a box of dogshit too, and I don't have the resources of Apple. Let me offer a suggestion: Shut it before you dig the hole any deeper. I think I'll give the Blue Star Award for Complete and Total Incompetence to Barb.

My laptop is now in the hands of the people at the nearby Apple Store, and they tell me they will take care of things. Lets hope so. I have often thought that real customer service is dead now, and the only way to get any justice is to be the squeaky wheel. This horrific experience only solidified that belief. Thanks, Apple, for destroying your reputation with me in just under 10 days.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Movie Reviews

I really enjoy Internet Movie Database...what a great website. You get to read movie reviews by total randoms, including the following gem from some Canadian gentleman named "mm-39". How Shatner figures into things, I don't know, but this made me laugh out loud. The review is for Chuck Norris' film Good Guys Wear Black:


Better than TJ Hooker
7 March 2002
Author: mm-39 from Winnipeg

This guy is better than TJ Hooker. This guy does not jump on car windows, like TJ, he kicks threw them. Other than that this film is lamer than the 80-81 Winnipeg Jets. Not much of a story, but the budget did not help. I like the karate, but the acting was sad. I would suggest this film for someone I did not like.

Oh, that Trent

Listening to the iPod on shuffle. Currently 3400 songs and counting. Among the hits offered by the electronic brain today was Ringfinger, off of Nine Inch Nail's 1989 release Pretty Hate Machine. The head-bobbing electronic beats...combined with the tortured existence of the souls playing parts within the songs and the lyrics that animate them in the theater of your imagination....all I can say is Wow. When Reznor is on, he is ON.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Thanks, Scarlett

First off, make no mistake about it: I really like Scarlett Johansson. Lost in Translation was a great film, and she was a big part of it. However, I cannot pass up the opportunity to laugh at her. In the recent Summer Double-Issue of Entertainment Weekly, where they offer their list of "Must see" people and things, they do a page on her as "Must Workaholic". I guess she is spending alot of time on the set these days. Perhaps she just can't shake her "dumb blonde" character from The Island, or maybe this passes for serious reflection on her part:

"When I was a freshman in high school, I thought I had other things I wanted to do, like anthropology, or silly things like botany or opening a bakery. But now I can't imagine not being an actor."

Yes, thats right. Evaluating ancient cultures, or perhaps the plant life on planet Earth is silly, just like baking bread and selling it. Silly, silly baker-man. Silly botanist. Keep busy with your trivial pursuits....while I do really important things like star in movies opposite Josh Hartnett.