The [Ninja Turtles] henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady have hijacked the musical genres for us just like the Lone Ranger hijacked the William Tell Overture for our parents.

- xkcd

Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat, you little Bog Goblins

Of course, what makes the biggest impression is what greets you at the door. So, do you still want some candy?

I know it's a little bit cliche but if they have the bad taste to worship the Take 5, I don't feel so guilty.

With that said, Well Rounded Nerds proudly unveils it's first ever Official Halloween Candy (until somebody else offers us more money)...

Willy Wonka's NERDS

Now when the poor little ballerinas and what-have
-you's ring the doorbell you don't give the one little bar but let goodness flow like manna from heaven. Imagine the feeling of delight and happiness when you receive the sweet river of candy NERDS.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday Random 10: Covert Operation

Random Lab Monkey Soup for the Soul[tm]: I'm just trying to live up to my astrological goals for the day.

1. The English Beat – Over and Over: I have developed a small English Beat fetish. They play the Red Devil Lounge in SF in mid-December. Who’s in? Oh, and this song makes me happy with its crazy little copper drum riffs. 9/10
2. The Neins – Jonathon Livingston Seagull: I do still like these guys. They were A.C. Newman’s backing band when I saw him on tour and their stuff, while a little unpolished holds, to me, some promise. 6.5/10
3. The Dead Milkmen – Rastabilly: These guys always inject a bit of levity into the proceeding. It just reminds me of high school chants done to cheesy punk rock…cause that’s what it is. Good fun, that’s for sure 7/10
4. Of Montreal – The Actor’s Opprobrium: This song surely ranks up there as some indie self-correcting (hat tip to The Left for reminding me of that glorious word [via 3B!]) lyrics. The story of an actor trying to make it to some borderline twee chords 7/10
5. The Features – Leave it all Behind: Reclaiming bar-punk music for America, these guys go great with some bourbon and a solid dose of distortion. I do love me some fuzzy guitar and a hint of southern drawl but this song is a little too laid back for their sound They do some good chosuses but a few too many of them. 6.5/10
6. In the Country – How to get Acquainted: MP3 blogs are awesome. How else do you manage to learn about Scandinavian piano jazz trios (unless you love Rune Grammoon the label, which you should). Anyway 7/10

Hours later (song 81 on the list)

7. Sufjan Stevens – Come on! Feel the Illinoise!: This album is pretty cool. The song is beautiful. I don’t even know what genre to put this album in but I’d almost call it more pop-symphonic with a hint of folk. It just has such a lush feel to it. Anyway this song gets an unqualified 9/10
8. Rogue Wave – Falcon Settles Me: The song is very gentle and tender. I’ve kind of had my fill of that for the moment and it just is not doing anything interesting for me. The song doesn’t quite distinguish itself to me so 5/10, sorry boys.
9. NOFX – Reeko: This song is pretty lame. They’re trying to tell a story and I just don’t care. And then they put on some weird guitar like they’re being Clapton. If it’s a joke I’m not quite getting it – Oh wait, two minutes in we’ve hit that trademark California power-punk. It doesn’t really mean anything but I can listen to those sweet chords 4-EVA so it gets a 2+2= 4/10
10. Devendra Banhart – I Feel Just Like A Child: I like the melody but I hate the lyrics. It just seems a little redundant. So he never really grows up? Am I supposed to be impressed by this? I generally like him and I’m hoping there is something more intelligent underlying the idea but I’m not seeing it currently. 3/10

What Not To Wear

Ok, I don't know if anyone has Halloween plans this weekend (hopefully you do). But I've found a site that details some funny costumes that you probably should not wear.

Unfortunately, the list includes the picture of Chuckles dressed as Legolas shown on the right. So read at your own risk.

Excerpt below:

Zack: Robocop.

Dr. Thorpe: Yeah, fuck, I pictured the costume.

Zack: Shit. Try it on me.

Dr. Thorpe: Robocop.

Zack: Goddammit.

It's actually a hilarious article so read it now!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


No, not the UPN show. The blog destroying, buddy absorbing ones.

Where have all the yong men gone?
Gone to vaginas everyone, long time hu-umping...
When will they ever learn? When will they ev-er learn?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Friday Random 10: Stylish Tagline Proves Elusive

1. Tower of Foil – Comedy of Summer Rain: It’s a rather plaintive song that might appeal to those who enjoy alt-country. There’s a piano and some big chords that also invite some Ben Folds parallels. 4/10
2. Bjork – It’s Not Up to You: This song is from “Vespertine,” which is like a giant lullaby to me. It’s not a bad album but I never really get into it. This song has the usual Bjork vocal inflections and rather minimalist background tones 5/10
3. The Cells – Silver Cloud: Rather power-poppy and a little too close to some generic California band. They do open it up a little bit for guitar solos but it never quite has enough power to make me love it. 5/10
4. Devendra Barnhart – I Feel Just Like a Child: This song just kind of rubs me the wrong way. There are some other songs on this album that I like others I don’t really care for. This is one of the latter 4/10
5. The English Beat – Dream Home in New Zealand: I really like this song. A fine example of 80’s two-tone ska with a decent sax solo and a stellar voice. 7/10
6. Architecture in Helsinki – Neverevereverdid: The opening track off of their new(er) album, this song takes a few minutes to get up to speed. Once it does, a rollickin’ good time is had by all. Tuba love, damnit! 8/10
7. Devin Davis – Iron Woman: Decent, slightly twangy rock about the encounter with an ‘Iron Woman.’ I like his voice but the song is a little rough. Still it hearkens me back to some early-90’s alt experiments so have a 6.5/10
8. Juliet – On the Dance Floor: I wish I could keep the dance stuff out of these selections. Not usually quite what I al looking for in the morning. Nevertheless, based on the frequency I seem to end up playing the song it gets at least a 6/10
9. The Wrens – 13 Months in 6 Minutes: Another sad story from The Wrens told so beautifully. I like this CD a lot and love seeing them live. I love the slight distortion of the guitar and the gentle singing over the lyrics. 8/10
10. Chinese Artists – Yu Bei Xushi Qu (The Narrative Music of Yu Provision): Now for something completely different. It’s a Chinese folk song featuring the erhu, what I consider the Chinese equivalent of the fiddle. It starts out slow but gets more animated through the middle. It is pretty much just erhu with a piano so approach with caution 6/10

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Onion of the Sports World

Ok, I just found this site, the Brushback, the other day. Of course, you all probably already know about it. At least that's how it usually goes. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think it's quite humorous ... perhaps even eliciting a chuckle or two. It's like the Onion but for sports (and yes, I know the Onion has a sports page now but it's just not that funny).

Even if you don't like sports (::cough:: Chuckles ::cough::), I think you may still enjoy some of the articles up there. Now that the baseball season is over (for me at least ...) I'll have to find something else to do to fill up my time. Maybe the Brushback can start to fill that void.

Or perhaps I'll just invest all of my emotional attachment in my second-favorite team: the Chicago Bears ... nothing can go wrong there, right?

Are YOU Prepared?

In the 30 years there have been a number of documentaries detailing the potential outcomes of the Zombie Apocolypse.

It seems that those warnings have gone unheeded.

Seriously, with all of the science we have now and the recent experience with Katrina, you would think that we would be more prepared for these kind of situations. Our state, local, and national governments seem to have other "more pressing" concerns though.

I don't really know what else we can do besides ensuring that as individuals we are are prepared. Visit the National Center for Reanimation Prevention and Control (NCRPC) to learn the ins and outs of Zombie hordes. Also, to check Zombie alert status and to get important tips for surviving in the Zombie Apocolypse make sure to visit The Combat Guide.

You can't expect the government to do all of this for you. It's up to each one of us to be prepared for the zombie menace. Don't be caught unaware!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

SI Changes Their Tune (Cause of My Post)

If you go visit the SI home page now you'll see that front in center is the baseball story that should have been there all day. I also received an email from them that I'll copy and paste below:

Dear Mr. Nachos,

Thank you for pointing out our lunacy. We realize now that it was dumb of us to post football info all during the day even though nothing will change with that sport until um, Sunday we guess. We are going to be rectifying the problem and putting up actually pertinant baseball stories/information in the near future so please come by and check it out.

Again, we apologize for being giant bags of chipotle chicken and will try not to let it happen again.

Hugs and kisses,

SI (Sports Illustrated)
Anyway, Game time is now less than 4 hours away. Can you feel it? I said, CAN YOU FEEL IT?!?!

What IS Wrong With SI ... and ESPN [Updated]?

Ok, I'm confused here ... I just watched one of the most amazing comebacks in a game in baseball history with Albert Pujols 2-out 3-run home run in the top of the 9th on Monday. On the brink of elimination from the playoffs, the Cardinals managed a miraculous comeback to force a Game 6 in the National League Championship Series.

That Game 6 occurs tonight. Hmmm, I wonder what we should talk about sports writers? Wait, I know, let's talk about ... football? WTF?!

I know it's kind of old hat to say that the NL doesn't get any love from sports or network coverage (and it's quite true) but to not see a single article about the Cardinals-Astros game tonight seems a little ridiculous. I mean, should a story about the Broncos really be your main story right now?

Whatever, this is just ridiculous though. Screw you Sports Illustrated ... at least ESPN knows to talk about it on their front page ... if only it wasn't that annoying guy, Jayson Stark that was writing the story [Update] and screw you ESPN ... I'm sure the NBA dress code is a huge deal wah wah wah! All you sports sites can go have a picnic somewhere without me! [/Update] Oh well, Game 6 is only 9 4.5 hours away ...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tarantula Pictures

Pictures up on Freelance Genius. Also known as the 'Home of Chuckles' in the People That Harass Me

Monday, October 17, 2005

Who the hell is Joe Morgan anyway?

Does anyone really know who Joe Morgan truly is? Can any of us honestly say, I know Joe Morgan, I know his character and I know how he will vote on the issues? When he sits on the court and makes his rulings, will we be saying this is the Joe Morgan I know or will we be stripped of our faith in him as surely as a waiter is stripped of his dignity? The question left to us, then, is thus: do we really know Joe Morgan?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Saturday Random 10: Lazy No Self-Audit

Devendra Barnhart – Santa Maria de Fiera
Throwing Muses – Cowbirds
In The Country – How to Get Acquainted
Russian Futurists – Incandescent Hearts
The Decemberists – Los Angeles, I’m Yours
The Evens – Around the Corner
The Ponys – Glass Conversations
Seven Feet Four – Last Days of Summer
The Features – Blow It Out
Kent - Celcius

Let me know what you think, perhaps I'll say nifty things on Monday.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Random Lab Monkey Strikes Again...

I don't even know how I can preface her statement. Well, I have some ideas but they would all probably lead to a gi-normous let down in comparison to, and this may be important, HER comment:

The plural of cervix is a good time.

Read it, ponder, and then read it again.

Note that this was not some anonymous Google referrer but a genuine person.

Oh, and by the way, it's Friday so I'll get the "10" up later but this little treat needs further discussion and perhaps some helpful analysis.

Key questions:
1) I laughed (quite a lot); was this an appropriate response?
2) Can this be topped? If so, how?
3) Please play along at home, how would you finish the phrase, "the plural of cervix is _____________"? (note: I went with success, this was not deemed quite as funny as RLM's)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Joe Morgan is D-U-M-B

I know it's all trendy to hate Joe Morgan and I hate to join trends but it's just too true.

I'm watching the Yankees-Angels game and the Angels have runners at the corners. Rivera hits a grounder to A-Rod and he looks the runner back and throws to 2nd. The 2nd-baseman clearly steps off the bag before he catches the ball. The umpire calls the runner safe. That seems to be the right call to me.

Joe Morgan gets all upset because he was a 2nd-baseman. He admits he stepped off the bag before the ball was caught but keeps trying to tell me it doesn't matter. How can you argue with that? God forbid you admit you were wrong, [fine, I'll say it] cobag!

Friday Random 10: Bands I Haven't Mentioned Much Previously

I cheated on this one only to avoid bands that I have previously talked about (Blur, Kent, The Neins) since they weren't songs that I felt strongly about one way or the other. please forgive me.

1. Madison Park –My Personal Moon: I’m so glad I waited until the afternoon for this song. It kicks off with some wicked space disco and lots of very effects laden stuff. The vocals are alright and mesh with the song but don’t wow me. 7.5/10
2. Charlie Robison – Good Times: I have no idea where this song came from but here’s some solid roots/country/bluegrass/whatever with the chorus line “by me a whiskey get yourself stoned and we gonna have a good time” 7.5/10
3. The Black Heart Procession – Only One Way: It’s a pretty generic “dark alternative” sounding song from a band I like to think of as being able to do better than that 4/10
4. Black Box Recorder – The Deverell Twins: Breathy female vocals with some rather dark lyrics (The Deverell Twins having drowned in the Thames 200 years ago) but dark in that really seductive way 6/10
5. Son Ambulance: A Book Laid on its Binding: This song hurts me on the inside. His voice makes me feel nails-on-a-chalkboard level pain and the background music doesn’t do anything terribly interesting and I don’t understand why they added chimes 2/10
6. Love Is All – Motorboat: This is the first time I actually listened to this song and it is awesome. Awesome, I say. This is what Le Tigre meant to do with the last album i think. A little dance, a little riot grrl, a lot of happiness. Plus they make random motorboat sounds. I don’t know how long before that annoys me. But, for now, 8/10
7. The Magnificents – Digital Dirt: I like them and this song is a little darker. It’s got some of that dark-80’s synth sound but the full sound that it lacks. This song has a little too much of the “computerized voice” conceit and takes a while before the song really kicks into gear but once it does, at about the two minute mark, I like it) 5/10
8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Man: I don’t think she likes the guy very much. But if it makes her put out angry, dark, rawk music then a little suffering was maybe worth it. 7/10
9. Kaiser Chiefs – What Did I Ever Give to You: This song is track 9 of 12 on the album and at this point they’ve slowed way down from their initial frenzy. It actually keeps reminding me of some early-90’s Blur outtake. I like it alone but when I listen to the album Ikeep wishing they would pick the pace back up. 6/10
10. The Thrills – Say It Ain’t So: I bought this album in the bargain bin. I kept hearing good things about them, although I think it was the album after this, but this album and song is crap. It’s almost alt-country and there are just a lot of strikes against it. 3/10

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Again With the Nail Clipping

Did you get the memo? There is an officewide moratorium on nail clipping. That means no more nail clipping guy who won't stop clipping his nails. I can't understand why he would do this. Does he hate me? If so, why?

Allow me to explain: he shows up at 12 in the afternoon today and after a tough 2.5 hours of work, decided he needs to clip his fingernails again. That's the story. Argh ...

I don't think Fulsome realizes how good he has it. I wish I was lucky enough to find styrofoam packing peanuts on my keyboard. Random Lab Monkey why won't you amuse the rest of us with your crazy antics? Instead I get the wonderful clicking sound of the nail clippers.

Oh well. Back to the grind.

WEstern Thought Wednesday: Charmides

As if it weren't obvious enough, this will be delayed until Saturday because everybody at work seems to think that fourteen hours days are normal even though they won't give me enough task to fill an eight hour day.


What is everyone's opinion about Architecture in Helsinki? They are playing the Black Cat tomorrow, Friday, night. I thought I read something about them here, but I am too lazy to go perusing the back logs.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Introducing the Random Lab Monkey

About a month ago, we added another tech to my lab. Last week, she was officially christened with her new title, "Random Lab Monkey." As it seems -- from that namesake-producing event and various other incidents -- likely that there is vast comedic potential here, I have decided to introduce her as a counterpoint to dEn's less positive officemate.

Also, it has been determined that an "actual" lab monkey inhabits the piano adjacent to our lab and is the base of certain nefarious activities that I might then wrongly ascribe to the human monkey namesake.

Today's thought of the day: "I just find pipetting to be very satisfying."

Today's monkey-like behavior: Upon the receipt of some lab accessories with a collection of Styrofoam peanuts, she had to litter my keyboard with said detritus.

Once again, I have been informed that it was the actual monkey who tried to cover my keyboard with peanuts. I do not find this explanation terribly convincing as I encountered the person with a large handful of Styrofoam peanuts and was not provided with a very convincing rationale.

Further episodes as reality warrants...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Valuable SF resources

As a public service announcement, spurred on by the important discovery of Burritoeater:

Burritoeater -- because everyone needs to know where to get Mexican food, now!
Playing in Fog -- a fairly good schedule for indie-rock in San Fran.
Flavorpill -- sometimes you need to appear hip and cultured and then these folks have yer back (they even have a Chi-town edition)

Actually, I guess that's all I've got. I'll accept suggestions from the other zero people who read this and live in SF.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Good News for People Who Love Bad News

I was never really sure if that album title was cute or absurdist or just some kind of bizarrely "goth" take on life. However, I am now finally developing some appreciation for the phrase. DeLay is indicted, Iraq is officially a shambles, people are realizing Bush is incompetent, CRONYISM is becoming a new catchphrase.

All of these things are horrible. Yet somehow they make me happy. Sigh. What's next, I'll understand a Sigur Ros song?

Fiery Furnaces: Funktastic?

So, I went out on Friday (with a girl and everything!) to go see the Fiery Furnaces. I had seen them earlier this spring and wanted to see what they were up to. Besides, they were playing at Cafe du Nord and I enjoy any excuse to go there. There was a slight chance some Bull associate would be there but I did not see any representatives (I think they knew they would not be able to go mano a mano with a WRN representative).

I have to give the FF credit. They sounded completely different on Friday from when I saw them less than six months ago. The piano-ish, lighter prog got replaced with some heavier drumming and a serious bass line. The good news: Emily still sounds like emily and wears long shaggy hair with a jean jacket and has a voice that makes you remember why The Pretenders were cool. Matt still manages to flail away on the keyboard and I think of him as some bizarre songwriting monster.

Their new album (they played most of it, they said) seems to use that thematic stealing again. However, I'm not sure that it works as well. Since they did actually stop between songs it makes it almost confusing when a riff from thre songs ago pops back up later. I didn't think the new songs were quite involved enough to benefit from that particular trick. Maybe that will change with some more listens and as the band is more familiar with the songs. Emily had a music stand with the lyric sheets for the 'Rehearsing A Choir' songs. I'm definitely curious to know how the CD sounds.

Alright, so it's not really a great review. It was a decent show but I was a little disappointed with the sound but I kind of think I was a victim of expectations. I will definitely get their CD and see if I still feel the same since now I will expect it to be heavier than Blueberry Boat.

Serenity (GO SEE IT!)

I just finally saw the box office results for the weekend and I am very dissappointed with the results for Serenity this weekend (I'm looking at you person who didn't go see Serenity). Besides the mangled Chinese phrases, this is a very excellent movie. It's suspensful, exciting, and has some cool action and dialog.

If you did not see this movie last weekend, go see it this weekend. I mean it. You have to go. Or someone dressed up as a Buffy character will show up at your house crying and asking why you didn't go see the movie (it won't be me though, since I thought Buffy was lame).

I went to see Serenity of Friday at an 11:40 PM show and the theater was moderately crowded but less so than I was expecting. This movie is better than almost every movie that came out this summer so make time is your worthless schedule and go see it. If you don't have time to go see it, at least buy a ticket. You know, to show that you care ... or something.

Thank you, that is all (for now).


Ok, I normally don't talk about this (or even really think about it) but over the weekend I won my Fantasy Baseball championship for the second year in a row. Now, this isn't that hardcore of a league and last year's was even less so, but I have to say that there are certain reasons I am relishing my victory.

First, the only moves I made all season was to pick up Al Leiter after he went to the Yankees and to trade Manny Ramirez away at the beginning of the season for Kerry Wood and Barry Bonds. Neither of those moves really helped me ... at all. For the total for the season though, the system shows that I only made 1 move. My opponent in the championship game had made 23.

I wasn't even present at the draft where the computer ended up automatically picking my players for me. Then, I didn't really keep track of stats or anything that much and just kind of let my guys play.

Somehow though, I managed to make it into the playoffs (I was in 6th place). From there I slowly beat my way to the championship game (week). After the end of the first week, I was losing 12 -2 in the stats and I was sure I was going to lose (in fact I forgot that the final matchup was for 2 weeks so I really did think I'd lost). The second week though, my boys really pulled it out for me and I managed to come back and win the series 9 - 4.

I guess the lesson here is let the computer do your draft for you and don't make any moves, that way you'll be sure to win your fantasy baseball league (unless everyone is using that same strategy, then I don't know how that works out).