Sunday, January 29, 2012

Puerto Rico or bust

Well, seems I'm going to the "Rich Port", aka the 51st state (almost).  Taking a cruise from San Juan's port (a rich port, I guess).  I hear Senor Frog's is the place to eat lunch, so I'll try that out, unless someone can give other suggestions.  Nice they take US$ and not EC$, so I don't have to convert.  Looking forward to the Ko-Kee frogs, I remember fondly a very nice girl from there I was dating for a year back in 1989 who mentioned those critters.  Bad luck to touch them if I remember correctly.  Luckily, I'm in no mood to hunt frogs, and things south of my parallel tend to be a bit more poisonous than most, but not always.  My rule of the Amazon, "Touch nothing!!!" 

I'm quite excited to be south of the Tropic of Cancer again, as I head-off to the coast of Guyana (thankfully not the mainland for those familiar with the region, where I encountered a rather deadly sea snake who wasn't interested in me, nor was that barracuda).  Fishes get rather large outside a fishtank!  My domino damselfish is about 4" now, though in the sea they can get twice as large, the barracuda seemed to be well over 5 feet long!  Barracudas are no joke, neither are tiger-sharks.  I'll also keep a lookout for the Leviathan, the Banderstatch, the Vermicious Knid and the Vorpal Bunny.  Run AWAY!  Run AWAY!

It'll be good to get away from the dreary landscape of gray-brown Colorado, Pike's Peak mercilessly vaulting over the skyline, jutting with promises of more icy blasts, the Rockys directing north winds down into our valley and pushing away the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico to the south.  Colorado is such a dry state, and windy as all-out.  Almost always 20mph winds, give-or-take.  Dusty.  I miss the sea, full of interesting life.  Its dynamic is effervescing.

South of the parallel, I should be able to see the Southern Cross on the horizon this time of year!  We'll see!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Road-Rage and the motorist

Surprisingly not a dead subject, road-rage is still a problem in Colorado.  The lax laws on gun use amplify this, as drivers actually brandish weapons, suggesting they'd murder someone due to their disapproval of someone else's driving habits.

I own no weapons, mostly because I don't live in perpetual fear due to that I took a significant amount of martial arts and realize self-defence on the most part is pretty easy to do based on the psychology of your opponent and their motives.  I'm confident in my abilities.  Subduing and/or killing someone is physically pretty easy to do, even if they're armed at semi-close distances.  (Ranges over 20 feet is another matter and require a lot more skill and if they're hell-bent at killing you ... well, that's another matter.)  My opinion on guns is that I really don't care much about them one way or the other.  I take the RPG "Monk" approach on that whole combat thing.  It's served me well so far.  A lot of folks arm themselves with huge gun safes and have weapons at-the-ready in every room of their house, but let me tell you that in the dark, just waking up, being able to grab that weapon, unlock the safety, aim well, and fire accurately, often while lying down backwards is not as easy a task as some people think.  Even if you were successful in a perfect-world scenario, where you had a good amount of time to snap-to and shoot admirably, if you work with a clearance, that's revoked for at least a year as you go to court for murder, albeit justified.  All that blood, semi-permanent on the floor.  Heck, I had that situation happen to me when someone was just "lost" and drunk, trying to sleep it off in North Dakota.  Some 6-foot troll of a monster I was barking at, as I was shirtless.  This 40-year-old Norseman then ran away, peed himself and hid behind a bathroom commode in a local bar when the cops caught him and his parents picked him up.  "Oh, that's old Tommy!" the cop declared.  "He always does that.  The town drunk."  I didn't press charges but warned him not to go into folks' houses because he could get shot or worse.  Later he ended up in jail for a similar offense at Devil's Lake Penitentiary.  He's still there I think.   Poor old sod.  Personally, I'm a fan of ADT.  Thieves (from personal experience) do not care for LOUD 120db noises.  Cops are notified and sent enroute.  Your phone is ringing from ADT asking for pass-phrases.  It's a cacophony.  Not ideal thieving or murdering conditions.  Heck, I'd run.  Even professionals would take off.  Done deal and no one gets hurt.  Dealing with a murder on your hands, justified or not, is hard to sleep with.  Just ask any of my buddies from Desert Storm.  No joke, even if you are a hero.

SO... I notice that Road Rage still exists on streets and thoroughfares.  Usually there's just the lumbering SUV crowd going 5-under or less.  I still don't get why women drink the SUV Kool Aid and get those things; they handle poorly, get bad gas mileage, accelerate slow, stop slow, have near-zero grip despite 4WD claims, topple-over easily as they're top-heavy and are proven to actually be more dangerous in a crash than a small car.  Worse still, often piloted by one individual, though it can seat 4, and sometimes 6 badly.  If you've ever been crowded in a $70k Audi Q7 you'll know what I mean.  Horrible accommodations. 

So you got the slow movers, or the way-too-fast movers at odds.  I'm one of the latter, though I feel it's justified if: a) I don't ride your ass, b) am not in your way in the slightest, and c) don't suddenly cut you off.  I figure if I'm in the ultra-fast lane (now a crime if you're going too slow for people behind you and carries a fine) and flash blinkers or lights once, you'll understand your flaw and mislocation in the scheme of lanes.  Most Coloradans now move-over, as is the law, which is nice.  Still, sometimes traffic is just jammed and there's no fixing it.  Annoying?  Yes.  Rubbernecking is thankfully not an issue as much here as it was in Boston where I grew up.   Also, thankfully, cellphone use is also illegal except for hands-free ones, though fat soccer moms are still involved in their low-tech devices while their living rooms are careening down the road.

I'm still fine with slow-drivers, just as long as they keep in the left-ish lanes, it's just fine.

I think road-rage can be solved with everyone just "knowing their place" in the lane structure.  Consider your driving style and place yourself accordingly and all will be well.  At least it isn't Asia!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nice 'lil demo up

Made a nice little demo of Limbo by Rush off of the Test for Echo album.  It's under construction so it's not finished.  The harmonics, solo, bass, and keyboards and heck, even vocals aren't added yet, those are all MIDI right now but it's a good night's work for the guitar work I think.  I have 7 stereo guitar tracks layered so it sounds nice and thick.  Tell me what you think:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mullet 2012

I am single-handedly bringing back the mullet hairstyle for 2012.  A lot of guys at work missed my Snake Plissken-style haircut of 2010 (complete with Russian urban cammo-pants and official 1930's Plissken motorcycle jacket) but the hairstyle itself led to annoyances of my convertible and avid motorcycling (plus yes, you have to blowdry it or it'll stay wet until the next day's shower and yes you have to put some kind of leave-in conditioner as Colorado has a humidity of 11% usually year-round so it'd otherwise friz to oblivion like an Afro-cut).  The wind of Colorado is pretty much constant in Colorado Springs so it required constant brushing and maintaining and preening and, well, that's just too much bullshit, nevermind driving top-down in my Saturn Sky Turbo where interestingly, by way of physics, air rushes from behind you while driving due to a Coriolis Effect making loose ends whip into my eyes despite my attempts at pony-tailing it or wearing a hat (a few rogue strands would seek vengeance into my eyeballs making 160-mph+ driving.. uncomfortable and blinding).

So, I got the standard, business haricut by way of taking Captain Kirk's photo to my favorite barber: 99 Floyd's (thanks to a nice guy named Faisal's suggestion) that uses a straight razor, hot towels, etc. 

Back in November I told folks I'd be getting a mullet for 2012, announcing, "MULLET 2012!" campaign slogans.  Women were nonplussed but guys were finding my quest heroic.  I've now managed to get it about mullet-length in the back (maybe a few more inches) as it almost completely covers the back of my neck.  Still though, the front is long and needs to be feathered ala MacGyver.  Once complete, I'll post a photo.

The modern mullet is not as extreme as Joe Dirt'e, extremely long and flat in the back.  No, it simply reaches the bottom of the collar in a bit of a wave, nor is it as "spikey" in the front.  That's simply in bad taste.

No.  Bad form, sir.

Still, my quest seems to have created an all-male rally-cry, as movie actors are also getting mullets in recent movies.  Russel Crowe, and others I've noticed are embracing neo-mullets in Hollywood.  More and more people have noticed that I, Mike Cronis am getting a mullet and others are following suit.  I remember back in 1984 in high school I was the first I noticed in getting the feathered mullet to which point the entire school did so of 1800 students (females as well, interestingly, though more layered and Farrah Faucet styled).  I also was the first to introduce the black Reebok hightop leather sneaker (which I am also bringing back next month).

Stay-tuned for more mullet-hightop goodness.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Post Number 200!!!

Yay!  It's post number two hundred!!!  That's a lotta posts!  Eat your heart out, Mister Kellogg!  You and your suspicious and over pretentious two G's!!!

Have you noticed the insane ads on all these websites these days? is notorious for a tidal wave of ads, just to read Luann, F Minus, or That is Priceless (three of my favorites).  Four or five is a lot.  Some websites have dozens or more, plus Google-PopUp-Blocker evading pop-ups.

Advertisers pay for these spots to sell products.  It reminds me of Back to the Future II when Marty gets overwhelmed with 3D adverts upon arrival, or when you land at Las Vegas Aiport, half-expecting Chris Tucker from The Fifth Element to come jumping out at you, babbling insanity to anyone that'd listen (he really ruined that movie, as he does everything else.  How about a serious role, bud?  You're not funny.  Ever.)

Just like loose magazine subscription postcards falling out of periodicals by the dozen, apparently, people use those to actually buy things.  People actually click on those insane, viral ads.  I don't know anyone that does, but apparently I know smart people, since most Americans can't find America on a globe or know the cubed-root of 27 or who our Vice-President is or what makes an engine run.  I'm thinking these people are clicking these ads and spam emails because otherwise advertisers would find other methods to get their product across.

If you're one of those people who are responding to these flashy ads, please stop!  You're ruining the InterWebs experience for all of us with your stupidness.  Don't punch the monkey to "Win" an iPad2.  You won't win anything but a Trojan Horse virus.  Nothing is for free, ever.  Never.  You don't win shit.  There's always a cost.  Even if you gamble with the stock market and used your already taxed income to buy stocks, if you succeed, you'll be taxed on that

DO NOT CLICK THE ADS because it means it's a successful campaign for the annoying, system-slowdowning flashy gimmicks to lure you in to buy stuff you don't want.  The Java or Flash-based scripts are often jammed with hard-drive searching software to see interesting facts about you and your internet browsing habits and purchases, fine-tuning ads so that you'll be more apt to click and buy.  STOP IT, users.  Makes for a poor internet experience for all the rest of us.  I don't want to, "lower my bills", "win a free i-anything", or "use tricks to lose weight".  All of these things I can manage on my own, thank you.

People, stop clicking da pic-tchya.  Idiots. 


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A little short tribute

Did a short song of Queen's Execution of Flash off of the soundtrack Flash Gordon.

Here is the original:

And here's my (somewhat shortened) version:
The Execution of Flash Gordon


Dodge's got the right idea

For 2013 and 2014, Dodge is coming out with some fantastic cars.  Not the crappy names of robotic-sounding cars, like BMW's 325, 528, etc. or Mercedes' SLK500, C320, etc.  Nope.  Dodge is remembering their past and embracing what Americans want, cool-sounding badass cars.

On the lineup:

Return of the Dodge Viper (8.7 liter engine, 650+Hp, hells yeah)

Dodge Challenger SRT YellowJacket

Dodge Charger SRT8 SuperBee (it's back and badder)

Dodge Charger SRT8 Redline (hey, isn't that Saturn's sport-brand?  Though not street-legal, cool.  And yep, the hood opens on 4 hydraulic tubes.  Talk about Transformers).

Dodge Dart (yep, in a few months)

more importantly, the Dodge HemiCuda.  Yep, the one from Phantasm.  Aka, the 'cuda.  Pullin' a little old Plymouth back from the dead on that one.  Legendary car.  Supposedly using the Viper's 8.7 liter 650Hp V10 engine or the SRT8's 560Hp V8.  Concept shown based on the 1999 Charger. 

Cool ass cars.  Now if GM could only resurrect just the TransAm Firebird..

McDonald's new marketing campaign.

McDonald's is trying a new look for the signature clown, Ronald.  I'm not sure if it's the right direction for them, but it might just work!  The new slogan is, "Don'tchya want it?!"  Nice, simple and clever.  They're starting out with their new campaign with their signature sandwich, the Big Mac and combining old with new, returning the "Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame bun" jingle, the "I'm lovin' it" slogan, and the new, "Don'tchya want it?!" ad.   I think it works, you decide!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Iron Maiden releases live BluRay disc

Didn't come much 'round here for their #3 on-the-Billboard 200 album, The Final Frontier which was quite good but the world tour sold very well, earning very good reviews. 

Since US fans missed it, a live release called, En Vivo live in Chile comes out March 27th.

Track listing is as follows:

1. Satellite 15
2. The Final Frontier
3. El Dorado
4. 2 Minutes To Midnight
5. The Talisman
6. Coming Home
7. Dance Of Death
8. The Trooper
9. The Wicker Man
10.Blood Brothers
11.When The Wild Wind Blows
12.The Evil That Men Do
13.Fear Of The Dark
14.Iron Maiden
15. The Number Of The Beast
16. Hallowed Be Thy Name
17. Running Free

Up the irons!

I feel bad for the kids

Today's kids are going to have to pick-up where Obama screwed us over, with an ailing economy and housing market, things haven't been much worse in my lifetime, even worse than the Carter administration if anyone remembers that.  I do.  Gas prices are ridiculous, though oddly tolerated, and even embraced by truck owners, not pointing the finger at our Executive Branch like had happened with our previous administration.  Did Americans get intelligent about it and realise the President doesn't control commodity prices (like peanut-butter, Microsoft Windows, and gasoline) or are Americans just trying to accept it by justifying their bad voting choice in their heads somehow?  I can't tell.  There's about 25% pro-Democratics at work.  When asked, they say things are just fine and shrug it off.  When I bring up that they were the ones that were jumping up and down about Bush's oil-prices (silly) but not when Obama's oil-prices are high they get this glazed-over look of self-denial and shrug.  It's hard to tell if any of them have brain cells.  I often press them on the issue, "No no, please tell me how it's different."  One such said that Bush had bought some stock options on oil reserves and so therefore it was in his best interest to have oil prices go up by way of lobbyists.  I wonder what sort of stocks Obama has?  It'd be foolish for him to have none.  I'd bet white-flag-making companies, or maybe international stocks like Chinese, but it's impossible to say without pressing him.

I find it interesting Obama takes no questions in his press releases.  He just talks and leaves.  Bush would at least field a Q&A.  Obama's good at reading script but incredibly bad at actually making a decision.  Just a face, I guess.

Today's kids at age 18 will have to pick up where we left off.  They'll have to deal with it on a global scale.  Our tensions increased in all nations due to bad foreign affairs (which I see second-hand by way of missile counter-strikes daily), bad economic practices, imports versus US-Made products, and just all-around low-attitude.  I still think Mary-Jane usage will amplify that laziness in Americans.  Look at Jamaica.  They have awesome export potential, rich resources but ultimately they're a 3rd World nation (if you've ever been).  I don't think MJ is to blame, but it's an amplifier of the cause.  I'm actually for legalization for MJ in a sense that my job will be harder to fill and therefore make more money but in an ambivalent sense, against it because I know America will slow down to the point of death.  I wonder if the Joker is involved in this?  Love that Joker!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia is down

Wikipedia is down and people from all around the world are forced to actually open a book.  Just sayin'.

You know what would be cooler?  Cell-phone tower failure nation-wide for 1 day.  Government has the right to do so.  Enjoy your Obama-Care.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bad cars, good commercials

(Or, "adverts" to those UK folks.. cheers to you, readers, and your Euro downgrade yesterday, just like us, thanks to socialism and the upcoming Bolshevik Revolution part Deux).  Oui.

Have you noticed exciting car commercials for boring cars?  Here's one for the fairly new Mazda "2".


Here's a few things about the "2".  Firstly, it doesn't have a name like an American car, such as the Firebird, the Corvette, the Mustang, the Cougar, etc. etc.  No, it's a soul-less designation of "2".  It can't be an animal of coolness or something awesome like that.  Even Britain got on the board with the Jaguar.  If anything, the "2" could be the "Fat Ass Sloth" or perhaps the "Snot Cow" or the "Manatee F*ck Sh*t by Four".  I think the car is probably geared for the gas-frugal or the "I'm too broke to buy sh*t" crowd.  The horid magazine Car & Driver aka Ford & 3 Series BMW Bribed magazine (in the same way Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times newspaper was getting Disney kickbacks in the late '90s.. Hunchback of Notre Dame best movie of the year indeeeeed...n't.) suggested that the Mazda "2" and Ford Festiva, it's exact clone, were not great on-paper but got a lot of "fun" and "cool" marks in the positive.  Arbitrary scores Car & Driver uses to even the playing-field so Ford can win shoot-outs against far more credible cars.

Let's look at some facts.  Mazda in the commercial above was orgasmic that it was for a cool-ass guy in a faux motorcycle jacket (motorcycle jackets make guys cool apparently, though they have to be open and tailored, and the guy can't ever own a bike it seems).  It's also required to look "cool" to have not bothered shaving that day and also wear girl's jeans and order a latte in an impossibly near-vacant coffee shop with his "cool" laptop (in which he's looking at a Mazda 2 btw).  Personally, I would have swiped his cheap-ass laptop while he was going for vanilla sprinkles and extra gay.  Oh, wait, I digressed again. 

The stats for the Mazda 2.. see if this sounds "fun" to you:
  • Acceleration:  0-60..... 10.3 seconds.  (this makes this the slowest car in America currently)
  • Acceleration:  0-100 .... 33.2 seconds (A Toyota Prius which peters out at 30mph can do this in 30 seconds)
  • Lateral Gs:  aka body-roll .....0.84  (this makes this the worst handling car in America, worse than the ill-fated Suzuki Samurai that toppled over constantly)
  • Tires: 185 55R-15 ..... (15 inch tires that have a truck-like sidewall and as thin as a Geo Metro's)
  • Gas economy: 28 City / 35 Highway (Corvettes currently get better gas mileage).
So, you get the worst of all worlds.  How is it this car gets rave reviews?  Ever notice Corvette doesn't get any commercials?  It's because it's a good car.  It sells itself.  You have to trick people into buying shit.  Fancy it up.  Put a nice iPod low-qual-audio device in there.  Some flashy colors and a cool commercial and the as-a-joke as the Rock-n'-Roll Hall of Fame's selection (Abba?  Really?) comment of "Zoom Zoom" that hasn't been relevant since the death of the RX-7 (the RX-8 was shitty and the engine life was 60k miles before a complete rebuild).  Zoom Zoom my ass.

Take a gander at car commercials of mini-vans skidding on tarmac water or some cute little car zipping along seemingly quickly.  Nope.  They're all shit.

If you're not an ACE in determining what a good car is, and you just go for looks, THIS is what you should be looking at for a STANDARD, not a GREAT car but an average and shouldn't go UNDER these figures for 2012:

  • Acceleration: 0-60 ..... 5 seconds or quicker
  • Acceleration: 0-100 ..... 13 seconds or quicker
  • Lateral Gs: ..... 0.90 or higher
  • Tires: 255 45R 18 or wider (and NOT All-Weather (aka NO-Weather) Radials [unless it's a luxury car in which case you probably don't have a choice)  Don't get me started on the laziness of shitty no-weather radial tires, the worst of both worlds.
  • Gas Economy:  30 City / 40 Highway (This is pretty average these days except for trucks and V10 engines thanks to Direct-Injection engines and Turbochargers, even in sport cars which get very close or exceed this figure)

Good luck and happy shopping!  And don't get suckered!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ozzy hears Randy Rhoads LOST SOLO

Watch Ozzy in awe as he listens to a Randy Rhoads solo found on the master tapes for the 1st time, 30 years after it was made. The solo is available as RR on the Blizzard of Ozz 30th Anniversary Expanded Edition.

You can tell he's really surprised and amazed at it.  Randy adds a bit of William Tell's Overture in there for good measure.  Just him goofing-off at the end of a take but it was recorded with minimal effects.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Linday and Casey getting married?!

America's two sweethearts are actually tying the knot in California next month.  Casey admits to being "date raped" and that's what caused her daughter's death, "I couldn't get to the trunk in-time!" she admits.  "I guess I left the chloroform bottle open."  Linday Lohan was available for telephone conference, "These things happen." she agrees.  "Why, just look at how I was treated when I walked out the door with that necklace in L.A.!  I didn't know I had it on!  It's the store's fault!"

Casey, who's pregnant again with an unknown father is planning on raising the child in a lesbian home.  "I plan on home-schooling her.  We plan on teaching her that God doesn't exist and that homosexuality is the real truth of things." Casey says, "but I need America's support.  Please donate to my website!"  Lindsay says, "The more money the better.  We need to make sure the brat is well fed."

When asked if she'd consider putting the baby up for adoption, Lindsay admits, "If some North Koreans are willing to dish-out the cash, I'd be willing to make a transaction, or at least a swap for some more heroin."  Casey is excited by the prospect, "I can make more babies if I need to.  I can just hit-up the clubs!

It is not disclosed as to who's taking who's surname.

Van Halen's new album

New album's called, A Different Kind of Truth.  Features David Lee Roth (aka Diamond Dave) with Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass (sorry Michael Anthony, no Jack Daniel's bass for you).  Eddie's on guitar as usual.  His gear includes the MXR Phase 90 phaser (I can't tell if it's the classic or re-issue by his pedal board) and the EVH (of course) Flanger and MXR Chorus.  Seems Eddie made a contractual deal with Dunlop as the rest of his gear is also Dunlop, such as a signature Wah by them.

The album is significant as it's the first full release by VH since 1998's Van Halen III staring, well, that 3rd singer from the band Extreme, "Gary Cheorone" who was dropped immediately.  It's also significant as such that David Roth hasn't had anything out in a loooong time.

The first single, Tattoo is pretty reminiscent of mid-80s material (no small feat with current gear standards) with a little Me Wise Magic sound from VH Greatest Hits Vol.1 added in.  Reminds me of the same scale as "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent, particularly with the solo.  Same notes.  I like the last suspended seventh at the end.  Leaves you wondering.  Nice choice of a chord.

Song came out yesterday if you didn't already know.  Album comes out next month.

Judge for yourself here:

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hey, EvaLINA!


Dear readers,

  Can anyone recommend a good blog (besides mine) to read?  I'm a fan of review-type blogs that are lengthy and not movie-related.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

An early Batman series

In 1943 there were several serials based on the Batman comic that were actually pretty serious.  He didn't have much by-way of powers or a lot of gimmicks and tricks, just a regular guy.  Fairly realistic and decent acting and worth investigating if you're into Batman legend.  I like how the acid dropped on the electrical wires melts the plastic and makes it over-heat, melting the casing slowly. The fight scenes are a lot more chaotic and likely.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Top 50 most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe

While I contemplate my pedals and prepare for an onslaught of music, I thought you'd like to see probably the only best and comprehensive most-powerful top 50 beings in the Marvel Universe.  I'd have to agree with the creator of this.  The music can be muted (and probably should, unless you're a fan of late '80s palm-mute guitar and/or Metalica who can't get past that gimmick).  Anyway, it's a good read (you'll probably have to pause it a few times as it's pretty fast).  A good portion of the characters I had no idea about, but it'll give you some insight onto the importance of the Cosmic Cube coming up in the new Avengers movie.

Note*  On number 48 and onward there'll be collective groups of heroes listed, followed by each of the members in-order of power.

The religions of guitar pedals

Note*  Before reading this blog, if you think MP3 songs or iTunes are pretty okay-sounding then get a vasectomy or hysterectomy now because you've sacrificed quality for convenience to the point of ruining America.  Once the surgery is complete, you may continue to read.

After 22 years of playing guitar (questionably badly) one gets to a higher-evolution of being a "Tone Hound".  Getting that exact tone is key to expression of one's self.  Certain devices in series from your fingers to your guitar's innards and into a recording device, ending in someone else's ear like aural bukkake is a magic thing.

You'll notice some good bands sound a bit like crap, while some crap bands sound good, at least subliminally you'll notice it at the very least.  Some average bands get a good engineer or some key gear and they sound phenomenal on one or maybe two albums.  Case-in-point would be Metalica on their Black Album.  Pretty mediocre guitar work overall, favoring palm-muting at any given point, loving progressive bands but rarely progressing, yet the sound engineer and gear all aligned properly to create such a great album that the next two crappy albums, Load and then ReLoad were still heralded as great works from the afterglow of their "Black" album.  Pulling back, a few outstandingly great gems stand-out for them but most of their work, honestly, sucks.  No, really.  It does.  You endure a few crappy songs only to hear One or Creeping Death or Eye of the Beholder.  The anticipation of it makes-up for the rest of the bad songs.  Jethro Tull's Aqualung was like this too.  Engineered perfectly and every song very good to perfect, and eventually released in quadraphonic (which is pretty bad-ass for 1971).  Following this album was A Passion Play which is a bunch of random notes like a sonic computer thrown in a mulcher, amplifiers at eleven.  Pure crap.  Still, somehow, A Passion Play charted number ONE on the US Pop-album charts in 1973.  Number freaking ONE.  The album has only one 45 minute (and 5 second) song on it with NO breaks of pure cacophony.  Bleep, blonk, Zwi--ing!  Seriously.  That's how good the album Aqualung was.  It kept A Passion Play afloat for weeks, impossibly!  There's a lot of examples of this.  Sometimes a band can create some super awesome lyrics or great guitar sounds, or have a flashy front-man but almost always, it's the gear that makes the tone.

Over the years I've collected a few pieces of gear that I thought were nice.  I have my 1993 Ibanez Saber that I've customed a bit more by changing the pickups, strings, and what-not.  I put it on lay-away when I was a poor Airman.  My weekly salary was $178 per week.  The guitar cost me $1300 at the time.  Still got it.  Went across the world with me a dozen times.  Case wrecked from that.  Good mahogany tone.

I have a Digitech 2112 with the Digitech upgrade chip to the 2.11 specs.  Great tone with vacuum tubes.  I replaced and upgraded the tubes to matching 12AX7 Euro-spec gold-plated tubes.  Sounds lush.  Becky got it for me in the '90s.  Works great.  Knobs sometimes act flaky, but that's okay.  The 2112 allows me to select different chorus and echo effects and distortion and what-not, which is good.  Tone-wise, however, there are a few better single effects out-there for more signature sounds.

To emulate a band, the best way is to buy exactly their gear, then you'll sound the same.  Ancient gear (like Led Zepplin's) is very expensive now.  Almost no one can afford it, and that's if it's even working at all.  Replacement parts are impossible, as manufacturing techniques have changed.  Certain sources of clay for resistors have moved.  Even the grains of clay have a tonal impact!

This is why tone is a religion.  Smoothness or quirks.  Analog over digital.  Some people take the antithesis of this and buy ONLY new, digital gear.  Some digital gear IS preferred, which is the scary thing.

The Digitech 2112 allows for this and has an pedal chain OUT and IN line which can have extra pedals attached.  Solitary effects for more lushness.  It's hard to explain but listen to Heart's Barracuda intro.  Listen to the guitar how it flanges.  This is the use of a flanger effects pedal.  Just one kind of pedal to create a swooshing effect.  Originally, flanging was done by during recording, pulling and releasing the recording tape on the reel-to-reel recorder.  That process is pretty insane now-a-days and almost impossible so it's done semi-artificially by use of pedals (such as Heart's Barracuda) and others.  Newer bands try to emulate it but they cannot unless they have the same Flanger pedal (or better).  New is usually NOT better for effects in the same way a classic Stradivarius violin is better than a new, supposedly superior carbon-fiber one is.

Each solitary add-on pedal (despite my multi effects) has it's own life, it's own.. religion and a rabid following.  There are rabid, intense followings of various chorus pedals out there!  Mono or stereo?  YOU decide!

Common effects are as such:
  • Chorus (ambiance)
  • Reverb (reverberation aka room or hall echo)
  • Delay (longer echo like in a canyon)
  • Distortion (crunchy guitar sounds most rock guitarists do)
  • Phaser (think U2's Mysterious Ways intro)
  • Flanger (think Heart's Barracuda intro)
  • Tremolo (think Tommy James and the Shondell's Crimson and Clover)
  • Wah-wah (think Jimmy Hendrix)
  • Talk-box (think Peter Frampton's Do You Feel Like We Do?)
  • Overdrive (a milder distortion, like ZZ Top or SRV)
  • Compressor (holds the note a LOooong time)
  • Fuzz (a buzzy, low-fidelity distortion like in Rolling Stones' Satisfaction)
  • Noise Gate (removes hiss and buzz from external pertubations)
  • Pitch shifter (makes your guitar go up or down several octaves)
  • Harmonizer (harmonizes your guitar by copying it up or down a fifth, octave, etc.)
This is the majority, but there's definitely others and new ones are being created all the time!  Within each category, there's a whole religion based on it.  Take chorus for instance.  Within chorus' community, there are dozens of excellent pedals.  There's the Strymon Blue Sky (which is lush and excellent), the Boss Chorus CE-2 (Japanese model 1983), 1979 Boss's Chorus Ensemble, Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Chorus... the list goes on and on and on.  (and on).  One such pedal I'm getting in the mail is from a guy's basement: a reverb pedal called Stereo Wet.  Amazing stuff.

I've done tons of research on each pedal selected (thanks to YouTube) though digital audio copies online is the best I can do as some pedals are near-impossible to seek out on-foot.

I've chosen the following:
Boss Chorus CE-2 (1983 made in Japan)
Stereo Wet Reverb by Neunaber Technologies
Behringer Graphic Equalizer and Preamp booster
Behringer Vintage Analog Delay
Boss PH-1r Phaser (1980s made in Japan)
Danelectro Hash Browns Flanger (to be eventually replaced by a TC Electronics Vortex Flanger)
Boss ML-2 Metal Core Distortion (haven't tried it yet)
Ibanez TS9DX Turbo Tube Screamer Overdrive (1983 made in Japan model)
Brian May Red Special effects pedal by Queen (autographed)
Boss OC-2 Octaver  1979 edition (made in Japan)
1978 MXR BadAss Distortion
Digitech 2112 (v.2.11 upgraded to 2120 with foot-controller and solo-boost)
BBE 882i Sonic Maximizer
Boss EH-2 Sonic Enhancer
Behringer Tube Studio Pro preamp
2x10 Crate 200W PowerBlocks into Celestion speakers
PreSonus AudioBox USB (soon to be upgraded to PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL USB 2.0)

Now if I can only learn how to play!!!!!

Leaders love to fuck with shit

No, I'm not talking about scatophilia (go ahead and click it, you know you want to).  You know links on my site are dark gray.  I'm talking about people in-charge changing things that don't need to be changed, such as George Lucas keep altering the Star Wars hexalogy, or more case-in-point Google's page design.  Usually this is for the bad.   I'd say there's a good and bad way to update something.

  • Good Update
    • Clean-up artifacts, ie. cables, wires, camera guy's shadow, boom-mic in-scene, etc.
    • Smooth-out digitized special effects' pixilization
    • Removing those square blocks behind spaceships in '70s sci-fi
    • Taking older movies and converting to the highest format possible for home-use
    • All movies should have a blooper-reel available, as well as all out-takes
    • All movies should be the director's cut, or at least have it available in its entirety
    • Deleted scenes should always be put back-in seamlessly and not an added-feature
  • Bad Update
    • Adding CGI (this does not apply always to pre-1975 movies: ie. Star Trek original series)
    • Changing actor's voices
    • Changing the story for the new-release
    • Making the movie in 3D!!!
    • Making your website look more busy with added "features"
    • Converting to digital to an already sought-after analog anything
    • George Lucas Alzheimer's-inspired original "vision" he truly can't remember
    • Doing a film adaptation of a book but changing the story and deleting parts for "flow"
    • Adding songs to a non-musical
    • Removing songs from a musical
    • No more than ONE Easter Egg per media format.  Zero is best.

I'm guilty of this myself.  I've put semi-mandatory audio on some of my web pages.  I'll clean that up on this blog section.  Not too many people want to be forced to listen to "Suspension" off of the 1979 Buck Roger's movie for a month.  Guilty as-charged.  All the "bad updates" usually are to get more $$$.  I know it's the business of things but it strips the soul of the art.

So, the reason for this rant is to explain that our beloved GOOGLE has become a victim of this.  People are desperately emailing Google to knock-it-off and go back to the beloved plain website but they won't budge.
There's a petition here:
There are several more petition sites begging for the removal.  People chose Google because it was CLEAN.  It's now smeared with scat on the side (as you've noticed).  You can still make your homepage the clean version but only using this site:

I'm done.  Have a good Saturday.

The Future is NOW

Friday, January 6, 2012

Obama the opportunist

Since a lot of companies hired some temps for the Christmas rush, Obama is taking this opportunity to show that there's economic growth.  Well of course there is for December.  In the history of this data collection, the US has always hired for the Christmas rush, so it's an outlier.  It doesn't show a strong economy, it shows that Best Buy was hiring for December.  I guarantee they let everyone go this week.  Sears is closing dozens of stores now that the rush is over (though I thought Sears was dead).  Actually, US growth during December has usually been a lot higher than it has been years-past.  Quite a bad sign.  Watch stocks plummet all through mid-January and into 1st-quarter announcements. 

Here's how it'll play-out for the end of each month:

January: Stocks down 5% from December  Unemployment: 9%
February: Stocks stagnate, maybe up 1%    Unemployment: 11%
March: Stocks up 3%.                                           Unemployment: 9%

1st quarter earning announcements

April: Stocks down 15%.                            Unemployment 9%.

My legendary prediction that Sirius XM radio stock would reach $2.00 by 1 January was about right.  It's now 2 bucks.  Was $1.50 in October when I recommended it.  25% increase.  There'll be another dip into the $1.70 range and then it'll top $2.50.  Buy when it's $1.70.

If Obama wins the election then all stocks will plummet 25%.

Best Buy floor-workers are useless btw.  They're only good at letting you know where the CDs are, or can (barely) fetch you a stock item (after 40 minutes).  They mean well, they're just stupid and over-paid.

Welcome to BestBuy.  Can I help you with your purchase today?

Maddox is better than me

His works inspired me to blog.  There's always someone better than you (it is said).  He's a superior blogger.


I have better hair than him and can rock-out (arguably) better.

Family dining

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nazis on the Moon

Iron Sky

PLOT: The Nazis set up a secret base on the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.
Director: Timo Vuorensola
Stars: Julia Dietze, Christopher Kirby, Götz Otto
Release date: 4 April (Finland)
WE SAY: A Finnish movie being made with the money of Internet contributors this one has the sort of loony premise (Nazis on the moon!) that one can’t help but love!

They call me the Workin' Man..

I guess that's what I am.

Dig the reggae beat and Jamaican "red, gold and green" lights (if you notice)
Also, if you get board with the song, 03:20 with Alex is pretty spectacularly taboo!

Yeah, a lot of guys took vacation this last week.  Great for them, bad for me, though I got a ton of hours.  84-hour work-weeks are a bit rough, and it leads to no time to blog or live or have oxygen or what not, and makes me worn-out.  Happily, Phobos-Grunt (see previous entries) has been a dud, mostly due to Russia's amusingly cruel treatment of China's desperate assistance as they delayed the scientists for 2 weeks on the TransSiberian just to be rude (the Chinese had a piggy-back payload).  Russia also dissalowed China to attempt to transmit to the P-B for several weeks in a rescue attempt, again to not allow China to assume the glory of "great success".  When all was lost, they allowed the Ching-Chows to try it, knowing full-well the transponders were burnt from the atmosphere.  (to my delight of their overwhelming conceit).  Ahhh!  The atmosphere!!!  Ahhh! website ad circa late 1990's.

In a good note, I've replaced my unshielded speaker cables with properly shielded instrument cables so I won't get all that hum in my recordings (theoretically).  Got a nice Boss Enhancer pedal (it enhances) and a Boss Metal Core pedal (it's got sparklies).

Now I too got a sparkly.. of my very  own.

So anyhoo, I'll be writing a few more blogs in the next few days.  I got the 1941 cartoons of Superman by Fleischer Studios.  It's very good, and rather dark, and chock full of Film Noir for all.  Long, dark, larger-than-life villians with crawling shadows of their likeness over cold brick.  Very VERY high-quality animation for its time.  Probably better than Disney IMHO.

Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

America's "other" sweetheart "learns her lesson"

After posing for Playboy, Linday Lohan admits she's finally learned her lesson.  She's a good girl now, and promises to never do a bad thing again.  She represents America so much it hurts: a bratty little girl in dire need of a grounding.  Still.. she says she did learn her lesson now.  What do you say, Linday?

Got away with it, again.

I'm glad that the US judicial system is so good now.  I'm glad justice is served.  She's definitely learned her lesson and won't do any bad girl things ever again.  In the photo above, she just got aquitted for stealing a violently expensive necklace from a jewler ala cat-burgaler-style.  Ah, Linday.  I'm glad you were rightfully aquitted.  It wasn't your fault!  "Red, white and blue!  Gaze in your looking-glass!"  Anyone?  Bueller?

She promises to be good from now on.  Oh, Catwoman, Catwoman will you ever learn?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

..and all the stupid, pagan, pathetic rituals you all attempt to feign regarding it.  I vow to blah blah blah, just to show your moral emptinesses as despite your best efforts, you fail to come through.  Again.  Losers.